Casual Thai dining that’s affordably delicious at Nakhon Thai Express
Thai food strikes a beautiful balance between sour, salty, hot and sweet. The cuisine is undeniably refined, but often comes with a price tag to match. Thankfully, I recently found Nakhon Thai Express, a casual, budget-conscious restaurant that dishes up quality without compromising on taste.
Nakhon Thai Express is decorated in a quirky and cheerful manner with industrial-style metal tables, grey plastic place mats, travel pictures of Thailand and a velvet painting adorning one sidewall. The place isn’t licensed, the menu is fairly simple and the prices are fair. Dinner for two came in at under $50, including appetizers and dessert.
The spring rolls here are filled with black mushrooms, cabbage and carrots and served with a sticky sweet plum sauce. They were pleasantly crisp, and like the rest of the dishes my dad and I were to receive, presented thoughtfully, with a carrot flower as garnish. Both of us ordered a soup. The tom yum had a serious kick from the chilies, while the coconut soup with turmeric was much more mild and creamy. Both soups held little morsels of chicken, baby corn, carrots and celery, along with just the right amount of torn-up cilantro.
Each of the mains came with a big mound of rice at no extra charge. The stir-fried beef with chilies and Thai basil was packed with crisp veggies and tender pieces of beef. The red curry with shrimp could have done with a few more shrimp but was tasty nonetheless. Strips of red and green peppers were bathed in a bowl of creamy coconut milk-laced curry. Chunks of fresh pineapple added a hit of sweetness that kept the dish interesting.
Desserts were very inexpensive and tasty at just a few dollars a pop. The banana “fritter” was really more of a banana spring roll, and served with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a scoop of luscious coconut ice cream. Bits of chewy coconut added a bit of textural complexity to the ice cream, which went well with the banana spring roll. The mango ice cream was also delicious, and had an intense fresh mango taste.
I noticed a sign on the way out that stated that the prices would be going up by a few dollars soon – even then I’d venture to guess that the food they’re serving here could still be considered a steal. Pop in for a quick bite or indulge with fresh-tasting Thai delivery.
Nakhon Thai Express
352 Preston St.
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