Having never been to Thailand, having visited few Thai restaurants, and being happily ignorant, we assumed all things Thai must be either purple or elephant-shaped or both.
Red Lotus-located a few stair flights up from the Puhuangyu subway station in Fangzhuang-did not dispel our expectations. Amid the violently cataracted violet decor, we started with the Tom Yum Koong soup (38 yuan), a passable, spicy melange of fresh prawns and lemon plant derivatives, before moving on to the Kao Phad Supparod (38 yuan), a nicely subtle pineapple-fried curried rice accented with cashews and sausage, well-suited to those averse to spiciness.
Craving something that makes the blood course with exhilaration, we found the real pick of the overall affordable menu, the Koong Phad Ka Paow (80 yuan). This flamingly-hot and generously portioned helping of diced shrimp, fresh basil and chilies is perfect for those tired of greedily eyeing normally scanty prawn offerings. An attentive, but never officious, staff stands sentry and will proudly recommend(inexplicably) the Yum Woon Sen Talay (58 yuan), a spicy noodle salad with fresh seafood which seems too lemony and a tad unworthy of its boasted worth. Great service, fairly good food and a garish decor await you at Red Basil.
Add: 5th Floor, Wumeilou, next to the northeast exit of Puhuangyu Subway Station