Restaurant Review: Taste of Thai
Follow the aroma to Taste of Thai
Being fervent fans of Thai cuisine, my husband and I are always interested in trying a new Thai restaurant, whether at home or on vacation. Diners in cities and cultures around the world embrace Thai fare, and from New York City to Sydney, there are as many genuinely delicious restaurants as there are imposters. We are fortunate to have several arguably authentic options in Buffalo, with more right past the Canadian border in Toronto.
This was my first time dining at Taste of Thai and it smells delicious before you even enter the restaurant. Red, yellow, and green curry, spicy chilies, turmeric, cilantro, and Thai basil waft down Hertel to usher you into the restaurant. It’s a lovely bonus that it smells welcoming because you will notice how dark and uninspired the physical space is, especially in the evening. The black ceiling and red walls are unpleasant, but the aromatic ingredients in the kitchen and your server’s demeanor will make the dining room more inviting.The menu may overwhelm some, but there is a great deal to choose from, including appetizers, soups, noodles, fried rice, stir-fried entrees, salads, curry, and plenty of specials. If you dine during lunch, there are about 30 inexpensive dishes to choose from. Because of the sheer size of the menu and the pleasant fragrance floating through the dining room, both experienced diners and those new to Thai will likely find several dishes that sound enticing.
We started our dinner with a Fresh Roll ($3.95)—two vegetable rolls wrapped with rice paper and stuffed with lettuce, mint, bean sprouts, carrots, and cilantro. If you’re a cilantro fan, you’re in luck. It gives the raw rolls a punch of flavor. The dipping sauce evokes flavors of hoisin and peanut sauce, and its depth is a pleasant complement to the light rolls.
My husband ordered Pud Thai with chicken ($8.95)—flat, thin noodles sautéed with eggs, bean sprouts, and scallions, and served with peanut sauce—which didn’t offer many surprises. The dish is saucier and sweeter than most I’ve had, but being well seasoned and full of spice may keep you going back for more bites.
A weakness for coconut curry causes me to keep a pantry incessantly filled with ingredients to make red and green coconut curries. I rarely hesitate when a spicy coconut sauce is an option. This time, though, the Pud Met Muang with shrimp sounded more exciting. A red curry stir-fried dish, it features sautéed cashews, mushrooms, Napa cabbage, bamboo shoots, Thai basil, scallions, carrots, and Chinese broccoli with your choice of meat, seafood, or tofu. Each piece of the conglomerate stir-fry fits together harmoniously. The sauce is a slightly less rich option when compared to one made with coconut milk, but it is packed with flavor. The dish is a bit oily, but it’s a stir-fry after all.
When you order at Taste of Thai, you will be presented with the option to rate your spiciness level on a scale of one to four. We ordered both dishes at level two. If you are unable or unwilling to eat spicy, take note: (at least on this occasion) number two was equivalent to somewhere between medium and hot on a “mild, medium, or hot” scale.
Taste of Thai offers reasonably priced dishes that are ideal for sharing. Their generous portions translate well to family style dining or bringing home leftovers to look forward to. The restaurant has a steady take out business, which I consider a promising sign. The restaurant also offers free wi-fi and BYOB.
1460 Hertel Ave., Buffalo
Take out: 716-833-8423
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.; Sun., 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.