The slim volume has been a pleasant surprise. Mini C's instructions are easy to follow and dishes are prefaced with tips, anecdotes, and, occasionally, cheeky commentary, such as 'It would be an appropriate dish to give to your enemy!' (the dish in question, nicknamed 'Weeping Tiger', calls for 10-12 bird's eye chillies).
Her 'Grilled Marinated Sirloin with Seasonings' was succulent, and my usual culinary victims, Ricardo and Cornelius, were suitably impressed with the North-Eastern-Style Chilli Dipping Sauce. In fact, Cornelius actually admitted that it was hot, which I considered a major victory. I also tried the Tom-Kha Gai (good and surprisingly easy to cook), the Sa-Lad Khaek (salad with peanut sauce), the marinated pork, Pad Pauk Med-Ma-Moung-Him-Ma-Phaan (seasonal vegetables with cashew nuts) and Pad Pauk Roam (stir-fried seasonal vegetables). All excellent, though the peanut sauce recipe was probably the most exciting find; I've been trying to make a good peanut dipping sauce for spring rolls for years, but it's always seemed a bit flat. (The secret ingredient turns out to be red curry paste, which gives the flavor the desired complexity.) I ended up cutting back on the quantity of sugar in almost all of the recipes, but other than that the proportions seemed dead-on.
I spent four months in Thailand and I love Thai food, but this is my first real foray into Thai cooking. Luckily for me (and the culinary victims), the book has decent glossary of ingredients. I must admit that I probably would never have been able to identify Galangal if it hadn't been for the glossy color photograph provided.
Read more of my book reviews at Goodreads.com and People'sGuide.com.