As she prepared to award Bistro 1860 four stars last week, new Courier-Journal critic Nancy Miller told us to consider her "stingy when it comes to awarding stars," as she views them as "badges of honor that have to be earned one bite at a time." This week Thai Café gets three and one half out of four possible stars, possibly due to an interior Miller finds "is anything but flashy," though she quiets her "snooty design sensibilities with the knowledge that the tables will quickly be covered with plates and bowls full of deliciousness." Her meal starts with "delectable" steamed dumplings and a puzzling opinion of sweet corn cakes:
My son Alex likes the sweet corn cakes … but they remind me of fried State Fair food. Before you State Fair lovers get your knickers in a twist, calm down. I have nothing against fair food, but I prefer to eat it on the midway.Miller agrees with Chef and co-owner Chavantee Snow's description of tom kha gai (chicken and mushroom soup) as "glorious," but perhaps gives a bit too much personal info as she details Thai Cafe's curry.
Snow never blunders with six varieties of curry ($11.95). I could easily live the rest of my life without pineapple curry, only because I don't like pineapple, even upside down on a cake. But I can't go long without her yellow curry, plentiful with potatoes and onion. Sweet peppers impart a shy but welcome personality to the green and red curries. Tamarind's sweety sourness may be an acquired taste, and it can overpower a dish if not used judiciously. Snow lets it speak for itself, not scream, in her tamarind curry. I find myself getting to the bottom of the bowl way too soon.
Miller also enjoys a "pleasingly piquant" dressing on a seafood salad, as well as the "plucky spiciness tempered by a refreshing tartness" of a papaya salad. She also salutes her servers, who are not only responsive, but "also have a sixth sense about what you might want ... before you know you want it."
· Satisfaction level is high at Thai Cafe [Courier-Journal]
· Thai Cafe [Official Site]
· All Eater Week in Reviews [~ELOU~]