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Sweet Basil is a new Thai restaurant that opened in August of 2012 (last month) It is located on Delaware Ave in Albany. I have been to most of the Thai places in the area, so when a new one opened up, I was eager to try it to see how it stacked up.
Parking on Delaware can often be a pain, but on the Friday evening when we went, there was plenty of parking on the street nearby. We were there during the typical busy time for restaurants, so I can reasonably assume parking won't be an issue for this location. The restaurant itself is quite small, inside there are 6 tables, 4 - 4 person tables, and 2 - 2 person. There is also limited seating outside for the warmer months (one table is partially pictured above). We were immediately greeted by a friendly employee as soon as we walked in which is always a plus.
Now, lets get down to the food. I ordered one of their specials, called Yellow Twin. It consists of duck and shrimp in a pineapple curry sauce with tomato and basil. It is complimented with grilled pumpkin and jasmine rice. So much to say about this dish. The shrimp in the dish was cooked well, but lacked flavor on it's own. Duck was cooked perfectly, and the crispy skin was just amazing. The curry sauce was very flavorful with a mild spice. The grilled pumpkin was actually acorn squash, and it felt out of place. It was bland, and didn't really work with the dish. The shrimp and duck pieces were all too big, and as with most Thai food places, they don't give you a knife, so you have to try to cut it with a fork, which proved to be difficult and inconvenient. I am also not a big fan of leaving the tail on shrimp in a prepared dish, even though it is quite common. This dish was one of the most expensive items on the menu at $22.
Josie ordered the pineapple fried rice with duck. This dish had everything in it. I don't remember all the ingredients, but there it included: rice, egg, cashews, tomatoes, onions, pineapple, and shallots. The duck in her dish was dry and overcooked, but the dish as a whole was flavorful, and the pineapple was cooked perfectly: warm without getting mushy. She felt the cashews in the dish were a little out of place, but it isn't abnormal to find them in a fried rice dish. With the duck, the pineapple fried rice cost $15.
We both had Thai iced tea with our meals, and we agreed it was a bit too sweet. Service was fast and friendly, and presentation was very nice, the rice being served in the pineapple shell is a nice touch.
Total for the meal and drinks for the two of us with tax came out to be just over $45.
Pineapple Fried Rice