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May 9, 2010 05:26 PM

Ling's Thai Cuisine in Laurel Park, NC

There is a Thai restaurant that recently opened in the Laurel Park shopping center (where Ingle's is) in Laurel Park, NC. I believe it is called Ling's. Has anyone tried it or heard anything about it?

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  1. It's called 'Ling's Bistro' and they are open Mon-Sat 1100-8:30 and Sunday 1100-8:00. 828-693-7779. It's where the old Blackwater Grill was located. We thought the pad thai was really excellent but two other dishes we had (a duck and a beef) had been just a tad to 'fusionized' (if there is such a word) for our liking. But we will be going back.

    13 Replies
    1. re: ThaiNut

      am so glad to see you posting on this, ThaiNut. My husband and I have been two times and we really like it, but have no clue when it comes to "authentic". Was curious if you liked it. My husband got the pad thai (his litmus test at thai restaurants) and really liked it. I have had a curry fried rice and some apps so far.

      they have only been open for a few weeks (mid-April? they were trying to make sure they were open in time for the Small Plate Crawl) so are still sorting out some issues. That's why they have not announced their opening officially. According to the owner, they are not strictly "thai", but are trying to cover a few nationalities. Lunch prices are especially good.

      One of my favorite things there is the mango sticky rice dessert. Warm sticky rice with a slightly sweetened coconut milk "sauce" and sliced fresh mango. So simple, but SO good! I have gotten it each time.

      Some of the traditional app items just taste fresher to me than at other restaurants offering the same (fresh rolls, pot stickers, soups, etc.).

      Am looking forward to some warmer weather so we can sit out on the back deck! :)

      1. re: Scirocco

        Thanks for the feedback. Would you say it's better than the other Thai restaurants in town or just different?

        1. re: kjen

          I'd defer to ThaiNut's opinion (the resident thai expert IMO!), but I think it's better. I've only had a few of the dishes, but what I've had has been very good. Spring rolls seemed to be fairly typical, but the other apps were fresher tasting than other places.

          Thai Spice was good the first time we went, very "eh" the next time. We haven't been back. We never thought Tamarind was good. No flavor. Champa is trying to be too many things. Ok. nothing special. So, Ling's seems to be the best right now. I've only been to Little Bee Thai once and thought that was really good, but it's in Exxon station (and a longer drive), so a much better atmosphere at Ling's! LOL

          I'll try to post the menu (jpg's), but no promises on success!

          1. re: Scirocco

            tried to post pics, but got the spinning wheel of death and nothing happened. will try a couple at a time...this the dinner menu. lunch menu is less extensive and less expensive. the only parts of the menu not on these pics is soup, salad and pad thai. Hope you can read them....

            1. re: Scirocco

              ok, that are couple more....

              1. re: Scirocco

                the last two (forgot that drinks and dessert also not shown).

                1. re: Scirocco


                  Having been to Ling's only once I can't give a bottom-line assessment of the place yet but I think it has real potential. My wife and I did the usual thing when we went there which was to send a note into the kitchen, written in Thai, asking for authentic stuff. We'd noted that the menu said that the pad thai had a 'sweet and sour' sauce so we also asked them to cut back on the sweet for that dish. That part of the note worked as the pad thai was really faultless. But we agreed that the other two dishes, though good and quite ample, were not 100% authentic. I am hoping that this is just a growing pain that always comes with a new place. Certainly the atmosphere in the place, the pricing and the driving distance from home were all fine.

                  We had the mango/sticky rice too but our mango was not fully ripe and so was a tad sour. But that happens often around here.

                  Ms. Ling has wanted to open a Thai restaurant for many years so her heart is definitely in this.

                  We have not been back to Thai Spice in a couple of years now. We had thought the food there quite adequate but just a tad too pricey. To us, Tamarind has improved in the last year but we still send that Thai-language note into the kitchen each time we go. Champa is just plain a joke as far as their 'Thai' food goes. Lovely place though. Little Bee is absolutely super but, yeah, being in a gas station and not having real seating is a detractor. 'Pad Thai' in Brevard is not bad though and I will definitely go out of my way to have lunch there.

