Thursday, May 20, 2010



I concluded my Marble Falls & Burnet daytrip with a satisfying dinner at Satay.  The food was delicious, but the price was not commensurate with the portion or quality of dishes. 

Strawberry Mint Tea

Goong Hom Pa-fried black tiger prawns wrapped in rice paper with Thai roasted coconut salsa

Paradise Grill-grilled catfish filley with grilled onions, lemongrass, and spicy peanut sauce

Siamese Duck
I've often wondered why Thai restaurants are generally more expensive than Chinese restaurants in terms of price-portion, price-ingredients, and price-difficulty in preparation and cooking ratios.  I think it boils down to socioeconomics.  The regular consumer's willingness to pay for Thai food is higher than Chinese food because Chinese restaurants outnumber Thai restaurants in the U.S.  The competition amongst Chinese restaurants drive down the prices in comparison to Thai restaurants.  In addition, a bulk of Chinese restaurants are buffet style with a bad reputation for low quality food, which gives the impression that Chinese food is cheap.  Consumers also base their willingness to pay on the dining experience, some even subconsciously find this more important than the food itself.  Quite a few Chinese restaurants are not well lit, have sticky floors, tables, and dinner ware, offer poor service, and are poorly decorated.  Thai restaurants, on the other hand, often emphasize decoration and are generally cleaner. 

I'm not an expert in Thai cuisine, so I also wonder whether the Thai restaurants around town are like P.F. Chang versions of Thai food (overpriced, Westernized, "pan-Asian" food).  Don't get me wrong.  I do crave Westernized, "pan-Asian" food from time to time as long as we consciously treat it as such.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting question. I never thought about that before. Your theories make sense, I think.

    I would LOVE to go to Thailand to learn about and experience authentic Thai food. One of these days!