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Apr 16, 2010 10:22 AM

Thai Kitchen, Greenville NC

Add this to your list of worthwhile Thai restaurants in Greenville*. We stopped in for lunch yesterday and got much more than we'd bargained for. I had sweet basil chicken, ordered Thai hot, and my wife had sweet and sour shrimp. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to shrimp and wasn't able to try hers. My basil chicken was great, though- it had the sort of complex spiciness that I am always looking for. Their normal spiciness scale runs from A-E, with E being the hottest. If you want Thai hot, you have to ask. The chef will apparently make it as hot as you want it, although Double Thai Hot is apparently as high as they routinely go. The waiter did say that they have a regular who always comes in and orders curries at five times Thai Hot. I eat spicy food fairly frequently, and the Thai Hot was very good, but didn't really push any limits. I'll try the double Thai hot next time.

What really made the meal for me was the starters- each entree came with a soup and an egg/spring roll. The soup was wonderful- IIRC a mix of chicken and fish stock, fresh cilantro, rice, mushrooms. Really great, and I enjoyed it as much as I did my main dish. The roll was in a springroll wrapper but had contents more similar to an eggroll- although it was vegetarian. Very good though, and it came with a great sweet and sour sauce.

They do sushi in the evenings, as well, which we are going back to try soon. I'm interested to go through the rest of the menu so as to make a comparison with Saeng Thai. What I had yesterday was as good as the best food I've had from Saeng Thai, though.

*Previous list:

1. Saeng Thai House

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  1. Hey, Naco. In my experience, Saeng Thai has a slight edge on Thai Kitchen -- everyday standards like Tom Kha Gai and Pad Thai seem a little bit fresher. But I have friends who eat at the Thai Kitchen every week and love it. And OTOH, on my last visit to Saeng Thai I got some truly wretched, rotten-tasting black mushrooms (I probably should have known better than to order that, though -- stick with the high-volume chicken and shrimp). So really, I'd say it's a toss-up. Both are decent, but neither excels.

    By the way, Chowhound seems to have stuck a link to a Thai Kitchen in Georgia to your post -- the Greenville, NC Thai Kitchen is at 2400 S. Memorial Dr.

    Thai Kitchen & Sushi Bar
    2400 S Memorial Dr, Greenville, NC 27834

    5 Replies
    1. re: kagi

      I generally stick to the specials menu at Saeng Thai, although I do like the tamarind duck off the regular menu.

      1. re: Naco

        A friend of mine said the person running the kitchen at saeng thai left and quality has dropped since. This was probably a year ago, so maybe they've got things figured out. She claims Thai Kitchen to be the current go to spot in Greenville. The only reason I put any stock in her opinion is because she speaks Thai and has conversed with both kitchens. That all being said, my last meal at Thai Kitchen (take-out) was tasty, but just barely above average.

        Naco, sorry to hear about your allergy to shrimp. My current favorite area dish is the Camarones a la Diabla at Los Dos Rosas in Tarboro. A must try, unless your allergic. If you do stop in for lunch, the chilaquiles are a close second.

        Thai Kitchen
        4357 Washington Rd Ste A, Evans, GA 30809

        1. re: veganhater

          I read your review of the camarones at Las Dos Rosas with some longing, but after trying and trying and trying and always getting sick, I've given up on shrimp. I used to think it was a psychological thing, as I got really sick on fried shrimp in my early teens and have disliked them ever since, but after all the numerous attempts as an adult, I'm pretty sure it's physiological.

          Interesting about Saeng Thai- I don't eat there often enough(or eat the same thing often enough) to judge a drop in quality like that, as my wife has never liked it. She really enjoyed Thai Kitchen, though.

          1. re: Naco

            As I had said, that is all heresay about Saeng Thai. It was the best Thai in Greenville at one point, but like you I don't eat there often at all. In the near future I plan to try all Thai options in Greenville and offer my personal ratings.

            1. re: veganhater

              Lemon Grass is pretty missable, although we do get take out from there sometimes because it's close. They're pretty inconsistent in how they spice things, and it's not a complex spiciness. I usually go with the curry roti off the appetizer list- the roti is not that great, but for some reason the curry is better than their entree size curries.

