Vashon’s Smashing Thai Restaurant: May Kitchen


From the outside, you would never guess what the inside is like. Curtains are perpetually drawn over windows on the storefront that’s half sheathed in plywood, half in brick, milk chocolate in color. There is likewise no indication that a restaurant occupies the space, let alone a Thai one. A small sign written in Thai and two elephant statues on the roof are the only revealing clues. More than these anomalies, the restaurant name is nowhere to be seen. But, the business is May Kitchen + Bar. Once you step inside for dinner (no lunch is served), you get atmospherically transformed to another world, surrounded by exquisite teak and mahogany paneling and furnishings that exude understated elegance and attention to detail. May Kitchen is the pride and joy of chef and owner May Chaleoy, who hails from Bangkok but now lives in nearby Burton on the island.

may kitchen

I had heard good things about May Kitchen over the past few years, not the least of which has been praise from some national publications. Its location on Vashon Island, a 20-minute ferry boat ride from West Seattle, limits the crowds that might otherwise swamp the restaurant, but many Seattleites have made the crossing to eat here. Even so, on any given night, the place will be packed, mostly with locals. May Kitchen is located on Vashon Highway, near the most popular corner in the town of Vashon at the intersection of the highway and SW Bank. My wife and I were on the island to visit good friends over the Vashon Island Strawberry Festival weekend. On the occasion of celebrating one of their birthdays, we at last had an opportunity to eat at May’s.

Festivities started with excellent cocktails and two outstanding appetizers. The first is probably their most famous. Imagine an airy mound of flash-fried watercress piled high in a nest of rice flour-battered goodness, and you have yum phak boong. By itself, the watercress was unseasoned, bland actually, but light and very crispy. But, pieces torn off by hand and dipped into a delicious, mildly spicy tamarind sauce made me swoon. A unique dish, unforgettable and deservedly acclaimed (☆☆☆☆).

Yum phak boong

Yum phak boong

Papia phak sot finds moistened rice paper wrapped around thin rice noodles, mint and cilantro, sprinkled with fried shallots. Again, an outstanding sauce, this one also tamarind-based and slightly sweet, helped make these fresh spring rolls a superstar (☆☆☆☆).

Papia phak sot

Papia phak sot

The entrées didn’t have quite the same impact as the appetizers, but not for lack of flavor.

Yum neua is Thailand’s contribution to the salad world. Lettuce, tomato and red onion with grilled beef in a tart, sweet and spicy dressing dazzles with its boldness. It’s become a favorite of mine. May’s sole problem was tough beef in an otherwise good salad (☆☆☆).

Yum neua

Yum neua

Chef Chaleoy makes her own curries from scratch, and the yellow curry in gaeng faak thong is no exception. What is basically a kabocha squash curry was overshadowed by the amount of fried tofu, one of three protein choices (chicken and pork the others). The curry sauce was exceptional, delicious enough to scoop over rice, but I wish there had been more pieces of squash to be enjoyed by all of us. (☆☆☆½)

Gaeng faak thong, red rice

Gaeng faak thong, red rice

It was really a shame that phad see iew was over-sauced. The dark sauce was too intense, calling attention to itself, an excess of salty and sugary qualities. A lighter hand would’ve made a world of difference. (☆☆½)

Phad see iew

Phad see iew

Our dessert was another matter. We shared an outstanding molten spiced dark chocolate cake reminiscent of a flambéed chocolate decadence. Hints of ginger and chiles provided enough spice to give the dessert an Asian twist, served alongside raspberries and blueberries. (☆☆☆☆)

Molten chocolate cake

Molten spiced dark chocolate cake

The limited menu has several more interesting items. May’s phad thai, for example, is served wrapped in a banana leaf. At the table, the server will add additional ingredients to the noodles one at a time. Another specialty whose name almost competes in length with humuhumunukunukuapua’a is a stir-fry of either chicken or tofu, cashew nuts and mushrooms in a roasted Thai chile sauce. Try ordering phad metmamuanghimmaphan without tripping over your tongue. Islanders are justifiably happy about having such a fine and authentic Thai restaurant on their turf.

May Kitchen + Bar
17614 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070
206.408.7196

Eastside Surprise: Coconut Thai Restaurant (Issaquah, WA)


Front Street in downtown Issaquah is diverse, culinarily speaking. BBQ, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, pastrami and seafood restaurants are within easy walking distance of each other. And, of course, in a class by itself is Max’s World Cafe.

