Bottom line: Thai food and sushi one place? Heck yeah!
Bahn Thai is a new restaurant in South Charlotte. In the short time since it opened I have been there multiple time with co-workers, I have ordered it for carryout, and I have taken my mother there for lunch. Yes, Thai food is definitely one of my favorite cuisines. I have two Thai favorites in town that I have yet to write about (I need to go back and take pictures. That’s the excuse that I use, folks, to go back to a place so that I can tell you about it.)
I have to be honest. I have struggled a bit with this post. The first time I went to Bahn Thai I ordered carryout for lunch and I loved it. Second time I got sushi and I can say the same. I have had varied experiences the following times after that. I can’t say that this is my new favorite place (it’s in third place right now) but they do have lots of good fresh food and offer a variety of things that are not found at my usual Thai food spots. Upon walking in you will see booths lining the walls, tables and chairs in the middle, and a sushi and liquor bar with a nice selection at the back.
The first time I went, I got the Pud Prik Paow, this dish was made with onions, scallions, mushrooms, bell peppers, basil, and egg in a chili sauce. This is probably my favorite dish there. This is just a combination that I tend to favor at many Thai restaurants. I usually get it with beef and brown rice. The combination of the veggies with the egg and chili sauce make for a savory dish with a kick. There are variations of this dish with eggplant and that I like even better. Trying this dish for the first time was enough to prompt me to keep going back and trying other dishes.
My second time there I was there for a light lunch and I got sushi and a side salad. The side salad comes in a very small serving and it’s served with a ginger dressing. It is very light. Seriously. Like two, three lettuce leaves. You will probably get more dressing than salad. It was basic. Lettuce and shredded carrots. It tastes just like you would expect it to taste but the dressing was pretty good and fresh. Not too heavy. Don’t put your whole container of dressing in your salad though! The sushi dish I got was an appetizer so I don’t want to judge all their sushi on that. It was sashimi style so it was small pieces of sushi and it was very, very fresh. I was happy with that.
My third time there (seriously I should get a side of the their profits) I took my mom there for lunch. The items you see pictured are from that meal. We split the Som Thum (papaya salad) (it was too late to take pics of the papaya salad we had therefore you will not see it pictured…this has become a common occurrence lately!) the Fresh Summer Rolls (you are probably sick of hearing me talk about fresh rolls right?), Pud Pong Graree (ginger dish), and Pud Khing Sod (curry dish).
The papaya salad was really absolutely delicious! It was made with shredded green papaya, peanuts, chili peppers, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, lime juice, and topped with shrimp. I would have to say this dish was the star of our meal that day. If you have never had a papaya salad then you are in for a surprise. Usually papaya salad at Thai restaurants is made with a green papaya and therefore the taste won’t be sweet. At least not as sweet as a ripe one. I love the combination of the peanuts with the citrus of the lime juice. It’s a crunchy, savory, and slightly acidic dish all at the same time.
My mother had the ginger dish with chicken. This dish is made with ginger, mushrooms, onions, scallions, and your choice of meat or vegetable. It’s a lighter dish. Especially with chicken. The chicken was cut into bite size pieces and there was a light broth at the bottom of the dish. I love the combination of the onions, scallions, and mushroom. The first time I had this dish I really liked it. Of course I only had a bite or two. The second time I tried it I ordered it for myself and I wasn’t too happy with it and didn’t eat it all (gasp!). It had a funny aftertaste.
During my visit with my mother I had the curry dish. This dish is made with celery, onions, scallions, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms and eggs all in a curry spice. I wasn’t happy with this dish at all. I feel like it could have been a really good dish but by the time it got to the table it was cold. And I’m not even exaggerating. And this is coming from someone that doesn’t like their food steaming hot. I am not sure if it’s because it was not warm but the curry didn’t have much taste at all. Really I couldn’t tell you what it tasted like because it just felt like I was ingesting a milky substance. The beef was also very chewy. I really should have sent the dish back but I really hate doing that (certain popular movies should come to mind).
One recommendation that I have for the owners is to go with Thai music instead of the club music they have been playing the last couple of times I have been there. I walked in with my mother early on a Sunday right after they opened and they were playing Thai music. Upon us walking in it was quickly changed to Beyonce. I wasn’t sure if I should have been shaking my booty on the way to the table.
Overall, will I keep coming back to this place? Maybe once in a while (and if you have been reading our other posts than you know that it will be a while for me :)…check out our Food and Drinks Around the World section). Especially since I have introduced so many people to it. In the meantime I have many other Thai favorites that have become my go to places in Charlotte.