    2. Had a massaman curry yesterday, ordered double Thai hot. It was not noticeably hotter than my Thai hot basil chicken from last week. We may be running into I Know What You Want Better Than You, Whitey.

      Anyway, it was good, but I think I prefer the massaman from Saeng Thai.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Naco

        At Saeng Thai we always get the Crispy Thai Duck with Basil and either the beef or shrimp salad appetizer. The spice level varies and it is difficult to always get what we had in Thailand but the flavors are spot on.

        1. re: DaveN

          I find that if I order a four star(Saeng Thai uses a five star spiciness scale), they're pretty consistent. It's when you order a 5 star that the result seems to depend on things such as the Earth's cosmic position relative to the Andromeda Galaxy. A couple of times I've ordered a 5 star and not had it be noticeably hotter than a 4 star. Again, this is why I like authentic Mexican places- they tend to get so few non-Hispanic customers that they cannot or will not dumb things down.

          1. re: Naco

            My wife and I have dined at the Sakura Asian Express on Memorial Drive in Greenville on different occasions. We find it to be a neat place to eat in. Sundays are especially good. It seems that most of Greenville have not discovered it. the service is quick and the food is good. A pleasant place for a leisurely Sunday lunch or dinner.

      2. Been on a bit of a Thai kick lately and have had dishes from Thai Kitchen and Saeng Thai. Saeng Thai is still as good as it ever was, IMO. Overall, I'd go with them over Thai Kitchen. Saeng Thai's curries are slightly better than Thai Kitchen, and Saeng Thai has a much more varied menu. One new addition is a specials menu that consists of their most popular specials from the previous year- this really livens up the choices. I had a jungle curry off this menu yesterday and it was excellent.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Naco

          So, it looks like Saeng Thai is closed, at least for now -- I heard there was a dispute with the landlord, but I can't vouch for that -- so Thai Kitchen is pretty much the best thing out there.

          On that note, I tried a new place on Memorial called Sakura Asian Express. It was better than I expected for a mostly-take-out place. The thai basil fried rice and pad thai were good, and the Shanghai curry noodles were very good.

          1. re: kagi

            There was a bit in the Reflector a few weeks ago which said that their A/C wasn't working, and there was some kind of dispute related to getting it fixed. Too bad.

            1. re: kagi

              Took my girlfriend to Sakura Asian Express for dinner tonight. We were the only customer there.

              Initially I had an bad feeling but went in anyway. We started with salad and potstickers as appetizers. Then I ordered Curry Beef Noodle Soup and she ordered Chicken Pho.

              The salad came with a few pieces of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and peanut chunks. The dressing has a sweet and sour taste with a slight heat.

              There were eight pieces of potstickers. Obviously not homemade but they were properly fried; slightly crispy bottom with soft doughy top and moist!

              Pho was good but the Curry Noodle Soup was truly spectacular; moderately red colored broth with heavy coconut milk and curry flavors. I was really amazed because I'd never have imagined having such authentic Malaysian styled curry noodle soup in Greenville NC!

              Afterwards I had a good, long conversation with the co-owner Tiffany Yang. They are Chinese Malaysians and have operated restaurants in New Jersey.

              No they are not Thai national but trust me the Malaysians know their curry and Thai food. So yes, you know you will be getting a well authentically cooked Thai meal and yes, the price is right and yes this is THE new place for Thai food in Greenville!

              1. re: sierrarot328i

                Second the curry noodle soup recommendation. It was really really good when I had it the other week, can't wait to try some of their other dishes.

                1. re: csx30

                  I had the curry noodle soup recently, and it was really good- and they weren't afraid to make it spicy for me. We will definitely be back.

          2. Went back to Sakura Asian Express and had kimchi noodle soup. A huge bowl of kimchi, scallions, glass noodles, beef(or other meat), chiles, and a beautiful deep red broth. Another winner. I would be hard pressed to pick between that and the curry noodle soup.

            I have had good luck on the spiciness front so far. My curry noodle soup and kimchi soup were both a 4 on their 5 point scale and were about as hot as I could handle.

            Apparently Saeng Thai has split off and spawned two restaurants, each run by a different faction of the old owners. There's Anchalee Thai in the old Saeng Thai space, and Thai 360 downtown, across from the library. Haven't gotten over to try either of those.