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Apr 2, 2008 02:28 PM

Golden Orchid (Tampa) is great!

Had lunch today at the Golden Orchid, which is on Dale Mabry south of Gandy, almost next door, weirdly, to Thailand, that old standby.

Well, Golden Orchid impressed me. $6.50 bought a cup of lovely soup, 2 spring rolls or 2 black bean and taro cakes with dipping sauce, and one of 15 or so lunch selections, any of which could be made with beef, chicken, pork or tofu; I think shrimp was a dollar more. Everything was very fresh and delicious, portions were generous (I even had a leftover), and the friendly server was very mindful of my request for a vegetarian meal, going so far as to ask the chef to make a cup of soup for me that wasn't the soup of the day. Decor is pretty. The full menu looks very interesting indeed, and all but a couple of dishes (whole fish, for example) are $10 or less.

After suffering shrinking portions and growing prices at Royal Palace (on Howard), and rather gloopy curry at Jasmine Thai, we are making Golden Orchid our new S. Tampa Thai mainstay.

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  1. Sounds real interesting. Will have to try. Thanks.


    1. Thank you for a new recommendation for Thai. Thank you even more for calling out Jasmine Thai on their sub-par Thai - it's not just americanized, but something I can't quite put to words. Beyond that was an hour long wait for food and then forgotten drinks and no table-clearing between parts of the meal...with an "oh, we are busy I guess" from a manager! I am on my way to Golden Orchid!

      2 Replies
      1. re: TampaAurora

        We have always had fast and friendly service at Jasmine Thai, and the dining room on Kennedy is lovely. However, the Pad Thai is just awful. Now, you can look at Pad Thai two ways: 1. it's the chicken mcnugget of Thai food; or, 2. it's the acid test, as in, if the Pad Thai is good, everything else will be. We like the Tom Ka soup; and the seafood dishes are abundant with shrimp, salmon, scallops, whatever. But everything is coated in this really thick coconut curry, whether you order panang or red or green, anything. It's tastes OK, but is too gooey. We abandoned Royal Palace and made Jasmine our pick, but found ourselves not going very often. I'm glad we've found a new standby; hope Golden Orchid can stay in business! They offer a military discount, btw.

        1. re: Miss E

          We always go to Jasmine Thai on North Dale Mabry for lunches and haven't had any problems that the posters above have had. I love their food, it is delicious and it is good value for lunches Mondays - Saturdays only. For lunch they serve a salad or egg roll, soup and the main dish and it is under $10.00. For dinners it is a different picture, the portions are small and it is a main dish only for $15.00.

      2. I will definitely give it a try. Thanks! I would also recommend Thai Thani in Channelside -- though I loath recommending any place a stones throw from Hooters, the food at Thai Thani is quite good and the wait staff could not be nicer. They have a steamed fish dish with lemongrass that is crazy good. I have ordered most of the items on the menu and have yet to be disappointed. Oh, I should note that the waiter always comments that many people don't like the steamed fish because it is fishy. Hello?!

        9 Replies
        1. re: imissla

          I'm not quite sure what the deal is with oriental waiters and steamed fish, but a notable percentage of the time when I try to order it, they are out of it, or they try to persuade me to have the deep fried whole fish. I have to insist on the steamed fish to get it. Since it is an expensive (and profitable) item, I'm surprised that they seem to want to put roadblocks in my way. Having made it at home, I know that it's also relatively easy to prepare. I just don't get it.

          I haven't had the problems with Jasmine Thai that some of the posters above have had. I find their food delicious, at least the branches on Kennedy and North Dale Mabry which I frequent. The portions are awfully small, but I find that that is true of all the Thai restaurants I visit.

          1. re: gfr1111

            Just fyi, the term "oriental" can be offensive to some.

            1. re: rikkikm

              I don't see why the term "oriental waiter" should be offensive, any more than "western waiter" would be offensive. Having lived in Singapore for a year, I can assure you that my Chinese (Singaporean) friends regularly referred to themselves as "oriental," as did my Chinese (Singaporean) girlfriend. I will, concede, however, that they also referred to themselves as "Asian."

              Anyway, to end on a food-related note, I still like Jasmine Thai and Royal Thai Palace, although the portions as both places were intended for someone 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing 80 pounds, not a big American guy.

              Royal Thai Restaurant
              1202 N Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32807

              1. re: gfr1111

                Asian is the preferred nomenclature, an individual of descent from Asia would be Asian, they are not descendants of "The Orient". Date an Asian chick and you'll find this out real quick ;)

                1. re: askdrtodd

                  I think he just stated he had a Chinese girlfriend. I think we(Americans) are a lot more hung up on this than "they" are.
                  Anywhoooo it's a 2 year old corrective post that was OT from talking about food.

                  1. re: askdrtodd

                    I'm not talking about people who built the railroads, Walter.

                    1. re: Old E.

                      Great. Now I need a white russian.

                      1. re: rhnault

                        AWESOME, you guys totally got the Lebowski reference