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Thai Spice Hendersonville NC

  • k

Does anyone know anything (when it's going to open, menu, owners, etc.) about Thai Spice on King St in Hendersonville NC?


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    1. re: bikingnc

      Me, too! All I know is that it's in the building formally occupied by The Peddler steakhouse (beside Hendersonville Sports Medicine). So far nothing in the local press to indicate when they will open, so my guess is it probably won't be before the end of the year.

      Maybe somebody else has the skinny...

      1. re: Jeff C.

        I stopped at the Thai Spice in Hendersonville o/a December 8 to ask when they planned to be opened. I talked to the Thai female owner. That did not have a
        firm opening date and it looked like they still had perhaps a month's worth of work left to do. On the good side, she said that they planned to offer a LOT of
        northeast Thai items, e.g. gai yang, som tam, larb, khaaw niew, etc.

        1. re: ThaiNut

          Thanks for the update. Let us know if you hear anything else.

    2. They are opening officially on December 23rd, Sunday. They'll be open 7 days a week, but only doing lunch on the weekend. They'll even be open on Christmas, which may bode well for them since no where else in Hendersonville is usually open. The owners moved up from southern Florida where their head chef, the owner's mother, was voted one of the best Thai cooks in the area. I saw a sample menu and it looks absolutely fantastic!

      6 Replies
      1. re: barblizbth

        Good news indeed! Please post a review when/if you go.

        1. re: barblizbth

          Do you know what the name of their place in SoFla was?

          1. re: barblizbth

            That's great news. Do you know where in South Florida? There is a Thai restaurant in Sarasota that is my all time favorite.

            Thanks so much for the info. Look forward to trying it.

            1. re: kjen

              As noted above, Thai Spice is now up and running. I took seven of my relatives there Xmas evening. Our total bill came to $250 but if you take out the appetizers, beers and deserts the per-person charge for the main dishes came to $17.25 each. We ordered That style where all of the dishes are shared around the table so everyone got to taste everything.

              My bottom line assessment for this place is that it is probably the best Thai restaurant in the Asheville area. You might think this is too rash a judgment after only one visit but since the eight of us ordered nine main dishes I think we had a very good sampling of the menu.

              Service was very friendly and quite adequate even though a couple of the staff were obvious trainees.

              The place has its own parking lot, is large, super clean and orderly, and has plenty of staff. Not much stuff on the walls yet but that will change when 'Mom' gets back from a shopping trip to Thailand.

              The owner is 'Jaeng,' a very delightful woman who said that she had operated a Thai restaurant in South Florida (Palm Beach I think) for 8 years but recently got chased out of that area by a hurricane. The kitchen staff were surely Thais but the only other Thai on the floor was 'Daeng' a local hire Thai male who also operates a B&B in Flat Rock. The one Thai-looking female waitress turned out to be Filipino.

              The Thai Spice address is 220 South King Street, Hendersonville and the phone is 828-693-7323. They are open 7 days a week with lunch starting at 11:30 and dinner at 5:00.

              1. re: ThaiNut

                Awesome! Thanks ThaiNut! Can't wait to try it!

                1. re: kjen

                  I went back to Thai Spice last night (Fri) by myself. Got there about 6:00 and there were quite a number of tables already occupied. Khun Jaeng (the owner) said that they'd been mobbed the night before. I discussed with her a few complaints I'd heard through the grapevine regarding service and the lack of spiciness to some of the food when the customers specified that they wanted it hot. She said she was surprised how much the people in this area like spicy food so her plan is to trash the current menu for a better one in the near future. I ordered three items and got two in short order. The third came well after I'd already finished the first two and was full. This was blamed on a male waiter who refused to write things down, and someone else had said that this waiter had forgotten their order too. Khun Jaeng said that he was going to be assigned to other duties. So, the point of all this is that the place is undergoing some growing pains so if you go there try to bear that in mind.

          2. Took the wife and infant there on Friday 12/29 and saw a lot of promise. Very friendly, great service. You can't see any remnants of the old Peddler at all.

            The wife had chicken with the Panang Curry and thought it was perfect. I"m not a big coconut kind of guy, so I shouldn't comment on that dish.

