It hardly seems possible that it’s been almost 10 years since I reviewed Naradeva Thai, shortly after it opened in the Millenia area. (It replaced something called Bear Rock Cafe.) Not only am I surprised at the passing of a decade but also that the restaurant is still there.
I don’t recall being particularly whelmed by my experience. And Naradeva’s opening came at a time when Central Florida was seeing a wave of new Thai restaurants. I figured it would be consumed in the tide.
But it persisted. And it seems that its food has improved along the way, at least by my recent samplings.
The crispy duck with red sauce, pictured at top, was particularly tasty. It featured bite-sized hunks of meat, lightly battered and fried, accompanied by the sauce, which had big hunks of tomatoes, chunks of pineapple, and shoestring bamboo shoots. The base of the sauce was creamy coconut milk blended with a red curry paste for a bit of spiciness. A mound of steamed with rice was included to spoon the sauce over.
Thoughfully, the components were packaged separately so as not to uncrisp the duck, which was also juicy and flavorful.
I also had the Panang curry with beef, also with coconut milk but with an assist from shredded kaffir lime leaves. Bits of bell pepper, broccoli florets, snow peas and baby corn were also included. The meat was characteristically thinly sliced, neither tough nor tender.
I wasn’t taken with my choice of fish cakes as an appetizer. The cakes, about the size of a Thai baht coin, were a bit rubbery.
Naradeva does not offer curbside pickup and would not accept prepayment over the phone. But the front desk is immediately inside the door, so there is no need to go far into the restaurant to retrieve an order.