Sunday, September 15, 2013

Taste of Thai

 Located near two other Greensboro favorites (Cleopatra's Restaurant and Saffron Indian Cuisine), Taste of Thai is a peaceful, flavorful escape into the exotic cuisine of Thailand. The restaurant is rather large, yet maintains an atmosphere that's intimate. Attentive service, outstanding dishes and modest pricing make this an obvious new favorite.

Four tender, juicy chicken breasts comprise the popular Chicken Satay appetizer. The chicken is served on skewers and drenched with a Coconut Peanut Sauce. A small dish with sliced Cucumbers, Red Onion, Jalapenos and Vinegar comes as a condiment - my kind of condiment. The vinegar was a nice cut to the slightly sweet sauce, and the seeded jalapenos provided just enough heat to warm the back of your throat without murdering your taste buds.

My dining partner and I opted for the Taste of Thai Delight, which seemed to be the best bang for our buck. In fact, it seemed too good to be true. For $10.95, you get enough food for 3 people. Though the starter salad was doused in a creamy peanut dressing, we didn’t need it anyway. We had way more to look forward to. Beef Kung Pao is pot roasted, fall off the bone tender, sprinkled with scallions and peanuts for a lovely crunch. Thai comfort food. Chicken Curry with Coconut lacks the traditional heat you find with curry, but gives you a pleasant sweet note from the coconut milk. The mound of white rice soaked up this sauce beautifully.

My favorite, the Sweet and Sour Vegetables with Tofu, is an umami dream. The broth tasted like it was made from water chestnuts, in the best way possible. It was too good to let one drop linger in the bottom of the bowl. Pineapple, Onion and several other exotic vegetables were delightful bites. It’s always fun to try unusual Thai veggies that I’m not familiar with.

My dining partner deemed the Chicken Patty with Mild Pepper Sauce the “Salisbury Steak of Thailand.” Partly a mystery meat, and almost like a good, homemade veggie burger, the patty consistency was odd, though the flavor was good. The Pepper Sauce was like a tangy and sweet Hot Pepper Jelly. This would be good on my leftover Thanksgiving sandos. Because there had to be a weakest link, the Shrimp Salad with Lemongrass and Lime Dressing was my least favorite. The lemongrass was so potent it tasted almost artificial. I also would have preferred the shrimp to be warm, as opposed to chilled. Green Beans were a nice crunch and palate cleanser, but not necessarily essential to the meal.

Sweet Sticky Rice with Egg Custard.
Don't judge it til you try it.
I’ve been on a huge Sweet Sticky Rice kick lately. I can’t get enough. This variation came with an Egg Custard on top, as opposed to the traditional Mango. The substitution kicked ass. The sweet rice suggests notes of toasted popcorn, and the Egg Custard was reminiscent of a Pumpkin Pie Mousse. This is a flavor and texture combination I would never have dreamed of, and I can't believe I'd gone my whole life without experiencing it until last year. Though my favorite serving of this dessert is at Bangkok Caf√©, words seriously can’t do it justice. It’s in my top 5 favorite foods of all time.

There are several Thai restaurants in Greensboro, but this one stands out. Go on the condition that you’ll get the Sweet Sticky Rice. 

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