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Best Dishes at Thai Kitchen?

  • MPH Jun 12, 2007 09:08 PM
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For location/work reasons, I'll be regularly dining at the Thai Kitchen on Bee Caves Road over the next couple of weeks. So far I've had good luck with the Tiger Cry, which was recommended by Jim Washburn in an old post (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/93298... ) and the Tom Yum Gai, a spicy and sour chicken soup with plenty of lemon grass and Thai spices. I had enough of a colleague's order of "Dynamite Squid" to ascertain that it was extremely spicy, but the squid was a bit overcooked. It seemed to me that Thai Kitchen's rice was more tender and fluffy than is the norm.

The crispy spring rolls and the chicken Thai sandwich (think chicken-filled omelet on top of a slice of lightly toasted, white sandwich-bread) were not good.

Does anyone have other suggestions about what to order there?

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  1. Well, I haven't eaten at the Bee Caves location, but I frequent the Guadalupe location frequently, and my two favorites are the Nuclear fishin' and the Just say No. The nuclear fishin is a fish fillet covered in a spicy green curry. The curry is always good, although sometimes its not as spicy as others, so I usually ask for some chopped thai chilies to add in. The Just say no can be hit or miss, but when it is on, I really enjoy it. Its beef with lime juice, chilies, garlic, and rice powder. Kinda like a beef salad without the lettuce. I do agree that their tom yum is very good

    4 Replies
    1. re: Homero

      i only eat at the bee caves location for lunch because its near my office, but i live near the guadalupe location and i eat dinner there frequently. i always get the steamed snappper filet with garlic, lemon juice, fish sauce and thai peppers. its the last item listed under seafood and is listed as a whole fish but they will make a filet for you if you ask. it is spicy and is really great. i also like to share the thom yum goong soup as a starter if i am eating with others.

      1. re: sbhlaw

        Thanks for the tips, sbhlaw and Homero. I haven't gotten a chance to try all your recs yet, but I did have the steamed snapper with garlic, lemon juice, fish sauce, and Thai peppers (#21 under the seafood menu). It was enjoyable—moist, flavorful fish in a sauce that was extremely garlicky but good. A bit spicy, too.

        I happened upon a pretty good dish in the curry fried rice, which is made with hot green curry, green beans, green peppers, scallions, and Thai seasoning. (I ordered the #5E with tofu, but I received a combo of #5D and 5E). The green beans were still on the crunchy side, which was an interesting textural contrast, and the green curry and chile seasoning gave it a flavorful, spicy kick. This dish made me want to try some of their other "hot" versions of fried rice.

        I also sampled the strangely compelling "fried chicken dumplings," which I believe were paper-thin square wrappers folded in half on the diagonal and stuffed with boneless white-meat chicken. It was kind of like a crispy Thai chicken tender. I wouldn't order this on my own, but I didn't mind the one I took from the order for the table. Over the course of several lunches, our group also tried the beef and pork satay appetizers. These weren't grilled and had a filmy texture on the surface. They were also tough.

        I tried portions of two of their sticky-rice desserts, too. The one with mango was the better of the two. It came with generous slices of fresh, ripe, firm mango. The custard that accompanied the other dessert with sticky rice was less eggy and also less solid, texturally, than others I've had—like the one at Madam Mam's. TK's spongy, light version looked like a gray pancake-shaped steamed bread rather than a custard. One person in our group said it had the custard flavor of a really loose flan; another thought it was like Cream of Wheat. Our group did finish it, though.

        So far, I'd say that the appetizers in general have been a low point, but the soups, rice dishes, and spicy dishes (like the Tiger Cry) were relative strengths. Since I may be eating there again in the next few weeks, I should get the chance to sample more of the dishes suggested in this thread.

        Best,
        MPH

        1. re: MPH

          The coconut milk soup with chicken or tofu is also very good. (I don't know if it's been mentioned because I can't remember the name of it). It's slightly spicy with kaffir lime leaves, some lemongrass, and vegetables with rice on the side--served in a metal bowl on a stand with a sterno under it. It's a big portion so if you want to get it, you might find out if someone wants to share it.