            I got pork with Fresh Basil and thought it was good. Started out great, but finished kind of salty to my preference. The veggies were very fresh and the meat was well prepared.

            I'll echo another post on this board about spiciness. I asked for "extra spicy" and got what would be be called "medium". When I mentioned that the waiter promptly brought out a few sauces for me to dress things up. This could also account for the saltiness that I ended with, I think I overloaded one of the extra sauces.

            We had satay for an appetizer and thought it was very good. The peanut sauce was excellent.

            Staff was very accommodating with our infant. He's pretty good in restaurants since we feed him in the parking lot before going in so he's nice and full/sleepy. The owner brought out a plate of rice and soft veggies for him on the house. Not necessary, but very nice.

            All in all it's definitely a work in process, but I got the impression that it will be a great place very shortly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: timlau

              Thanks to all of you for your reviews/comments. I haven't been to Thai Spice yet, but plan to go soon.

            2. Ordered lunch for delivery yesterday. Just Chicken Pad Thai. It was terrific! Very flavorful.

              But, again I emphasized "extra spicy" when I ordered and it was delivered barely medium spicy. I think they just don't believe that someone around here likes spicy stuff.

              The delivery was prompt and without any extra charge, which is nice. The "no extra charge" was more than off-set with a $9 charge for lunch portion of pad thai. So, throw in a coke and tip, and it was a $14 lunch.

              1. We just went the other night. It's a large restaurant, but was unfortunately basically empty when we were there. She has a huge, very young staff out on the floor and the server we got could not describe any of the dishes. The food was mostly delicious and I'd agree with the very authentic- not spicy enough no matter what- comments. The dish I ordered was the volcano shrimp- fried shrimp on vegetables with a chili sauce. It even had a little pepper next to the menu name indicating the heat, I asked for it spicy and it was hardly mild. Otherwise, this dish was very delicious at 17 dollars. Also got the springrolls and wonton soup. Both not worth the price and were nothing to write home about. I hate to say it, but it hurt when we got the bill.

                1 Reply
                1. re: charlottecooks

                  Ouch. Sounds like they are def. having some growing pains. I'll still give them a shot but will probably wait about a month.

                2. My husband and I went this past Friday and loved it! I will preface this by saying that we are not Thai experts by any stretch, so cannot speak to the authenticity, but it all tasted good to us.

                  It was VERY busy Friday at 7pm and we did not have reservations, so waited probably 30 minutes or more (we were told it would be awhile), which was fine, we weren't in a hurry. One bad thing was that there were NO chairs or benches up front to sit on while waiting. We managed to score a couple of chairs at the bar so were ok, but there were only four so we got lucky!

                  We got the Golden Purses appetizer (4 for $8), I got the Duck Pineapple Curry ($18, came with white rice), and my husband got the Chicken Pad Thai ($14) and the Thai Tea ($3). The appetizer was ok, but the rest was delicious! Service was decent - very friendly and reasonably quick - a little slow to acknowledge. Spiciness was fine for us - my curry had great flavor with a little kick. I didn't ask for any specific spiciness. My only negative comment was that the curry seemed a little heavy on the salt, but not enough to keep me from ordering it again. Portions were good - I had enough curry left to take half home. The Pad Thai was a little bit smaller, so nothing came home! We were going to try some dessert but were stuffed.

                  Overall, we loved it and would definitely go back. They still seem somewhat disorganized, but any time we go somewhere new, we try to go with the attitude of a healthy dose of patience!

                  I know there were some comments on the H'ville local forums saying they thought it was pricey, but we thought it was fine. Dinner entrees run $13 - $18 (of course mine had to be $18!! ha!), with a couple at "market price". The menu shows lunches being $8 and $9 and also says that Monday - Friday lunches they ONLY do take out or delivery. That confused me because I thought someone had said they were open for lunch. I didn't ask, so don't know the real scoop.