                  1. re: ThaiNut

                    A few days ago my wife and I went back to Ling's for dinner and had an excellent meal. We had the Pad Thai, which was again superb, an Indian lamb curry dish which was excellent, and Ms. Ling suggested a squid salad which was off-menu and came out really good. Service was excellent and the few growing pains we noted on our first visit seem to have all been ironed out. They've added some art work, mostly acrylics and which are for sale, which really brighten the place up. We were given a tour of the party room and outside deck which I had not previously known about. A few days later my wife and one of her Thai girlfriends went back for an excellent lunch which they had out on the well-shaded and quiet deck. We will definitely be going back often.

                    1. re: ThaiNut

                      good to continue to hear positive experiences there. And good that they have ironed out some of the growing pains.

                      yes, the deck is great! we ate out there often when it was Blackwater Grille. Even me - Little Miss Melts if it's Over 70 - is comfortable on a hot night out there because of all the shade! :)

                      1. re: Scirocco

                        Yesterday we finally had lunch at Ling's. It was delicious! I had the Green Curry with Pork and my husband had the Stir Fried Garlic with Pork. They base the hot/spice level from 1-5. They said the curry was already a bit hot, so I chose 2, which was perfect. My husband chose 3, but it wasn't spicy enough for him, so they brought out a small container of the hot spice and let him add. Just a little bit did the trick.

                        We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and will definitely be back!

              2. re: kjen

                just as an fyi, there is a new place, Lime Leaf that is also Thai and going into the old La Riserva location on Main in Hendersonville. Story said that they are shooting for a 9/20 opening. They have another location in Spartanburg. Seems like it will be a bit more upscale than other local thai offerings.

                Curious how this will do with so many thai places in the area.

                Lime Leaf
                101 E Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29306

                1. re: Scirocco

                  The names of the owners of this new 'Lime Leaf' are NOT Thai. Also, if you look at the web site of their Spartanburg operation you will see that Thai food is listed as the third Asian cuisine that they make there. Neither of these are very good signs if you are looking for authentic Thai food. I will certainly give it a try when they open but my current suspicion is that it is apt to turn out to be like 'Champa Sushi & Thai', also on Main Street, where the Thai food is Thai only in name. The staff there are 100% Chinese.

                  1. re: ThaiNut

                    Glad you chimed in ThaiNut as I value your opinion and experience with all things Thai. I didn't know they are not Thai (and I only glanced at their website); but Thai or not, I still think the concept is an odd choice for Hendersonville (meaning that I'm not sure upscale Asian/Thai will appeal <enough> to the main demographic). What surprised me too is that they said they had NEVER been to Hendersonville. I sure hope they did some research.

                    I am still planning to give it a go though. Or might wait for you to try it first so at least I'll know if it's authentic or not before I get there!! haha

          2. Recently dined at Ling's Bistro. It was a real treat for 4 of the 5 senses Sense missing was touch as I resisted a feel of the remarkable orchids hanging in front of the Feng shui perfect waterfall. Food was so fresh and well seasoned I felt healthier with every tasty bite. The warm color selections of the interior were complimented by the large modern art paintings by Adonna and the modern and antique Chinese tapistries. The background music selections were smooth jazz for the most part, which we enjoy, but were a bit loud until we asked that it be turned a bit lower. We ended our dining by moving to the bar for dessert and after dinner drink as we wanted to watch the resurgent Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach on the TV, which, by the way, had excellent HDD reception. So there you have it: five stars for four of the five senses (next time I may stick my finger in the waterfall or gently touch an orchid to make it five for five.

            1. Just read that Ling's is having a grand opening Tuesday (8/24) from 4:30 - 6pm with some freebies and entertainment.

              I haven't been in a few months, so am figuring this is a good excuse to go back! :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: Scirocco

                I too am hoping that Lime Leaf did their homework and can succeed. If you count the seats between Umi, Champa, Thai Spice, Lings Bistro and Lime Leaf, you will have about 600 seats available for Asian food on any given night.

                Personally, I don't believe there is that demand in the height of summer, let alone on a cold, snowy day in January. And don't forget that we lose about 1/3 of our population to Florida for about six months of the year.

                1. re: loretta3202

                  yup, I agree. Although I suspect we will see Thai Spice and Champa disappear in the not too distant future. They are just not busy. And Umi I think of more for sushi, so that may not be a true a competitor. Guess we'll find out!

                  Thai Spice
                  220 S King St, Hendersonville, NC 28792