HOT and spicy with a dash of sweet taste are the dominant flavors in the two dishes that we tried at the Thai House in Garapan on Saturday evening. Not so hungry, we decided to check out the place and ordered a couple of dishes.
Our order of Pah Peah Todd was actually a plate of petite spring rolls stuffed with fresh, finely chopped Julienne mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, ground beef and glass noodles wrapped in crispy rice paper was heavenly. It comes with Thai dipping sauce which leaves a lingering sweet yet spicy taste in your mouth. I ordered the whole island fish with garlic sauce
for $12.95. A few minutes later, Joy, the friendly food staff laid a huge, deep-fried tilapia fish sprinkled with rice wine on a platter with a small dish of sauce.
You can fry fish at home anytime but again, the sauce made a hit. Cloves of garlic, red and green bell peppers, green onions and coriander leaves swimming in fish sauce spelled all the difference.
I poured the sauce all over the fish and before long, only the fish bones remained on the plate to contest our earlier claim that “we were not hungry.”
Thai House is the quaint restaurant along the road in Garapan whose facade twinkles with multi-colored lights at night, but when you step inside, you will be transported to another place. Paintings and portraits depicting sites, symbols and personalities in Thailand adorn the place. Huge tapestries designed with elephants hang from the red-painted walls.
What caught my eyes upon entering the restaurant are the fishing nets hanging from the ceiling which contains several currencies in bills.
The appetizer list includes Taud Man Pla or fish cakes, Nuea Dad Deow which is a lightly-seasoned Thai style, crisp-fried beef stripes, and Nura Nam Tak which is Thai marinated roast beef sliced into strips and mixed with green onions, cilantro, mint, ground roasted rice and chili pepper with freshly sliced vegetables.
The salad list includes Yahm Woonsen which is pork, shrimp or squid seasoned with glass noodles and a blend of tomatoes, onions, and fresh lemon juice; Thai Yahm which is shrimp, squid or beef sautéed in secret Thai seasonings and is one of Thailand’s most popular recipes, Thai Laab, Som Tom Thai and Phad Pug Toa Hoo or tofu which is a vegetarian delight. Salads start at $8.95.
Work your appetite to the spicy soups, or choose from any of the spicy curry dishes of chicken, pork, beef or shrimp from $8.95 and up. Leave room for a choice of spicy beef, chicken or pork dishes, seafood and noodles.
You can also go for the Thai Khao Phad or fried rice and with everything on it — your choice of beef, chicken, pork or shrimp, and combined with Thai-style scrambled egg, chopped tomato, green onion, fish sauce and minced garlic, coriander leaf garnish and Thai chili pepper. The Khao Phad chicken costs $8.95 while pork, beef, shrimp and crab is $9.95.
When you’re dining at the Thai House, it would be wise to pay attention to the restaurant’s “star system,” especially if you haven’t tried Thai cooking before. Food items in the menu with single stars mean it is mildly spicy. Two stars means the food is hot, and three stars mean Thai Hot, which should not be underestimated if your tolerance for spicy foods is not high. Otherwise, prepare a perfect alibi why you are crying in front of a sumptuous dinner.
If you cannot take in spicy foods, you can ask the food staff and they will make the adjustments for you.
During the weekends, it’s a la carte but if you want to go all out and eat all you can with bottomless ice tea, go to the Thai House for lunch or dinner Mondays to Fridays for only $9.95.
Thai House Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 5:30 to 9 p.m. for dinner every day. For reservations/inquiries call 235-THAI (8424).
This article was first published HERE