Taste of Thai Town
Chicago, Illinois| (773) 299-7888| website
My recent visit to Taste of Thai Town in Chicago can be described as the ultimate experience in Thai food tasting!
I will describe my Thai food experience in detail, but first I would to share about the elegant décor of the restaurant. The restaurant is located on Pulaski Road in Chicago and the interior design focuses on the Imperialism era in 1868 during King Chulalongkorn reign (King Rama V).
When I walked into Taste of Thai Town, I immediately felt as if I were transported to a different country and time. It is truly authentic. The vibrant colors of the interior caught my attention and my eyes were drawn to the beauty of the interior. The murals and artwork are representative of Thailand and the feeling of calmness and serenity exude in every room. The public dining space includes numerous rooms for private parties and events. Be sure to check out Taste of Thai Town’s website to read in detail about each room of the restaurant, it is remarkably fascinating.
Now, on to my Thai food extravaganza….we started with Tord Mun Pla (Fried Fish Cake), this appetizer was a perfect size of 4 cakes and I knew with my first bite, this was going to be an amazing experience! The fried fish cake was mixed with chopped long beans and Kaffir-lime leaves, seasoned with freshly ground herbs: red chilies, lemon grass, Galangal and garlic and accompanied by refreshing Ajard, Thai cucumber salad.
Next, we sampled the Ga Tong Thong (Tuna Golden Cup), this appetizer was also a perfect size of 4 cups and again another incredible appetizer. The crispy golden cup was filled with Stir-fried diced shrimp and garlic, onion, corn, green pea and carrot and garnished with red chili and cilantro leaf.
One of my favorite dishes of the evening was the Phad Thai Ho Khai (Phad Thai Shrimp in Egg Wrap). The dish included traditional Thai rice noodles stir-fried with shrimp, sweet turnips, dried shrimp and diced tofu. It was flavored by tamarind sauce; in egg wrapped served with crisp bean sprouts, fresh garlic chives and lime. Not only did it look beautiful but the taste was one of best Phad Thai I have ever experienced.
At this point, I knew I was hooked on Taste of Thai Town, but the greatness continued. We were served Tom Yum Ta-Lay (Thai Hot and Sour Seafood Soup). For soup lovers, this one is a must try! This soup was a plethora of flavors and included: shrimp, squid, scallop, mussel and mushrooms in a tart lime broth of lemon grass, Galangal, Kaffir lime leaves, cilantro and lime, drizzled with sweet shallot chili dip.
Following the delectable soup came the Goong Kratiam (Garlic River Prawn), this delicious main course encompassed sautéed river prawns with shrimp fat, chili oil and fresh garlic, and accentuated flavors of fried garlic and cilantro.
The Ma Haw ( Carmelized Pork and Peanut) consisted of Caramelized minced pork and peanut on fresh tangerine. It was an explosion of flavor crossing back and forth between spicy and sweet. Outstanding!
Finally, for dessert we tried the Bua Loy (Taro Dumplings). The Taro dumplings, mixed with tapioca pearls were floating in a richly sweet coconut cream sauce. There was no better to end a perfect Thai dining experience!
I must also note the service was impeccable! The server was attentive, explained every meal that was served to us and answered all of our questions. I thought our server was especially attentive when she described each sauce on the table and how each sauce would complement each dish.
James Beard-Award Chef Arun Sampanthavivat and Chef de Cuisine Joe Sukjam have hit a home run with Taste of Thai Town! 5 stars all around and do not walk to this restaurant….RUN to it!