We are huge fans of Thai food. Somehow we usually end up finding Thai food during our travels: in London Christine took me to a hole in the wall Thai restaurant that doubles as a traditional English breakfast cafe during the morning, and when scouring the streets of Bath for a place that wasn’t packed with tourists we stumbled upon a Thai restaurant that served a surprisingly well priced lunch special.
At home, our favorite place to go for Thai is Thai Kitchen III in Hillsboro. I think the first time I went was in high school, and I have been a loyal customer since then. Whenever we go, the first thing my sister, my mom and I ask is whether they are serving honey puff. Usually the answer is yes, but there have been a few devastating days where they were out (and it is not the same as the curry puff that you can find on the menu).
The honey puff is a puff pastry filled with shrimp crab, mushrooms, avocado, and a few other ingredients that are escaping me at the moment. It is served with a rich curry sauce that perfectly fits between spicy and sweet. You must scoop up as much sauce as you can to enjoy this delicious appetizer.
For my main entree I ordered #4 on the lunch special. I don’t remember what it is actually called, but it is what I always order, so I didn’t even think about it. I used to religiously order pad thai at restaurants, but my newfound ability to eat spicy food coupled with Mike’s peanut allergy has encouraged me to try more spicy curry dishes. Then again, I haven’t really branched out from that either. . .
#4 is served with red and green bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, your choice of a protein (I chose shrimp and squid), red chili flakes, curry sauce, and, my favorite, Thai basil. It has a very different flavor from the typical basil served in Italian dishes. It is still refreshing, but I think Thai basil is more aromatic with an element of pepper to it. I think Christine and my mom ordered the same dish as well. We can be so predictable.
Thai Kitchen III lets you choose the spiciness level of your dish on a scale of elephants. I usually go with 2 elephants – enough spice for flavor but not highly spicy. Christine and our mom usually choose 3 elephants. One time, Mike wanted to out-do us all and asked for 4 elephants. You could definitely feel the heat.
Mike ordered the yellow curry. Another reason why I love Thai food is the use of coconut milk and lemongrass in their curries. It strongly distinguishes Thai curry from Indian and Japanese curry.
Usually after a Thai lunch we order mango sticky rice, Christine’s favorite. This time we were too full, but I have an old picture of the dish from a previous visit.
The sweetness and tartness of the mango coupled with the sweet and sticky rice is the perfect combination to relieve your taste buds of the spicy curry flavors.