Location: On Elektra Street near Bani Yas / 6th Street, next to the El Dorado Theater
In the US, Thai food has in many respects become the new Chinese: prevalent but unfortunately heavily weakened for Western tastes. Real, genuine Thai food - e.g. Sripraprai in Queens, NYC - is flavorful and spicy, a wonderful experience. While Thai is obviously much harder to find in Abu Dhabi than in NYC, we hoped that the few restaurants here would be of much higher quality than the average Thai restaurant in the States. The first contender we tried is Asian Garden, a clean and small restaurant (about 10 tables) near the back entrance to the Eldorado Theatre on Elektra street (across the street from the Honda showroom) which advertises Thai, Filipino, and Chinese food. The first sign it was good - all the customers were Asian. The second sign - a nice, long menu. But that means nothing if the food wasn't good.
We ordered three main dishes: shrimp pad see ew (spelled "patseo" on the menu, Item #188, 20 AED), thai green curry with chicken (Item #96, 25), and Daing Bangus - a Filipino-style dry fried milk fish because it looked so tasty (Item #48, 25 AED), with an extra side of rice (5 AED) and a large water (another 5 AED). The daing bangus was tasty, though parts of the fish were a little dry and it was (not surprisingly) quite bony. The Shrimp "Patseo" was extremely tasty, with a good amount of egg, sweet soy sauce, and spice that separates real pad see ew from pretenders. The green curry was extremely good as well, a nice smooth spicy coconut milk based curry with a generous amount of chicken and eggplant. It was spicy, but not overly so - very good. All three dishes were a healthy portion - we took half of the curry home as leftovers.
In summary, we had some very good Thai food at Asian Garden for a very reasonable price (80 AED for everything). They have a pretty long menu, and we definitely will be going back to sample more of it. It's so nice to have found real, good Thai in Abu Dhabi.