A friend and I were headed to Max’s today for lunch when we spotted Coconut Thai Restaurant, across the street from the Darigold complex. On an impulse, we decided to give Coconut a try.

Even as we looked over the lunch menu, our eyes migrated toward the regular menu. It immediately became apparent that this was no typical Thai menu. Coconut Tawai, for instance, is a salad consisting of “steamed eggplant, green bean, bean sprout, spinach, and carrot in special homemade coconut dressing,” with your choice of chicken or tofu ($11) or shrimp ($13). One of the appetizers is Flute Roll ($8), fried rice paper rolls stuffed with shrimp, crab, cream cheese and cheddar (!), served with basil cream sauce. We decided to split Sriracha Ruam Mit Noodle ($14) and Pork Belly Cinnamon ($14). Chef specialties are denoted by a dual coconut symbol. Would the food justify the higher than normal prices?

Sriracha Ruam Mit Noodles

Sriracha Ruam Mit Noodles

The noodle dish is a savory combination of lots of things (ruam mit loosely translates to ‘the works’). Fried wonton skin strips virtually hides the goodies underneath—wide rice noodles, calamari, shrimp and chicken mixed with fluted carrot coins, chopped basil, green onion, bits of chile, egg and lots of shredded iceberg lettuce to give the dish crunch. Without the thick and spicy sweet sauce, served separately in a little dish, the noodles are very savory, a wonderful blend of flavors and textures; they’re no less impressive with the sauce (☆☆☆½).

Pork belly seems to be the poster child of restaurants these days. Asians have been featuring it in dishes for a long time (e.g., Chinese dongpo, Japanese kakuni). The addition of cinnamon and five-spice to Coconut’s entrée was intriguing because I normally associate the spices with Vietnamese cooking. But I’m no expert. What a stunning dish, pork belly braised to succulent perfection and hinting of those warm spices, combined with baby spinach and cilantro. The sauce is an umami bomb with a touch of sweetness. The dipping sauce was likewise served in a little dish, a bracing combination of lime juice, garlic and chiles. Friend normally doesn’t fancy fatty dishes but he had no problems scarfing this down. Perfection (☆☆☆☆). The pork comes with a side order of steamed rice. We left some rice uneaten by meal’s end. Our waitress noticed this and proceeded to mix a portion of rice into the sauce, scooped some up in a spoon, drizzled dipping sauce on top, and encouraged one of us to eat it. That task fell on me. Yummy.

Pork Belly Cinnamon

Pork Belly Cinnamon

The waitress asked if we wanted to try a Coconut Cupcake ($3.50). Hmm, why not? This is another marvel coming out of the kitchen. Lightly sweetened, the cake was topped with shredded coconut and little dabs of greenish custard. Another waiter explained that it was made with pandanus leaves, which explained why there was a definite vanilla-like aroma. In fact, our waitress made sure we smelled the cupcake first. Inside the cupcake was a core of the same pandan custard. I’m not particularly a cupcake fan, but I would order this again in a heartbeat (☆☆☆☆).

IMG_20160111_122455342

Coconut Cupcake

Seldom does a chance restaurant surprise with great food. Based on the two dishes we ordered, Coconut Thai could be one of those rare finds. Yes, prices are somewhat higher, but there is a lot of care, labor and attention to detail that go into the dishes. Opened only a month ago, Coconut Thai won’t take long for diners to take notice.

Update (12-15-15): I had to bring my wife here for dinner. The two dishes we ordered did not disappoint.

Lord Noodle (kway teow lord, $11.95) uses the same wide rice noodles as Sriracha Ruam Mit. The presentation is entirely different though, topped with seasoned bamboo shoots, minced chicken, bean sprouts, fried tofu, green onions, cilantro and fried garlic. The pasta is steamed which makes it less oily than its stir-fried cousin, pad see eiw (also on Coconut’s menu). The ‘house sauce,’ savory and sweet, seems like the traditional combination of dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, nam pla and sugar. A wonderful noodle dish (☆☆☆½).