                  We're just excited that H'ville has both a great Japanese place (Umi) AND now a good Thai place too! We hope they'll stick around! :-)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Scirocco

                    I went by Thai Spice today at noon to talk to Khun Jaeng and get clarification on what they were doing for lunch. The problem is that the parking lot is owned by the sports rehabilitation business next door, and they insist that Thai Spice not be fully open for lunch because that would clog up 'their' parking lot. This was not a problem when the Peddler occupied the Thai Spice building because Peddler did not serve lunch. So.... for now Thai Spice is open Mon-Fri for lunch (starting at 1130) but this is ONLY for carry out and delivery service. Also, sometime in the near future this will change to Tue-Fri with Monday being open only for dinner. Khun Jaeng hopes that when the sports rehab place renegotiates their property contract next year that the situation will change allowing her to actually serve sit-down lunch.

                    On the service issue, Khun Jaeng said that she has discharged three of the waiter/waitress staff so that should improve things.

                    The duck pineapple curry that Thai Spice makes is an excellent dish and I have had it on both of my visits there. As for the Pad Thai you had, I think that it's just as well that you had no leftovers of it to take home. Thai noodle dishes tend to become a sticky glob if they sit for any length of time. It may be that this extends to all stir-fried food. The stuff is cooked hot and fast to retain vegetable crispness and it is intended to be eaten right away. Thus it does not travel well and no manner of reheating will bring it back to life.

                    1. re: ThaiNut

                      Thanks for looking into the lunch confusion! My husband works nearby, so it was a possible lunch spot for him. Take out works too though. :-) The service at dinner didn't worry us as new places always take awhile to sort out. re: leftovers - I can sometimes revive a stir fry type dish the next day, but I agree pad thai would be a challenge! Best eaten in one sitting. Ok, twist my arm... :-) We loved it and will definitely be back!

                  2. We tried Thai Spice for the first time last night. The space was dim and cavernous but clean and comfortable. The waitstaff is mostly high school and college aged kids who are very helpful and friendly. The owner came around to each table to ask if everything was okay. The short list of wines and beers is well-chosen. (Dogfish Head 60 Min. I.P.A. pairs well with Thai food.) The restaurant was moderately busy, but it was a Friday night, after all.

                    With all the pluses above it pains me to say that the food is only so-so and the prices are a bit high. In fairness, though, I've never been to Thailand, so I couldn't tell you if the food at Thai Spice is more like what you'd get there or not.

                    We started with the Fresh Roll appetizer, which was one chicken, pork, and vegetable roll wrapped in rice paper cut into four tiny pieces, and kind of steep at $5.

                    Based on the recommendations posted above, I ordered the Duck Pineapple Curry and my wife had the Chicken Pad Thai. We ordered both "medium spicy," but the Pad Thai had hardly any spice at all. The Curry was just spicy enough, however. (Order accordingly.) The Curry, served with Jasmine rice on the side, was a huge bowl of fragrant broth packed with plenty of duck breast meat. The problem with the dish is that it contains very little in the way of vegetables and pineapple and none of the skin and fat had been trimmed from the duck. Call me spoiled, but for $18 I expect not to have to work so hard to eat a meal. The Pad Thai was a perfectly serviceable version of the dish, albeit a tad gummy and sweet. (More spice would balance this out.) Again, I felt that $14 was about two bucks too much to charge for this relatively small plate of food.

                    Please don't get me wrong, fellow hounds: Thai Spice has potential and is certainly a welcome addition to Hendersonville's restaurant scene. But for now when I want curry or pad thai or any of several other pan-Asian dishes, I'll make the drive to Doc Chey's in Asheville. The food tastes fresher, the portions and flavors are more balanced, and I'll save on my final tab whatever extra gas it costs to get there.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jeff C.

                      Hmm, my duck pineapple curry had quite a bit of veggies and pineapple (I love pineapple), so maybe you got a skimpy batch? Of course, for the price we're paying- each bowl should be the same! Regarding the skin/fat on the duck. Yes, mine had it too, but I just assumed that's how it was supposed to be and ate it skin/fat and all. My husband doesn't like things spicy at all, so his Pad Thai may have been mildly spicy, but he likes it that way. I only had one bite of his, so I don't recall it being too far in either direction on spice. I agree that the prices are a couple dollars higher than other places, but it's convenient for us to go to. I'll admit we haven't tried Doc Chey's yet - perhaps we need to take a ride to A'ville! :-)

                      1. re: Scirocco

                        Try the Thai Red Curry and Pad Thai at Doc Chey's and compare. As for spice/heat, it has been my experience that Doc's does it exactly as you request.

