Saturday, April 9, 2011

Terrific Thai Food at My Thai

One of my favorite types of discounts are lunch specials, which are pretty common in Asian restaurants. It's a great way to have a three or four course meal at a fraction of the cost of ordering each dish separately. Yesterday, I ventured to Chinatown in Boston to dine at My Thai Vegan Cafe. The cafe seemed strangely out of place, surrounded by meat laden restaurants. Regardless, they seem to do good business as the cafe is usually almost at capacity during lunch hours. This is possibly due to their lunch special being so amazing and quite possibly one of the best deals around.

While Los Angeles is lined with many vegan Thai restaurants containing practically identical menus, the Boston area only has My Thai. Thus, the dishes at My Thai are original and even integrate elements of other Asian cuisines. Their menu is more vast than any other vegan Thai cuisine I have ever dined at.

As I scanned over the menu, I debated what to order. The choices on the lunch menu were fairly limited in comparison to the main menu, but the choices all sounded great, especially since many are typically not available vegan elsewhere. I settled on the Mango Curry with rice with vegan chicken, while my dining partner opted for the Lemongrass Specialty with vegan chicken. Both cost only $7.50 and came with soup, choice of a spring roll or fried dumplings and jasmine tea.

First, our soups came out. The bowl was a fairly large portion filled with a soup I did not recognize. I believe it was the Tom Yum Tow-Hoo soup.

The soup had a rich tomato broth with both sweet and sour undertones. The smooth, tangy broth was complemented by the assortment of soft vegetables and lightly seasoned tofu.  It was very delicious and flavorful and a great way to start a meal.

Next, our main dishes came.  The first was the Vietnamese Lemongrass Specialty with a spring roll.

My dining partner gave me a sample of this and it was delicious. The sauce coating the well cooked vegetables was slightly bitter and tangy, yet had a bit of sweetness to it.  It also contained a hint of pepper. The spring roll accompanying it was very flaky, but a little dry. I would have liked to have some dipping sauce to make up for the lack of oil. Nevertheless, it was still good and the vegetables and veggie chicken inside were nice and soft to contrast the crispy outer layer.

My dish was truly amazing. I'm a huge fan of sweet curry dishes and this dish managed to be mostly sweet, with spicy undertones.

The sauce was truly delicious and I love that the curry powder gave the succulent dish a little kick. The mango chunks were juicy and complemented the savory chicken and vegetables. The mock chicken here is some of the best I've had and as realistic as it gets. I believe they finely craft it by hand as that's just how amazing it is.  I also preferred the wontons over the spring rolls, as they were even crispier and evidently more deep-fried. They also had a more meaty flavor.  I like this dish the most and would definitely order it again.

The waiters at this place can be a little forgetful and often you have to remind them to bring you something. Even though the menu specifies the deal comes with jasmine tea, they only seem to bring it to you if you request it.  Realizing they hadn't brought it out, we kindly asked if we could have a cup, and they happily brought two cups out moments later.

I'm so glad we got this tea, because it was so tasty. It reminded me a lot of chai tea and had a nice spice to it with a subtle sweetness. It was very calming and soothing and a great way to unwind after a fabulous meal.

Overall, this place is terrific and really a great deal whether you decide to take advantage of the amazing lunch special or opt to try the items on their extensive menu. This place is such a gem for the Boston area, as it is one of the few, if only places to eat Thai food without worrying about the nasty fish sauce Thai restaurants typically use in their dishes.  I also really love how innovative the choices are. There are so many dishes on their menu that I have not found at any other restaurant. I will definitely be back on my next trip here!

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