IMG_20151215_181204396

Lord Noodle

An additional chef’s special is Coco Lamb Shank Curry ($17.95). This is another masterpiece from the kitchen, a curry featuring fork-tender lamb shank in a rich, unbelievably complex Massaman curry sauce tasting of warm spices, slightly tart and mildly spicy. The curry begged to be lapped over rice, which is exactly what we did. The lamb shredded with the slightest prodding. Pineapple added a nice fruity note and fried basil leaves and diced red bell pepper, crunch. Instead of traditional peanuts, the surprise was tiny, soft-textured chickpeas that seemed odd in a Thai dish but in keeping with its Muslim-influence. Outstanding (☆☆☆☆).

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Coco Lamb Shank Curry

Coconut Thai Restaurant
660 Front Street N, Suite B
Isssaquah, WA 98027
425.392.8893
 

Rice ‘n Spicy at Noodle Boat


I’ve posted before that Noodle Boat in Issaquah serves some of the best Thai food in the Seattle area. The current special is called Rice ‘n Spicy, which seems like deconstructed fried rice. What made it extraordinary was saucy and spicy rice, likely a combination of nam pla and sweet soy sauce, with plenty of tongue-searing heat (I ordered it ‘hot’) from chile paste, mixed with protein of your choice (mine was chicken) and a fried egg. To add to the wonderful presentation, there were plenty of sliced fresh vegetables: green mango, red onion, green beans, cucumber and a lime wedge. Even if the sauce was a bit too sweet and chicken breast slices cooked dry, this was an outstanding dish (☆☆☆☆).

Noodle Boat
700 NW Gilman Blvd Ste E104B
Issaquah, WA 98027
425.391.8096
 

Lamb and Authentic Thai: Maenam (Vancouver, B.C.)


When Chef Angus An used tamarind sauce and palm sugar to make pad thai, Thai food lovers in Vancouver were introduced to an authentic flavor. There was no ketchup (or peanut butter). The striving for taste authenticity while using local ingredients has been a hallmark of An’s. He’s also a perfectionist who would go to great lengths to get the ‘right’ ingredients, such as importing lemon grass from Thailand rather than using a less satisfactory one from Mexico. When he opened Maenam in 2009, accolades were quick to follow, including from fellow chefs and Vancouver Magazine, which annually rated it among the top Thai restaurants.

Chef An grew up in the area (graduated from UBC), got trained in classical French cooking techniques (French Culinary Institute) and did his apprenticeship at restaurants in London, Montreal and New York City. But, he (and his Thai-born wife) decided to return to Vancouver, and opened Gastropod, a fine-dining (and expensive) destination—think molecular cuisine (ugh)—which they both shuttered when the economy turned sour. That’s when the idea of Maenam was conceived, a place for more affordable yet high-quality Thai food to fill what they both perceived as an authentic Thai restaurant gap. It’s revealing that Maenam is not located in the downtown Vancouver core but rather the more modest Kitsilano district, just south of Granville Island.

The concept is to feature the bounty of British Columbia in Thai cooking, whose pairing may seem odd at first. So while An might import much of his produce from Thailand (up to 150 pounds per week), his proteins are local—sturgeon, black cod, salmon, Dungeness crab, Humboldt squid, mussels, mushrooms, four-hooved animals (including lamb), chicken. You get the idea.

Because my wife and I were on Granville Island today, we thought we’d go a bit further to Maenam for lunch. (There is no special lunch menu, only a subset of the broader dinner menu at the same prices.)

The outside is unassuming, looking like any other restaurant along the busy West 4th Avenue corridor. Upon entering, you walk into a tiny waiting area that opens up on the left into a refined minimalist interior of wooden floors, burled wood tables, black chairs, pinkish-purple paint on the walls and ceiling. A full-service bar lines most of the eastern wall.

maenam

On the menu, what struck my curiosity right off the bat was a lamb dish, a braised shank in place of chicken that is normally used for this geng gari curry recipe. This typifies what Chef An is trying to do. Interesting too were a smoked salmon salad with pomelo sprinkled with fried salmon skin and toasted coconut and a banana blossom salad. For those who can’t get past pad thai at lunchtime, you can get it paired with Singha ($18) and be done with it.

Our two choices narrowed down to a stir-fry and soup.

I can just imagine the chef wielding dual cleavers to mince the beef, in this case a hanger steak, for the Stir-fried Beef with Holy Basil; ground meat would have produced rubbery results. Chinese long beans gave the dish a nice crunch. The savory meat was spooned on top of a bed of steamed jasmine rice. In keeping with how Thais enjoy this dish, a fried egg was served over the whole entrée. Holy basil was used both in the mince and as whole fried leaves as a garnish. The only reason the dish didn’t get my highest rating was an over-saltiness from the liberal use of oyster sauce, too much of a good thing. Otherwise, it was quite delicious (☆☆☆½).

