Initially I came across Simply Thai when we were on our way to a family dinner. Being the Thai Food addict that I am, I immediately made a mental note to try it. Two weeks later the day arrived. A good friend and business associate asked where we were having lunch. I said “Simply Thai” and went to sleep dreaming of Thai food. Most people count sheep when they can’t sleep. I ponder how spicy the curry will be and if the hot & spicy soup will make my mouth water.
Simply Thai is located in a busy strip mall by the Fashion Place Mall in Sandy, Utah. Unless you looked over at the right moment, you would never know it was there. As you walk in, it’s bright, open and the smell welcomes beckons you further.
You have to love Thai restaurants almost for their lunch combos alone. The price is typically low, you get at least two options and the food is usually good. Here at Simply Thai, your choice of two lunch entrees comes to you for the low price of $6.99. That is hard to beat. Being on the hunt for the world’s best Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot and Sour Soup), I definitely needed that as my first entree. My friend highly recommended the Thai Green Curry, better known here as Gang Keow Wan. Two weeks earlier I had ordered a fabulous dish of exactly that at Thai Garden & Noodle House.
For the lunch rush, Thai restaurants must have vats of each entree made in back because it was out to our table in minutes. No more anticipation, it was time to dig in.
The Hot and Sour Soup was the most colorful I had seen at any Thai restaurant. Large pieces of cilantro combined with scallions and tomato made this appear as a salad at first. The colorful broth was lined with chicken and mushrooms. A powerful fragrance warmed my face. It looked good on the outside but so does a trophy date to the prom-you get to brag to your friends but ultimately your soul is drained and you hope they don’t call again. Would this soup have the same fate?
I analyzed each spoonful carefully. Not wanting to pass judgement too quickly or to let them off the hook too soon. Sure it looked pretty but the scallions were the most spicy aspect to the dish. The broth was really tasteless. A good Tom Yum Gai broth will have vinegar and spices. Your mouth will water after every bite. You will go to bed at night dreaming of the next time you get to eat it. Unfortunately this soup held the fate of a trophy date-never to go out again. The chicken was also dry. I wanted to cry and yearned for the Tom Yum Gai at Pawit’s Royale and Tasty Thai.
Turning my attention to the Green Curry to replenish my wavering soul, I moved spoonfuls of it from the bottom of the bowl up in a rolling motion. This was to ultimately admire the consistency of the texture. Was it oily, lumpy or mushy? Nope, this looked beautiful. But having been fooled by beauty just a few minutes earlier, I was cautious.
Verdict: beautiful on nearly all fronts-taste, appearance and texture. It actually had a more creamy texture similar to what you would find in massaman curry. The chicken was dry but there were enough other flavors to mask that. The red and green bell peppers were very fresh and flavorful. And the bamboo shoots, they could make an entire dish out of coconut milk and bamboo shoots and I would eat a gallon of it. It’s that good. The spiciness of the dish was perfect-much spicier than the hot and sour soup. The Green Curry here is just as good as Thai Basil and Thai Garden.
I would come back again but rather than the Hot and Sour Soup, I would go with the Coconut Soup.