The bottom line: I will never be able to get enough of their egg rolls!
I have been wanting to write about Basil for quite some time now. My first experience with this restaurant was actually when their only location was in Charleston and I went there for a friend’s birthday dinner. This can probably tell you how long ago this was as they are now in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Charlotte, and Columbia. I am very thankful for the NC location as I no longer have to feel like I need to travel 1 1/2 hours + to get some of their food.
Since they opened in Charlotte I have gone to Basil quite a number of times. The restaurant itself is mid-sized and they have two seating areas. Upon entering you will seating areas to the right as well as a table for a large party all the way to the back. To the left of the restaurant you will find the bar area as well as hi-top tables. On one occasion I was seated at an area just beyond where the bar is located. It appears as if this is their “overflow” seating room since there were only a couple of tables and lounge couches. The ambiance of the restaurant is trendy. Music plays in the background and the lighting is kept dim throughout the place.
I will come out and say that one of the things that I can’t get enough of at Basil is their egg rolls. The rolls are usually stuffed with your typical fillings (carrots, cabbage, scallions) and served with sweet and sour sauce. Although essentially the make up of the egg roll is more or less the same across restaurants what I feel Basil excels at is in frying them. More than once I have left egg rolls I have ordered elsewhere untouched since they have been extremely oily. I feel that since I am already eating something fried the last thing I want is to intake half the oil used to fry the egg rolls in as well! At Basil the egg wrapper is very thin and remains that way after fried. The roll is crispy and delicious! The sauce served is also a perfect combination to this appetizer.
For my main dish I decided to deviate from what I usually get (Pad See-Eu) and go for something a little bit different. My meal for that night was the Sweet and Sour entrée with tofu instead of meat. The sweet and sour dish is served with onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, pineapples, and scallions. The dish is also served with rice although I substituted mine with brown rice. Something that stood out to me from the dish was of course the tofu. I believe that it is something that could make a dish go wrong if not prepared correctly. However, in this dish it was seared and seasoned just right. I also enjoyed the vegetables in the dish. At first I was a little bit thrown off by addition of cucumbers and tomatoes yet they proved to be OK. I think the dish would probably be fine without these ingredients since in my opinion they didn’t add much flavor to the overall taste of it, but they did provide a different texture to the otherwise softer vegetables. And to stay true to the sweet part of course you have the pineapples. The dish wasn’t overloaded with them so that was good. I think it was the perfect balance of salty and sweet ingredients.
For drink I had the Dark and Stormy. It is basically composed of ginger beer plus another ingredient that I just can’t quite remember right now! I have failed…I know I thought it was refreshing overall. The taste of ginger is very prevalent in the drink so if you aren’t a big fan of ginger then I would suggest to think about ordering this drink twice.
So far my experiences with Basil have been good. Service wise I think they do a good job although during the dinner someone commented they thought it could have been a little better. In regards to food everyone liked the options that they chose and commented that it had been a good pick for the group to get food at. Thank goodness!! When you are responsible for picking out the place that’s the biggest thing you worry about…will everyone like it? I’ll be back to Basil but I will more than likely keep on expanding my horizons with other Thai restaurants around the area and see what else I can find.