Stir-fried Beef with Holy Basil

Stir-fried Beef with Holy Basil

Faultless was Coconut Mushroom Soup (☆☆☆☆), Maenam’s interpretation of tom kha. Here was a satisfying soup, redolent of galangal and lemon grass, spicy from a couple of red Thai chiles, savory from fish sauce, bright from lime juice, rich from coconut milk, bitter and herbaceous from cilantro, all in perfect balance. Substance was provided by enoki mushrooms, meaty oyster mushrooms and pieces of chicken thigh. The last ingredient caused my wife and me some confusion because on the menu also was Coconut Mushroom Soup with Free Range Chicken (tom kha gai), which includes braised chicken thighs. Regardless, I would’ve licked the whole bowl clean if I had the cojones.

Coconut Mushroom Soup

Coconut Mushroom Soup

The other dining option for lunch would be a chef’s set menu ($27 per person) that included a starter, salad, curry and stir-fry. There is an equivalent set menu for dinner ($40, $35 for vegetarian). The menu changes seasonally.

We could easily make Maenam a regular stop whenever we’re in town.

Maenam
1938 W. Fourth Ave.
Vancouver
604-730-5579

Big Things Come in Small Packages: Pop Pop Thai Street Food


It’s a reality that in the U.S., it’s hard to find street food. You know, when you can buy locally prepared food from street vendors or carts that specialize in a single item (or two). The closest we’ve come to it are the hot dog or ice cream carts, but they’re few and far between, certainly not part of a crowded phalanx of other carts that feed hungry eaters, a scene very common in most of Asia. The food truck phenomenon today closely approximates the mobility and portability we associate with street carts, though not their singular menu focus or cheap prices. Much of what we now know as Thai food got its start in the ‘streets,’ but now the dishes have been aggregated into a single menu and offered in restaurants instead.

The very name of Pop Pop Thai Street Food, located in the Haller Lake area of north Seattle, reminds us of this popular form of eating, though it too is a sit-down restaurant. It’s part of a sprawling, non-descript shopping center, a far cry from a setting where masses of people look to buy a quick meal from street hawkers. The restaurant is hard to find as it doesn’t face Aurora Avenue, but rather LA Fitness at the northern end of the lot. The storefront is small, barely 15ft wide. Inside, there are just a few tables, no more than eight or so. At a mere 12 items, the menu is briefer than what you’d find at most Thai restaurants.

But, big things can come in small packages. The food here is very well prepared. Friends took my wife and me here for a late lunch.

Papaya salad (☆☆☆) is bright, crunchy, slightly sweet and savory. Sliced (raw) green beans, julienned carrots, halved grape tomatoes and chopped peanuts blended nicely with shreds of green papaya. The vinaigrette was a wonderful combination of tamarind, lime juice, sugar, garlic, chiles and fish sauce. The interesting ingredient were tiny dried shrimp, which you can substitute with fresh cooked shrimp or salted crab. I liked them, my wife not so much.

Papaya salad

Papaya salad

Hainanese chicken rice is quite popular in Southeast Asia, particularly in Singapore, where it is the national dish. Pot Pot serves the Thai version called kao mun gai. What I’ve tasted before have been rather bland, which made me wonder why this dish is so popular. I’ve concluded that those kitchens likely have been taking shortcuts on the rice that is lacking in rich chicken flavor. Not having been in the mother lode of Singapore and Malaysia, I have nothing to compare local interpretations against. I do know that Pot Pot’s is better than any other chicken rice I’ve had up to now (☆☆☆). A dark brown sauce, composed of fermented soybean sauce, chiles, galangal, and spices, made a huge improvement to the braised chicken pieces, conveniently deboned, sliced and with flabby skin (characteristically) left intact. The addition of a sauce is a Thai variation; most Hainanese chicken is simply brushed with sesame oil. A gingery chicken broth was also served on the side in a cup.

