Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thai Taste

This evening, we were trying for Vietnamese (will get there yet) but it was raining so hard, we just opted for Thai that was closer to home. We went with some friends who had recommended it, and who have eaten there many times. I have to say, I can’t believe something that was pretty darn tasty was so close by and I hadn’t been there.

Again, since we had more people than just hubby and I, we took advantage and ordered too much food. But it was nice to try lots of things. For appetizers, we tried the Thai dumplings and the calamari with black pepper. They were both not bad, but not the highlight of the meal for me. We also had the Yum Nuea, or beef salad that was pretty tasty and right up my alley.

The Thai dumplings were steamed dumplings filled with ground chicken, potato, carrot, onion, corn and green peas and served with a Thai “special sauce.” The dumpling skins were a bit tough I thought, and the filling a bit dry, but our friends told us usually they are lighter and softer than this, so maybe it was a bad night. The sauce was a soy based sauce with what I would guess was a rice wine vinegar—but that is just my guess. It was nice with the dumplings.

The calamari wasn’t bad, not chewy or anything, but nothing spectacular. It was served with Sriracha (spicy red Asian hot sauce) and a more sweet and sour (but thin, not that bright orange stuff you see at Chinese restaurants) sauce that I really liked with it. The breading was very light, and strangely, the calamari was served with some crinkle cut French fries as well. I didn’t eat any, but they looked like they were from a bag.

The beef salad was by far the best appetizer we had, if you ask me, and it is one thing I would definitely order again. It was sautéed beef served over lettuce and topped with onions and peppers and doused appropriately with lime juice. I really like those tangy flavors and the onions, lime juice and beef went together very nicely. The beef was probably done a little more than I would like, but with all that lime juice, it was still pretty tender.

For entrees, I ordered the Pud Makua (#2), or sautéed chicken with eggplant with sweet basil and Thai sauce (you can get any type of meat—pork, beef, or chicken or shrimp or vegetarian). I tell you, I would be hard pressed to not get this again (in fact, I am thinking it would be good carry out right now). I really like the slightly tangy sauce with the chicken, and the eggplant was served in large dices with skin removed. The basil also added a nice subtle flavor. It reminded me of this Vietnamese dish I used to get at a lunch place in Oakland, which is funny because I started out wanting Vietnamese anyway.

Oh wait, before I forget, I have to tell you, they served each of us a little dish of steamed rice in the shape of a heart. This seemed to demonstrate the mood of the service. The staff was very friendly and attentive and helpful when we asked a few questions. They also seemed to take great pride in what they are making and in the way dishes were presented. I appreciate this is a little place like this that probably doesn’t have a big kitchen staff.

The table also ordered the Pla Sarm Ross (#42) which was a deep fried whole tilapia topped with fresh pepper, garlic, onion and cilantro. It also had a nice tangy broth under the fish which added a nice flavor. The fish wasn’t bad—a bit of work with all those bones, and a touch dry (overcooked I think), but a nice presentation and combination of flavors.

Finally (I told you we ordered too much), we also had the Guay Teow Gai Sub (#54) which was pan fried rice noodles topped with ground chicken, onion and curry powder. These were really nice as well, and would likely be on my re-order list. I really like the lightness of rice noodles, and the way they seem to really absorb the flavors of the sauce they are cooked in, and the various toppings added a nice variation in texture.

All in all, I really enjoyed this meal and will definitely add it to my list of places for a quick, close bite (and certainly to the carry out rotation). It is one of those places located in a strip mall (the same one as Trader Joe’s and Penzey’s, how convenient) but I really appreciate the way they have added semi-sheer curtains over the windows so that you aren’t just staring out at a parking lot, but light still filters in. They have done a nice job making the interior feel pretty homey, and I have to say, for a Tuesday night, they were doing a better business than a lot of places these days.

There are certainly lots of things to try (the entrée portion of the menu numbers to 58 items, and that doesn’t include the appetizers, of which I think I counted about 30) so there is something for lots of different tastes. The prices are reasonable and the people who run it seem to really care. I can’t believe it was right there, and I missed it for so long.

Thai Taste
5353 East 82nd Street
Indy 46250
(no website I could find)


  1. I have been to Thai Taste a few times. I strongly agree with the Beef Salad, it is a must have.

    The menu is crazy big for such a small place, but that is a good things these days with so many restaurants closing, I just go back to the ones I like and dig deeper into the menu.

  2. Thai Taste is one of my favorites in Indy, along with Taiwan Tea House. I've eaten there at least a dozen times and worked my way through a good chunk of the menu and I've always had a good meal there. On top of that it's a great value, it's really hard to spend a lot of money in here.

    Gracious owner and staff, if you haven't eaten here you should check it out.

  3. Thai Taste is a gem. They have a vegetarian buffet once a month that allows you to try tastes of a lot of their delicious dishes.

  4. Oh, I love Thai Taste. Their vegetarian buffet - first Thursday of every month - offers, as Emily said, an awesome meal.

    If you return, I'd suggest that you try the crab rangoon as a starter. It's surprisingly spicy - each little pocket is like a special gift for your mouth.

  5. I've been meaning to try Thai Taste - my current favorite is Thai Spice on the southside on County Line Road across from the Greenwood Mall. It has the same feel you described - nice, small staff, good service and great food. Their Pad Ped is the best in the city.

  6. Anne - Thai Spice is like a banquet hall compared to Thai Taste, which on buffet nights borders on over-packed. And I love that Thai Spice offers Toa Hu Tod (fried tofu with peanut sauce) bites with each entree. Yum!

  7. Thai Taste is very good and the people who run it couldn't be more lovely. Unfortunately, we never go to Castleton anymore as it's so ugly in Castleton and we don't live in the area. Wish we got to Thai Taste more often. We miss them very much.

    If you're ever in the Fountain Square area or South of the city, you should try Thai Spice and Siam Square.

    Both of these places have some excellent dishes and Siam Square has a decent wine list.

    -Disgruntled Foodie

  8. Siam Square has taken the lead in first for best Thai. Coming in second is Thai Orchid in Castleton. I would say third goes to Jasmine in Castleton. :) Siam Square also has local Sun King brews on draft. Highly recommend it.

  9. you should also check out Jasmine's on 96th and Allisonville...yummy thai food :)

  10. @Anonymous (Aug 15):

    Thai Taste is good.

    Thai Orchid is OK on selected dishes. Generally on the SWEET side. Their poh piah is dreadful and drowned in half the world's supply of processed sugar-fortified molasses.