          1. re: diva360

            That would be Tom Kha Gai, if it were chicken. Tom Yum with coconut milk, unless I'm mistaken. A pretty standard dish, but a good basis for comparison. I actually like Thai Kitchen's version better than Madam Mam's.....the only dish that I can say that about!

    2. Quite by accident, I recently found out that regular dishes that I’d been ordering from Thai Kitchen taste much better when prepared at the Bee Caves location instead of the Guadalupe one. (I accidentally dialed the wrong number when ordering take-out.)

      The flavors of the curry fried rice, the Tom Yum Gai soup, the fish cakes (appetizer), and the beef puffs (another appetizer) were just a little less bright. It’s like they were almost there, but they lacked that extra something that would make them special. Even the steamed rice at the Guadalupe location was gummy and underdone, as opposed to the perfectly fluffy rice at Bee Caves. The sticky-rice desserts were less appealing, too.

      I've never been to the location on William Cannon, but I'd suggest that the Thai Kitchen on Bee Caves Road might be producing better food than the one on Guadalupe.

      7 Replies
      1. re: MPH

        Years ago that location (bee cave) had the reputation for having the better kitchen of the two, something about the original cooks working there.
        Last lunch I had at the bee cave location I had a wonderful spicy shrimp and vegetable stir fry dish (can't recall the name).

        1. re: MPH

          MPH what are beer puffs?

          1. re: sweet100s

            Mmmmmm, beer puffs. . .

            Actually, these appetizers are not made with beer, although that's a darn good idea. What Thai Kitchen calls “beef puffs” are essentially curry puffs, a small fried turnover-like pastry that is filled with a thick, rich, finely-minced beef curry. Oddly, this is the only recipe I could find via quick Google search:

            http://www.jewishfood-list.com/recipe...

            You should give them a try, sweet100s, if you see them on a local menu. I really like them.

            Best,
            MPH

            1. re: MPH

              When I go with my friends we always order the beef puffs and fish cakes.
              The Tom Yum Gai is comfort food for me and I usually get it to go for later comsumption.
              I love super spicy foods and usually order from the daily special five pepper list which is only from the dinner menu but you can always ask if they will prepare it for lunch. My favorites from it is the Love and Cry and the Spontaneous Combustion. The Love and Cry is chicken and veggies in a spicy green curry sauce while the SC has chicken, scallops, fish, squid, and shrimp in a spicy red sauce with a lot of thai basil flavoring the sauce.

              For those of you who don't care to have a layer of tongue burned off, they can make it less spicy for you.

              I went Saturday to the William Cannon location and had the Love and Cry there, and it was WAY spicier than the Guadelupe location.
              The Guadelupe location's spice level varies a lot from very spicy to somewhat spicy when I've gotten the five pepper items.

              I still haven't been to the Bee Caves location although I live pretty close to it. I'll have to give it a try.

              1. re: MPH

                Thanks for the description MPH! I'll be on the lookout for it!

                1. re: sweet100s

                  Finally got to try the Guadelupe location tonight. Awesome! I think that it will replace Thai Tara as my favorite. Had the Tom Yum Gai which was good but not outstanding. Wish I could have ordered a cup instead of the 3 person serving. I like painfully hot food so I tried the "Just Say No" beef dish off the super hot menu and then the Larb Gai ordered extra super hot. Both were outstanding. Can't wait to go back and try more.

                  1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

                    I've eaten at all 3 locations and they are all great! The two best dishes by far are the #11 Peanut Soup--try it with the thinnest noodle they have (its pronounced Sin Me--I have no idea how to spell it, sorry) This is a dish that will make you slap your momma! The other great offering is the chicken wings in some sweet dark thick brown hot goop that is incredible. Personally, and you can call me crazy if you want to, I think that when the kitchen is on at Thai Kitchen they are as good or better than any place in town! (And that includes all the overpriced crap out at the Domain)