                        1. re: Jeff C.

                          Well, we went again last night and I have to say, this time was nothing like the first time - a big disappointment. Because I liked it so much the first time, I got the Duck Pineapple Curry ($18) and it had tons of duck but it was very dry and chewy. It had some pineapple, not many veggies, and much less curry sauce than before (and the sauce is SO good!). I was very disappointed. My husband had Beef Lad Nah (beef, gravy, veggies, stir fried rice noodles - $12) and said it was ok and the beef was extremely chewy. Our friends had the pad thai ($14) and grilled beef with the brown sauce ($14) - pad thai reported to be ok on flavor, but the chicken was very chewy. The only stand out dish was the grilled beef with the brown sauce which was excellent (I tried some of the sauce) and the beef NOT chewy. We also ordered the fried spinach (excellent - $5), fresh rolls (good - $5), and crispy rolls (good - $4) for apps. We went for dessert this time and got the Thai Donut served with coconut sauce ($4 for several, maybe 9 pieces? - pretty good, but really just fried dough) and fried ice cream ($7 - pretty good but much too pricey for what you get).

                          Service was good and quick. We did mention it when things weren't up to par and were told that the head chef wasn't there that night.

                          Also, the restaurant was only half full at 7:00 on a Friday night (it was mobbed last time). I know it's partly because the newness has worn off, but if their food isn't more consistent, I'm concerned about their survival. I'm afraid we won't be back unless we hear more favorable (consistent) reports. I really want it to be good!!

                    2. Like several others, it seems, we tried Thaispice last night, January 19. We started our meal with Golden Purses - which were wonderful but very pricey for four small "purses" for $8! Then we shared the Nam Sod Salad, again for $8 - but this was slightly more reasonably priced and very delicious. I then had the Sauted Shrimp with Fresh Green Curry (moderate heat). It was "plate-licking" good with just the right amount of heat. My companion ordered the Sauted Calamari with Fresh Basil sauce (ordered spicy hot) . The spicy heat was just about right - pretty hot - but the flavor of basil was nowhere in evidence. Also, the calamari was a bit rubbery and had a slightly fishy in flavor. Not bad, but not as could as it could be by any means. For dessert I ordered the coconut ice cream - wonderful! My companion, at the Server's suggestion, ordered the Thai Donut dessert which was about eight very light and tasty "donut holes" with a peanut sauce that was sweet but, outside of the actual peanuts, laked any discernible flavor.

                      We also had two SinghAh beers a piece and the total for the dinner was slightly over $70. I would consider this somewhat pricey but far more worthwhile that the lower-priced but vastly inferior meal we recently had at the other new Thai restaurant - that shall remain nameless - near the Airport.

                      Two complaints. One that others have noted - the service was unbelievably sloooooooow! We received our appetizers and salad fairly quickly but then had to wait over thirty minutes for our main course. The owner stopped by our table during our meal and apologized for the slow service. Evidently they are aware of the problem but have not seen fit to resolved it. The other compliant is very strange indeed. We requested chopsticks to eat our meal and received the common disposable kind. The package had a welcoming message welcoming us to the *Chinese* Restaurant! That's not the problem though. We have eaten in many, many restaurants using chopsticks and have never been given ones that appeared to be the diameter of knitting needles - thin ones at that! Since we are used to eating with chopsticks this didn't pose a big problem. But someone who has not eaten with chopsticks frequently would probably find them unmanageable. Next time we visit this restaurant we will bring our own chopsticks. When I complained to the owner about the puny chopsticks I was told that the Health Department would not permit reusable chopsticks. I have no idea of meaning of that response. Disposable chopsticks are usually a pretty standard thickness.

