Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Mid-Atlantic >
Sep 29, 2010 04:55 AM

Padi in Hockessin, DE

A new Thai/ Malaysian/Japanese place in Lantana Square. Seems pretty busy but the one time I was there for appetizers the food was hit or miss. Anyone have a more in depth experience?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This is from the Rasa Sayang folks in Independence Mall who we've always enjoyed. I haven't been to Padi yet but I think they've been open less than a month so they're probably still shaking things out a bit.

    1. I am excited to try this place. The descriptions sound heavenly. I have had great luck with Pinang lately and am always looking for a new place to eat. Pinang has a very similar menu for anyone who wishes to try there. It is closer to Kirkwood Highway and Newark if anyone lives far away from Hockessin.

      217 Louviers Dr, Newark, DE 19711

      3 Replies
      1. re: in bocca

        Finally got to try Padi this past weekend and left very impressed overall. We tried a number of different things to try to get an idea of what is good.

        We started out with some good chicken satay which was juicy and tasty. It was served with a small ramekin of a vinegary cucumber salad and another of peanut sauce, which I wished there was more of.

        We also tried a few yakitori smelts but was not very impressed by them, as to me, they tasted like burnt soy sauce.

        Next came a few sashimi specials of the day including a live scallop that was sliced up sashimi style which was delicious as well as an absolutely fantastic Brasilian horse mackarel that was also served sashimi style. To be honest with you, I was enamored by this dish as was my spouse, and it was probably one of the best piecies of sashimi that I have eaten in my life (yes it was actually better than Morimoto in Philly so I must eat my words...I can't vouch that all of the sashimi is as good as this at Padi, but if you stick with the specials, you too may be in for a treat).

        We also split an order of pad thai which was perfectly cooked and seasoned which I would get again.

        We finished with a fried banana, which was essentailly a banana cut in five pieces and cooked tempura style. While the banana was good, it was admittedly rather bland and begged for some vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sugar.

        All in all, Padi exceeded my expectations and was quite good for the most part. I am sure we will be back soon!

        1. re: bluehensfan

          Wow! I've been several times and really liked it, but have never been told about the specials. I will have to ask next time, since both of the ones you mention sound really interesting. I wonder if they only have the special at dinner, tho, since I've only been there during dinner...

          1. re: mwerkharder

            They also had a blue point oyster special when we dined there as well. What I'd do is peer at the raw bar table before you order. I saw a number of scallops that were all opened up (meaning they are still living) and saw a lovely mackarel with crystal clear eyes (also a good thing) prompting me to order both of them. They also have fish wrapped up at the sushi bar (similar to Raw in Philly) but alas, it's hard to tell how fresh the stuff is...

      2. We went to Padi this week, finally. Neither of us were up for a big meal, so we didn't order much, but what we had was decent (not outstanding, though). We split the chicken/pork/shrimp dumpling appetizer, then Mr. travelmad478 had the shrimp ravioli soup and I had green curry chicken. The dumplings were served with a rather sweet dipping sauce, which really overwhelmed the flavor of the filling--I finally ate the last one with no sauce and thought it tasted OK, but a bit bland. The green curry was fine, with some nice little eggplant pieces in there, a touch I like. I didn't taste the soup, but it was declared good by a person battling a cold, so I guess that is a strong thumbs up.

        In general I like the food and the menu at Rasa Sayang better. It seems more interesting and flavorful. At Padi, next time I would prefer to try the sushi. I am not a fan of the fusion kind of sushi rolls that were all over the menu, but they did have traditional sushi and sashimi as well, and friendly sushi chefs. I did not give the fish as close of a look as bluehensfan did, but I will trust his/her judgment that it looked fresh!

        Service was a bit off-putting, unfortunately. There was a very friendly welcome on the way in and the way out, but our waiter was really doing the hard sell on the expensive items on the specials menu, which we were just not in a mood to order. When we did order our modest spread, the good humor and banter vanished and he barely said a word as he put the food in front of us. The guy coming around refilling water glasses was also a bit too enthusiastic, refilling us every few sips (I suppose that is better than disappearing entirely). With another waiter, I'm sure I would have come away with a wholly favorable impression of Padi.

        3 Replies
        1. re: travelmad478

          Your comment was funny about the guy filling the water glasses...the same thing happened to us!

          1. re: bluehensfan

            The National Inquirer err News Journal visited Padi and did a little review of their own:

            Seems like a work in progress. Hopefully given the fact that mediocrity is the norm in Hockessin they will keep tweaking things. Given the review I'd be reluctant to eat any sushi other than the daily specials (which I found to be excellent) but that's me.

            1. re: bluehensfan

              A (barely) critical review from the NJ! That's a step toward credibility for them. How about that!

        2. We ate there about a week ago. GF was coming back from NYC and we just wanted to get something to go. Looked at the Take-Out menu and realized it was primarily a sushi restaurant. We ordered the beef w/ Red Curry and Pineapple Rice with chicken. Didn't wait too long and the price was right.

          When we got home to eat, we opened up the food and everything looked good. However, the white rice container that came with the red curry was barely half-full. Okay, it happens. We served up our plates and proceeded to eat. Let me just say this that the food was not too good. Edible, yes, but barely. Pineapple Rice w/ chicken had a weird smell to it and for the most part was bland. The Red Curry with beef was also bland. There was enough spice to the dish, but the food was still a bit bland. In addition, the texture of the beef was not quite rubbery, but not what I expect from an asian restaurant.

          Overall, it was a bad food experience.

          Having said all that, here are my thoughts about the restaurant itself:

          - Very clean, contemporary feel,
          - Wait staff and management were friendly and attentive,
          - Price was good.

          While our first experience was not too good, I would give it a second chance. Next time we will definitely eat in and experience the entire menu. Maybe there are more Thai dishes on the main menu.

          I certainly hope our experience was just a bad night for the chef. We ordered around 9:00 pm on a Thursday, so maybe that had something to do with it.

          I certainly hope Padi sticks around as our small neck-of-the-woods needs a few decent restaurants.

          1 Reply
          1. re: genevapics

            This pretty much is in line with my first visit...the one that started this thread. Ditto on the pineapple rice too.

          2. We tried a few dishes there. Pad Thai was OK, a bit bland. Rice served with another dish was a bit overcooked and dry. Service was prompt and friendly. B-

            1 Reply
            1. re: sal_acid

              Had another good meal at Padi this past Friday night. Very good chicken satay, pad thai, and green tea sea bass. Also had a special sushi roll which was delicious...seemed very fresh. No special sushi items in the raw bar though (possibly because it was the day after Thanksgiving?), decent noodle soup and another sushi roll. The service was great and now I see the menu has expanded and there is a lot more to choose from.