Kao mun gai

Kao mun gai

Of all the Asian fried rices, I like the Thai versions the best. Sure, I have a soft spot for Hawaiian rice and I even make my own (see ‘Recipes’), but whenever I dine out at Thai restaurants, more often than not I’ll order fried rice. To be sure, they’re more savory from the use of fish sauce, but they can also be vibrant, spicy, a touch sweet, salty, mixed with any number of chopped vegetables (and maybe pineapple), with a choice of protein (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu). My favorite is Noodle Boat’s Kow Ob! Gai Tod (which truthfully is not fried at all, but baked, though for all intents and purposes, it’s practically the same). Pot Pot Fried Rice is a very good example (☆☆☆), a nice blend of Chinese broccoli, tomato, egg, onion and cilantro—and a savory sauce.

Pop Pop fried rice

Pop Pop fried rice

Crispier wings are hard to imagine than Pot Pot’s Chicken Wings (☆☆☆½). They have no batter, all the more to accentuate the burnished skin that crackles with every bite. Simply seasoned, they’re delicious by themselves, but the sauce, based on a vinegary chile sauce (similar to sambal oelek), elevates the dish to hit the balance that Thai cooking tries to achieve of being salty, sweet, sour and spicy.

Chicken wings

Chicken wings

Competing for the afternoon’s best dish was Panang Beef Curry (☆☆☆½) whose sauce begged to be paired with rice, thick, coconut-ey, spicy and aromatic. You know that the kitchen is on its game when the beef is done just right and you can’t have enough of that curry sauce.

Penang beef curry

Panang beef curry

Pop Pop belies its staid shopping center environment. If you close your eyes when you’re tasting the food, you can almost imagine that you’re on a street in Thailand. I’d like to close my eyes here more often.

Dinner at Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen (Kirkland, WA)


Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen has an uncommon menu, at first glance more interesting than the run-of-the-mill Thai restaurant. The menu is limited, concentrating on what the Facebook page says are Thai comfort foods. Its name implies the regional cooking of Isan (Isarn). It does not serve, for example, phad thai during the dinner hour (though it now does for the insistent lunch crowd). Is it because the famed Thai noodle dish is not a staple in the northeast part of Thailand? Sticky rice, another Isan dietary staple, also makes an appearance. The name, therefore, is confusing, for if the idea is to promote Isan cooking, why are dishes from other Thai regions on the menu (and therefore, why not serve phad thai)? These are all questions best left unanswered and the business of tasting the food should take center stage.

Wall decoration

Wall decoration

One of the happy hour dishes included grilled squid. At only a single serving, our party of four ordered so each of us could taste one. Whole squids were individually threaded through with a bamboo skewer and lightly grilled. They were downright tender, bolstered by a spicy dipping sauce of fish sauce, cilantro, dill, lime juice, garlic and chiles (☆☆☆).

Grilled Squid

Grilled Squid

The other three dishes were ordered from the regular menu. Isarn Fried Rice (☆☆½) was plated as a half dome no more than four inches across, mixed with vegetables (kale, carrots, green beans and onions) and cooked egg. Surprising companions were fried beef cubes that were predictably chewy but tasty. Garnishes that stood off to the side like decoration were two cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumber.

Isarn Fried Rice

Isarn Fried Rice

I would have rated Roasted Ribs in Tamarind Sauce (☆☆½), another Isan dish, more highly if half the pork ribs weren’t dry and unappealingly fibrous, while the rest were just fine. The thick sauce was flavored with tamarind and made slightly sweet from caramelized pineapple, showing admirable restraint. An interpretation of this dish (si krong muu) helped put Little Serow in Washington, D.C., on Bon Appetit’s 2012 list of top ten new restaurants in America.

Roasted Ribs in Tamarind Sauce

Roasted Ribs in Tamarind Sauce

A southern Thai favorite, Hat Yai Fried Chicken (gai tod hat yai) (☆☆☆½) was the star of the evening, a small fried half chicken with crispy skin (which would’ve benefitted from a little more salt), sliced through the bone, sprinkled with a liberal amount of fried garlic and paired with a very good sweet chile sauce. Traditional recipes call for a rice flour batter, but it would surprise me if there was any. The garlic was a killer condiment, crispy and redolent, popular enough on its own for some diners to purchase as a side just to sprinkle on other foods, so the waiter was proud to tell us.

Hat Yai Fried Chicken

Hat Yai Fried Chicken

The waiter tried to interest us in dessert. Despite the temptations of a coconut shell filled with coconut milk, dried coconut flakes, tapioca pearls and a poached egg, or sticky rice topped with mango, we didn’t bite. Because of its menu, Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen deserves a repeat visit.