                      All-in-all a good meal. The best Thai food we've found in the area so far. Pricey and very slow service. Perhaps in a few month they will have worked out the kinks and we will visit them again.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: kjen

                        I see that you echo two of the three most common criticisms of Thai Spice, i.e. overpricing and poor service. Most people seem to agree that Thai Spice is charging a bit too much for what you get, and their untrained floor staff is detracting from the 'Fine Dining' sign they have outside. The Yumi Japanese restaurant, less than a mile away, gets great reviews for their service. Maybe Yumi just has a better training program. Well, at least according to your review perhaps they have tweaked the lack of spiciness problem they had initially.

                        A word on chopsticks - although all Thais can use chopsticks, and they do so whenever they eat Chinese food, the only Thai food that Thais eat with chopsticks is, believe it or not, noodle soup. The Thai national food instruments are the tablespoon and fork. Thais use the tablespoon that comes with the dish to spoon a portion of the food onto their plate and then they return that tablespoon to the serving dish. Then they use their own tablespoon to pick up a bit of rice. Then, with the BACK of the fork, they guide/push the food item onto the rice in the tablespoon and then carry that to their mouth. The fork is never used to carry food to the mouth. So what I guess what I am saying here is that perhaps Thai restaurants don't make major efforts to stock good chopsticks because they are not routinely used.

                        1. re: ThaiNut

                          Thanks for the tip on the etiquette in the use of the chopsticks! My gripe with the ones they offer has nothing to do with "good" chopsticks. I buy a goodly quantity of inexpensive chopsticks - the Oriental Market near Sam's Club in Asheville sells them at a reasonable price - and they are what I would call a standard width rather than knitting-needle diameter.

                          The "Yumi": restaurant you refer to is actually named "Umi" and the sushi bar is very good. We have not eaten in the restaurant itself and others have given it mixed reviews. We actually prefer the "parent" restaurant named "Sora" in Pisgah Forest where the parking is much, much better - virtually unlimited since it's a Walmart parking lot. We find Sora more intimate (it IS much smaller) and the sushi chefs much more friendly. They both are pricier than some (but by no means all) of good sushi bars in the San Francisco Bay area and it still seems odd to me that they price sushi but the piece rather than the pair (either nigiri or sashami) which is the custom in every other sushi bar I've ever eaten in. Both Umi and Sora do have consistently fresh and high quality fish - which should be an major measure of quality.

                          Somewhat off topic: If one wants to read a wonderful book about sushi in all is aspects that is an exciting and easy read I strongly recommend: "The Zen of Fish"!

                          1. re: kjen

                            It's actually spelled "Oumi," though the "O" on the sign is easy to miss because it's a different (darker) color than the rest of the letters.

                            1. re: Jeff C.

                              CORRECTION: Went there last night and asked the waitress if it was "Oumi" or "Umi" because I was still not sure and the sign and menus don't help.

                              Here's the correct answer, folks: Umi.

                              My bad.

                      2. I'm hoping to try Thai Spice sometime in the near future. We picked up take-out from Tamarind in Arden last night, only b/c I was having a pregnancy craving for peanut dressing and we were in that plaza already. I can't remember the last time I had such bad food. The sauteed veggies in my pad woon sen (I thought ordering a simpler dish might ensure me a better meal) were clearly from a bag of frozen veggies. They had that mushy, thawed texture I detest.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: diablita FL

                          Thai Spice is not bad, esp. if you'd rather not drive to Asheville. Please do give it a try and let us know what you think.

                          1. re: diablita FL

                            Much as I dislike the Tamarind (I have made definite plans to never go back there again) I have to jump in here and reiterate something I mentioned earlier to someone else. Stir-fried food, and in particular noodle dishes, just plain does not travel well. It is cooked fast and furious so as to be eaten just about instantly. If there is any sort of delay at all it starts to congeal and get soggy and otherwise deteriorate. I married my Thai bride 35 years ago here in the U.S. and within a month we went off to Bangkok where we lived, over several tours, for 12 years. I learned enough about Thai food there so that after returning here we have NEVER once gone to a thai restaurant for carry-out. It just doesn't work out. You gotta eat it as soon as it comes out of the wok. But don't let this stop you from going to Tamarind for a sit-down meal and being totally disappointed. Maybe it really was a bag of frozen veggies.

