Thai Kitchen Impresses Again & Again - Adventurous Dining is Rewarded!
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
There's Thai food, then there's Thai Kitchen. Today we pay tribute to owner Toy McGurk, proprietress of this well-regarded and oft-frequented establishment. On entering this Tamuning restaurant, located on the Cen-Tam Building's southern side, Thai Kitchen's ambiance is everything "Thai", from the wall art and ornaments, to the table cloths, woven placemats, and ceramic serving ware. I was first taken by Toy's cooking when I spent nights dining at the legendary Pim's Place, closed now for over 6 years. Talking to Toy is fun, as she is both charming and wise, with smiling eyes and a happy face, you get the impression that she is the keeper of a secret that she loves to share...and share she does with her culinary magic!
We ordered a Papaya Salad (Som Tom $7), with it's refreshing, palate-scrubbing combination of shredded green papaya, fresh tomatoes, roasted peanuts, carrots, lettuce, bean sprouts, and crunchy string beans, all drenched in a special spicy sauce, it is an essential element to be ordered with other foods as it is a digestive aid packed with nutrition. It is a vegetarian favorite, too, that can be enjoyed anytime.
We also ordered the Tofu Soup ($6.50), Combination Pad Thai ($8), and Pineapple Curry with Shrimp ($10). If I could recommend something about eating any kind of food, it would be to keep trying a new appetizer, soup, or entree whenever you go to your favorite places. It just so happened that today we had the Tofu Soup, which is made with ground chicken (there's lots of this in it), tofu, bean sprouts, green onions, broccoli spears, and cilantro. The clear broth was addictive, with each spoonful delivering an enervating essence, something meant to heal and cure. This was the kind of eating that I enjoy, when you taste something so good you make approving and joyful sounds as you chew and swallow. Imagine if everything you ate could do that!!
The Combination Pad Thai was a standard that's hard to resist...after all, there's something about the combination of stir-fried noodles, bean sprouts, egg, green onions, peanuts, chicken and shrimp, drizzled with lemon that transports me to Thailand every time. Toy doesn't skimp on the shrimp - her prawns are big, and seem to weigh down their end of the plate. Pad Thai is considered a universal favorite, however, if you are on a low-carb diet, you should consider something else, because with Pad Thai, it's all about the noodles.
Our final dish was another new experience for me, and something I don't think I would have chosen on my own because I have a quirky thing about pineapple cooked with food and prefer it as a fruit, salad, or dessert. The Pineapple Curry with Shrimp however went a long way to dispelling my "hang-up", as it was marvelously prepared, balancing a richly spiced curry with bursts of sweet fruit. The red curry (Gang Phed) paste is blended with coconut milk, lime leaves, bamboo shoots, green beans, red and green bell peppers and sweet basil. The pineapple chunks are stewed just right, and impart their sweet flavor with each bite. This was really a great dish.
Thai Kitchen has many more entrees and super appetizers, such as their signature Fried Calamari, Bangkok Wings, and Fish Patties (made with fresh Wahoo blended with chili paste, deep fried, and served with Royal sauce.) There are curries, poultry, pork, and beef specialties, such as Pad Bai Kra-Proa (stir fired meat with hot chili, bell pepper and fresh mint leaves) and Garlic Shrimp. Vegetarians will enjoy stir fried mixed vegetables and Tofu Pad Phed (deep fried tofu, bean sprouts and chili paste).
Thai Kitchen is open Monday - Friday from 11am - 9pm and Sat-Sun from 6pm - 9:30pm. Thai Kitchen has take-out available by calling 649-1031. Known for it's high food quality since each dish is freshly prepared, be prepared to wait a little while for your food...it's well worth it!