Update (6-20-12): We returned to Isarn today for lunch with a couple of friends. The lunch menu has many of the items on the dinner menu, at smaller prices. The Hat Yai Fried Chicken had somewhat less fried garlic pieces. No matter though, because the dish was as good as before. And, as we were told on the previous visit, phad thai was on the menu, a very good version, this one ordered with pork.

phad thai

Phad thai with pork

Then, we had a most delicious curry dish. Consisting only of beef in sauce, Gang Hung Lay (☆☆☆☆), a specialty of Northwest Thailand, was a magnificent curry. The sauce was thick and dark, standard recipes calling for tamarind, nam pla, sugar and spices that make up the curry. The stew is cooked for hours, rendering the beef supremely tender that it yielded to the gentlest prodding. By itself, the sauce was so outstanding that it called for more rice as accompaniment than you might normally want to eat.

gang hung lay

Gang hung lay

Chile tray

Chile condiments


425.298.4429

 
Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen
170 Lake St South
Kirkland, Washington 98033
 

Dinner at Thai Ginger


My wife and I made arrangements to have dinner with a couple of friends at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants (Shanghai Cafe), but when we arrived, a sign posted on the door informed that the kitchen was undergoing renovation for another two days. One of our friends then suggested Thai Ginger, right around the corner in the Factoria area of Bellevue. Until three years ago, I had been a regular customer there, but for a variety of reasons, among which was the appearance of other very high quality Thai restaurants, I had stopped going. Likely another reason was its ridiculously small parking lot right off the major thoroughfare, Factoria Blvd, that can try the patience of Job. Still, one of Thai Ginger’s outstanding dishes in the past was chicken cashew nut against which I compared other restaurants’ versions.

Since the Factoria location, others have sprung up in the Seattle area (Redmond Town Center, Issaquah, Madison Park and Pacific Place), a scale of expansion often accompanied by declining or inconsistent quality. (I’d gone to the RTC branch, but its extreme noise level turned me off completely.) On getting seated, I noticed immediately that the menu was new, its pages slickly laminated and menu items printed in a classy, artful sans serif font. You probably wondered if these “refinements” portend higher prices. And you’d be right. Their “signature” dishes hover around $15-$20. One thing that hasn’t changed is its full-view kitchen, staffed by several toqued and uniformed chefs. It’s impressive when they do stir-fries over mighty flames that tower over the woks, looking to the uninitiated like a kitchen fire.

On the menu was a noodle dish called phad woon sen, which I first tasted and loved at Thai Kitchen (also in Bellevue). It isn’t sweet like one of Thailand’s national dishes, phad thai, but rather savory, and using bean thread noodles instead of rice noodles. The noodles are tossed with fish sauce and one or more combinations of soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic and sugar, and are accompanied by egg and generous amounts of cut vegetables. Thai Ginger’s is very good (☆☆☆½), the best I’ve had since Thai Kitchen’s (which no longer makes it as I liked it). Though it had no egg, the dish boasted pork, crispy napa cabbage, red bell peppers, onion, snow peas and carrot discs skillfully trimmed as flower garnishes.

Phad woon sen with pork

Phad woon sen with pork

What seemed intriguing was halibut cheeks, listed under signature dishes. At $19 and only five cheeks, it’s rather pricey, but the penang curry cut with coconut milk was delicious, perfect for napping on rice, which all of us did. There were also subtle hints of herbs, possibly galangal, cilantro and lemongrass. Green beans cut into ¼” pieces, basil leaves and red bell pepper slices lent nice color and crisp texture. Four perfectly cooked asparagus spears topped off the entrée (☆☆☆).

Steamed halibut cheeks

Steamed halibut cheeks

Finally, we ordered their chicken cashew nut which had been my standard-bearer. It was as delicious as ever (☆☆☆½), Thai Ginger’s version using a spicy chile sauce that takes it beyond all others I’ve had locally, including an insipid and bland-by-comparison one at Noodle Boat, one of my favorite Thai restaurants.

Chicken cashew nut

Chicken cashew nut

It was good to get reacquainted with Thai Ginger. Now, if only they did something about that poor excuse of a parking lot.

 
Thai Ginger
3717 Factoria Blvd SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
425.641.4008