                            1. re: ThaiNut

                              Thanks Jeff and ThaiNut. I'm sure you're right about stir-fries and noodle dishes. I really didn't fault them for the noodles, just the horrible veggies.

                              We just rescued a dog from All Creatures in Hendersonville the other day, so didn't want to leave him home any longer than we had to. But we will hunt down better Thai (and sushi, we're new here) soon.

                            2. re: diablita FL

                              We ate there last night with a large group. I had the chicken coconut soup--which I thought was FABULOUS--I would return just for the soup. I also had the Thai Chicken salad, which was OK--nothing to write home about. The other diners at my table seemed to enjoy their food. The service was OK; I think they're still working on the 'kinks.' For example, of the five of us, mine was the only salad (as a main course). Everyone's hot food was delivered and my salad came about 10 minutes later. (?!) But, to their credit, they kept our drinks filled and handled our request for separate checks (with a 20% gratuity). We would definitely return.

                              1. re: rupertpiper

                                Just a suggestion as to how you might enjoy a Thai food meal a lot more, and that's by ordering Thai style. For dinner, a group of Thais would never order individual dishes for themselves, as you did your soup and salad and presumably everyone else at your table did. A group of Thais, and even just two people as my wife and I do, always order for the whole table. Each person selects a dish they'd like but everything is passed around and shared when it comes to the table. That way everyone gets a good variety. And usually, if one person orders a chicken dish, everyone else steers clear of chicken so as to maintain the variety.

                            3. We ate at Thai Spice on Friday night (March 28, 2008). It was our second visit.Overall the food, service and atmosphere was very good. Soups and appetizers were excellent complements to the main course. Staff was genuinely very professional and nice as well. The restaurant was very clean.

                              The negatives were the very small portion size and the cost. For example, the dishes we ordered did not come a lot of vegetables on our previous visit so we asked for more vegetables and were charged $3.00 on each dish and brown rice instead of white was $3.00. Beef fried rice ended up being $17.00 for a portion that was about 1/2 the size of other Thai or Chinese restaurants we dine at in western North Carolina.

                              We spend $84.63 for dinner for three people (without drinks) and we were still hungry when we left. We discussed this with our server who said she would send the owner over but they never came by our table. We probably won't be going back because of these issues, but we wish them well. It would be a great restaurant if they gave you more food and could keep their costs in line or even just above other Thai restaurants in the area.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JimNC

                                When I first heard of Thai Spice's imminent opening this last Xmas I was very hopeful that it would turn out to be a place where we could get good, authentic Thai food at a reasonable price. Unfortunately that has not turned out to be the case and my (Thai) wife and I have decided not to go back. At out last visit we had no appetizers, three main dishes, 1 beer, no desert and the bill came to $62. The food was edible, but nothing special and was really not worth that kind of money.

                              2. Yes, it is great! We have eaten there several times and the service is always good, the vegetables are fresh, the food is wonderful and the atmosphere is great! HIGHLY reccomend to try!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: lovelabs

                                  Enjoyed my experience. Good food. Nice people. Clean, simple decor. Made a reservation for a business dinner there for tomorrow!

                                2. My husband and I dined at Thai Spice on October 22nd. Their sauces are fabulous. We particularly enjoy anything there with the panang red curry sauce! The Sizzling Beef is also wonderful - and spicy! I agree that in the beginning dishes were inconsistent - not enough vegetables or variety of vegetables, but we eat there quite often now and have found this problem to be resolved. Also, the Phad Thai here is much better than Champa's. After having visited Champa twice, we will stick with Thai Spice. Champa's ambiance is better, but Thai Spice wins in the food category hands down. I wonder if either will survive though - Thai Spice had only three tables of people while we were there and last night Champa's was nearly empty - maybe four tables full with nobody at the sushi bar all night!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MHNC

                                    I have had only some great dinners at Thai Spice. I am from San Fran and can be quite snobby when it comes to Asian food in general. The fresh rolls are my favorite appetizer.I have to admit thc alamari was a bit tough.