Nick's Picks: Khong Thai Cuisine

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Photo by Nicholas Abreu

What I first notice about the Tom Yum soup at Khong Thai Cuisine is its color. The broth of lemon grass, galanga (a Thai spice akin to ginger), lime juice, chilies, and tomato, is a deep, unwavering, blood red; ivory white mushroom caps float on the surface; and bright green cilantro and basil leaves dance on top of it all. It looks beautiful, and the taste matches. Each component comes together for a potent, refreshing soup that is equal parts bitter and sweet.

The Tom Yum mirrors almost every item on the Khong menu in that it combines fresh, vibrant ingredients to make an exciting final product.

Khong, which opened in February under Sak Southi, who also owns Sak’s, in Perinton, combines traditional Thai with some Western influences in a fast-casual format. The menu and atmosphere value efficiency that is perfect for a lunch crowd. Light, easy-to-eat soups and salads and quick noodle and fried rice dishes populate the menu.  A contemporary design with a black and beige color scheme with ten two-seat tables, a countertop with ten seats, and a soundtrack of modern house music creates a trendy atmosphere that says “stay and enjoy your food, but don’t stay for too long.”

The quick service does not take away from quality, however, as is evidenced with the Pad Kee Mao. Pops of color and texture merge in this stir-fried dish made with a chili and basil sauce; wide ribbons of soft egg noodles; and crisp peppers, baby corn, and broccoli.

Regardless of entrée, no visit to Khong Thai is complete without an appetizer of curry puffs. Somewhere between an empanada and a samosa, Khong’s curry puffs are filled with a perfectly spiced blend of juicy curry chicken and vegetables, then deep fried until flaky and golden brown. This unique, convenient take on curry has become a customer favorite.

There is a sadness to eating at Khong Thai—a realization of sorts—that as one’s senses are being inundated in brilliant colors, smells, and flavors, someone, somewhere else, is eating a paper-bagged lunch.

Khong Thai is located at 260 Winton Road North.

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Categories: Nick’s Picks