Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thani Thai

Thani Thai
11025 International Dr Ste F, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 239-9733

Siddharth and I have a love-hate relationship with Thai food. There are times we really enjoy Thai food and its flavors but we've had our fair share of unimpressive offerings.

On our third day in Orland, we had planned to venture to Sea World. Instead of eating theme park food, we decided to look for a restaurant in walking distance to the park. Sea World is located on International Drive, along with several chain restaurants catered to the tourists. Siddharth and I are not fans of chain restaurants and their marked up prices on bad food. A hotel employee suggested Thani Thai as an alternative.

We arrived at the restaurant around 3pm. We first noticed that the place is Zagat Rated - while this doesn't guarantee a good meal, it is never a bad sign. The restaurant is quite large with at least 20 tables and really nicely decorated with umbrellas, Buddha statues and chandeliers. The menu was also quite extensive with interesting appetizers and a whole section for spicy dishes. We started with 2 appetizers, the kawtang na-tang and soft-shelled crab tempura. The kawtang na-tang was ground shrimp, peanuts and chicken in a dark coconut sauce. This was to be served on a fried rice cake. It was an interesting and tasty appetizer with the sweet and salty shrimp/chicken spread on top of a crunchy rice cake. The soft-shell crab was done really well also. It was fried in a batter that was spiced with chilli powder and topped with deep fried garlic, scallions and shallots.
Soft-shelled crab tempura
Rice cakes

Rice cakes with ground shrimp and chicken in coconut sauce
For our entrees, I ordered their curry fried rice with beef. Thani Thai has a spice scale for you to choose, ranging from 1-5, 5 being the spiciest. I wanted to be bold and asked for a 3, thinking the spiciness would be moderate. Boy, there was no way that was moderate because it was HOT HOT HOT! Siddharth, on the other hand, asked for a 5 for his rice noodle dish with beef and broccoli. He said that my dish was a lot spicier than mine, as he continued to add more chilli oil, dried chilli flakes and green chilli to his dish (show off) (Note from Siddharth: the pickled Thai green chillies were awesome here). He loves it when restaurants give you an assortment of spicy condiments to your meal.

Rice noodles with extra chillies added by Siddharth

Curry Fried Rice - HOT

The aforementioned spicy condiments

The food was great and very filling. I couldn't handle the hotness of my dish after I was about 3/4 into it, but I was proud of myself for trying. Just looking at my entree, you would never know they had added a lot of chilli powder to the dish. All you could smell was the delicious aroma of the curry and the crunchiness of the rice. If I could do it again, I would lessen the amount of chilli, that way I could enjoy the curry flavors. Siddharth really liked his piping hot (temperature-wise) noodle dish after adding all the spicy condiments to it.

We would definitely recommend this restaurant to our viewers for lunch and dinner. Although we didn't get to try their specialty dishes, we're sure we wouldn't be disappointed given our experience. The entrees were all moderately priced and simple but delicious. If you like spicy food and have yet to try authentic Thai food, this would be the place to go. Oh and Sea World was a blast too, so don't miss that if you're in the area!


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