• Durian Durian Asian Thai Cuisine, 10743 Narcoossee Rd, Unit A20, Orlando, FL www.duriandurian.com

Looking for an authentic Asian dining experience, I land at Durian Durian, in Lake Nona… and it literally takes me to Thailand. Maybe it’s because it’s lunch time and it’s not too crowded, but in this family operated restaurant one can actually feel at home. The atmosphere is cozy, serene; the service friendly and nice.

I start with a Tom Kha Gai soup: tender stewed chicken in aromatic coconut soup, served with mushrooms and cilantro. The consistency of the broth is well balanced: not too watery, not too thick.

The flavor, delicate and sweet, has a spicy kick. Good way to start! I cherish the aroma in my mouth craving for more. I run my eyes down the menu and look for the word “coconut”. Here it is! My choice goes to the Green curry chicken, a combination of Jasmine rice, chicken and vegetables (bamboo shots, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini and basil leaves), cooked in coconut milk and green chili paste.

As it arrives at the table, I start eating it with my eyes. The presentation really deserves a 10: thin carrot slices cut like little flowers emerge from a pastel green soup. I pour some curry on my rice. The chowder gently embraces the grains.

The sweetness of the coconut and the hotness of the curry powder make this dish mild and piquant in the same time. Amazing! As a full platter, it comes with a little noodle & chicken soup and a peanut sauce salad.

They are not unforgettable: the first one is trivial, the second one trite, but the protagonist is the Curry and I can’t really complain about that! I save the rest for dinner (even warmed up it’s still good); the next course requires all my attention.

The Thai pineapple fried rice is a monumental entree: half a pineapple dug and surmounted by a dome of rice, towered with shrimps, bean sprouts, onions, eggs and cashew nuts. In the mixture, chunks of fruit and hints of pineapple juice create an impressive contrast of flavors.

It’s so good that I find myself scratching the walls of an empty shell with my spoon, vainly trying to extract any left morsel. Pathetic. I push the cutlery away and order a tea.

While I let my jasmine tisane infuse, I look at rose bud that slowly blooms in my pot, opening its petals as it gets soaked with water. Graceful. That’s right the perfect way to end a meal that is not just appetizing, but also pleasing to see.

It could have been better if… the Tom Kha Gai soup had been a little less salty and if they hadn’t brought the platter’s sides.