After taking niece on a tour of UC Berkeley, we wandered through the rest of the city so she could get a feel for the ‘interesting’ lifestyle of the city. Aside from the rank homeless park and the constant smell of weed, she liked it. One aspect that appealed to her, being a life-long vegetarian, was that there’s no need to seek out vegetarian restaurants specifically, since it seemed they all catered to vegetarians.
I’m not sure if Gecko Gecko existed back in the days I was an undergrad, probably not. It’s a small shotgun restaurant just a few block west of campus. All windows, tastefully decorated, calming but fantastically busy, mostly with students queuing up for takeaway.
For me Thai for is either really good or really bad; balancing the sweet, salty and sour is key. Often I find Thai food to be disgustingly sweet however at Gecko, they have the balance.
Curried Potato Puffs : These appealed after 7 miles of campus and city tour. I’d like to compare them to samosas but the casing was more like a croissant. The filling exploded with turmeric, cumin and a dash of hot pepper. Two sauces accompanied; peanut and sweet-hot Thai chili. Niece liked these so much she got an additional order after our mains.
Pumpkin Panang Curry : Since I was on a mostly vegetarian kick, I ordered the Panang Curry with pumpkin instead of beef. It was a good call. A good balance of coconut milk, ginger, soy, fish sauce, tomato and cumin on the initial taste, following up with a little hot pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. The pumpkin was chunked up big but fork tender. This was a milder than normal version of Panang but the subtle flavour of pumpkin would have been lost with more heat.
There was a bit of pressure to take the second order of Curried Potato Puffs to go. Or maybe it was just a misunderstanding. In either case, the service here is surprisingly fast considering the large queue of takeaway which does not seem to dissipate even following lunch rush. Also, since niece is a militant vegetarian, the server was very helpful in making sure there were NO animal-based products in her lunch.
Reasonable, generally. Inexpensive for CA. Puffs $8, Curry $8.50
Lunch: April 2014
Gecko Gecko | 2101 Milvia | Berkeley, CA 94704