Saturday, June 16, 2007

yesterday's Thai experience

Yesterday evening, I hit a Thai restaurant called Mai Thai with my buddy Steve and his lovely wife Erangee. The resto is on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, not far from the water. The place gets a thumbs-up for good and prompt service, attractively arranged dishes, and high-quality cooking. My only gripe is that the resto doesn't automatically offer you chopsticks.

We ordered two appetizers: fried calamari and skewered shrimp. Both were excellent. Our main courses were crispy duck and two seafood-and-sauce dishes. The latter two dishes struck me as having been prepped in a rather French manner, with the elements laid out geometrically on the plates and the delicious sauces forming a bed beneath everything. Still, the flavoring was definitely Thai, and everything was delicious (I had a chance to munch some of my friends' dishes, which is how I know). You shouldn't expect Kevin-sized portions at Mai Thai, but you should expect some quality food.



Anonymous said...

thais don't use chopsticks for every meal, that's why

Kevin Kim said...

Perhaps... but I don't think of Western cutlery as being very Thai. Our places were set with forks, knives, and spoons.



Thomas said...

I lived in Thailand, and most restaurants there offer a fork and spoon, with the spoon being the most-used utensil (most people use the fork to shove things onto the spoon.) Chopsticks are used for noodles, mostly (what Thais might consider "Chinese" food.) Most Thai restaurants I've been to (in the US) don't offer chopsticks unless requested. I live in Seoul now, and they do offer chopsticks at Thai restaurants, but that seems to be more of a Korean thing than a Thai thing.

Elisson said...

I'm pretty sure the Missus and I ate at Mai Thai a couple of years ago. A very enjoyable meal.

Thomas and Anonymous are right: Thais eat with fork and spoon, the spoon on the right, the fork used to shove food into the spoon. The only time I ever saw chopsticks in Thailand was at Chinese restaurants (at which we dined frequently, my hosts invariably being Chinese).

Elisson said...

Oh - and you can thank King Mongkut for the use of Western cutlery. Progressive dude, that.

Anonymous said...

Curiously enough, I, too, have encountered Thai restos which have a French influence, most notably was a resto in Montclair, NJ, which was called "Deja Vu," which had Thai dishes with French influence/touches. I found this curious as I did not think the French occupied Thailand. VietNam? Yes. Thailand... I'm not so sure of the Franco-Thai connection!