Thai in Mills 50

Clear Filters
Loading...
2 results

    Thai restaurants and restaurants serving Thai food are not an oddity in Orlando, and everyone seems to have their favorite. I must admit that I never counted Thai House on East Colonial as one of mine. But by moving two doors down, they've reinvented themselves and given me an excuse to take another look, and another taste.

    In its new digs next to Wendy's (a better example of yin and yang you won't find), the owners of Thai House have done a fine remodeling job, with varying shades and textures of woods surrounding the room, along with tables and several platform booths that give you the feeling of sitting on the floor without having to crouch down. Service is fast and attentive, and people are courteous and smile, even to the diner at another table who was (briefly) bellowing into his cell phone when I was there.

    This isn't some recombinant Viet-Thai, sushi-Thai, nouveau-Asian amalgam cuisine. The items on Thai House's extensive menu are authentic, from the mee krop appetizer ($5.95) -- sticky, crisp rice noodles with a sweet/spicy tamarind sauce and shrimp -- to the strong herbal iced tea with half-and-half.

    My test of good Thai food is always tom kha gai, coconut chicken soup ($2.95). While Thai House's recipe was slightly too thin and not coconutty enough for my tastes, the soup had a lovely lime aroma, and the preparation probably saved me a few unneeded grams of fat.

    Some names on the menu could be rethought, like "shipwrecked" ($12.95), a spicy baked dish of squid, shrimp and crab with bean threads. One dish from the "house special" page had the unfortunate name of "Smokey and the Bandit" ($11.95), which caused me to pause. Nonetheless, I was smart enough to overlook the name and order it; it's a small tureen of smoked shrimp with thin glass noodles, cross-sections of carrot and broccoli and a fish-sauce base, with so much chili and ginger that the aftertaste actually feels cold in your mouth. It's a perfect match with the ubiquitous sticky rice; ask for extra.

    Familiar dishes are well represented, like a decent green curry of chicken, beef or pork ($8.95), and a truly wonderful phad thai ($7.95), stir-fried noodles and either chicken or shrimp, all tangy with lime juice and lemon leaves.

    Standard entrees won't cost you more than $12.95, with certain "market-priced" fish dishes, such as a whole steamed red snapper, that can be slightly higher. But the servings are generous enough that any order is a bargain.

    There was nothing deliberate about Viet Garden's decision to offer a half Vietnamese, half Thai menu when it opened in 1994. It was merely a reflection of a kitchen team skilled in both cuisines. But as Thai food has taken off in popularity, Viet Garden has added even more Thai items and specials.

    The restaurant continues to do an equally good job with its Vietnamese and Thai creations. And the quietly understated atmosphere -- the tile floors are glossy and polished, and lacquered furniture is precisely arranged -- ensures the emphasis stays on the food.

    The restaurant continues to do an equally good job with its Vietnamese and Thai creations. And the quietly understated atmosphere -- the tile floors are glossy and polished, and lacquered furniture is precisely arranged -- ensures the emphasis stays on the food.

    We started off with nam sod ($5.95), a fantastic Thai appetizer that is much more delectable than it sounds. Ground chicken is jazzed up with ginger, scallions, chili and lime dressing, and it crunches with the texture of the whole peanuts. Served with a pot of peanut sauce, this appetizer was our favorite. Other items not to miss include the popular "pineapple fried rice" ($8.50), served in a scooped-out pineapple shell with chicken, shrimp, eggs and scallions.

    We started off with nam sod ($5.95), a fantastic Thai appetizer that is much more delectable than it sounds. Ground chicken is jazzed up with ginger, scallions, chili and lime dressing, and it crunches with the texture of the whole peanuts. Served with a pot of peanut sauce, this appetizer was our favorite. Other items not to miss include the popular "pineapple fried rice" ($8.50), served in a scooped-out pineapple shell with chicken, shrimp, eggs and scallions.

    Next we moved on to the "Viet combo appetizer" ($7.95), which featured a fabulous shrimp toast. Luscious shrimp paste was spread over toast points and broiled until sizzling. There also were crackling-crisp spring rolls, fresh garden rolls, beef tenders and fried wontons, all of which were appealing.

    Next we moved on to the "Viet combo appetizer" ($7.95), which featured a fabulous shrimp toast. Luscious shrimp paste was spread over toast points and broiled until sizzling. There also were crackling-crisp spring rolls, fresh garden rolls, beef tenders and fried wontons, all of which were appealing.

    We also liked fine rice vermicelli topped with grilled pork ($6.50). The bed of pure white rice noodles was properly sticky, and the pork strips were flawlessly tender. The dish was even better enjoyed with a sprinkling of crushed nuts, with each forkful dabbed into plummy hoisin sauce.

    We also liked fine rice vermicelli topped with grilled pork ($6.50). The bed of pure white rice noodles was properly sticky, and the pork strips were flawlessly tender. The dish was even better enjoyed with a sprinkling of crushed nuts, with each forkful dabbed into plummy hoisin sauce.

    Less exciting was the "flower connection" ($9.95), a surf-and-turf extravaganza presented in a blossom formed from fried wonton skins. There were shrimp, scallops, pork, chicken and stir-fried vegetables, but something was missing in the sauce, which was bland and flavorless.

    Less exciting was the "flower connection" ($9.95), a surf-and-turf extravaganza presented in a blossom formed from fried wonton skins. There were shrimp, scallops, pork, chicken and stir-fried vegetables, but something was missing in the sauce, which was bland and flavorless.

    The only lapse in service came at the end of the meal, when we were left waiting for the check for nearly 15 minutes after we had finished eating and only a few other customers lingered. We finally beckoned to our waiter, who was seated at an empty table across the room. He brought the check and just one box instead of the two requested for our leftovers.

    The only lapse in service came at the end of the meal, when we were left waiting for the check for nearly 15 minutes after we had finished eating and only a few other customers lingered. We finally beckoned to our waiter, who was seated at an empty table across the room. He brought the check and just one box instead of the two requested for our leftovers.

    Although service isn't always as sharp as it should be, you can count on Viet Garden for delicious food from the Far East, time and again.

Calendar

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2019 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation