BG Eats: Thai something new

Panang Curry with chicken from Thai Thai at 712 Chestnut St. in Bowling Green. Alyssa Pointer/HERALD

John Greer

Thai Thai’s commitment to an authentic, flavorful cuisine makes it one of the top-tier ethnic restaurants in town. 

Thai Thai is located in a cozy house on Chestnut Street. The inside, which is composed of multiple rooms, could be mistaken for an actual residence if it wasn’t for the smattering of carefully prepared dining tables. The walls are lined with ornate, wooden engravings and intriguing artifacts. No music plays in the background, so the atmosphere is quiet. 

When ordering, patrons select their own preferred level of spiciness on a scale from 1 to 10. Be warned, even the lowest spice levels pose a threat. 

A small salad served before the main entrée comes with a delicious peanut vinaigrette. The bed of iceberg lettuce and shredded carrot provides a crunchy textural component, but it conveys little additional flavor. 

The red-orange Panang Curry with chicken is brimming with complexity. Coconut milk lends the dish a rich, velvety texture and subtle undercurrent of flavor, providing a blank canvas for the potent spice mixture to assert itself. The lime leaf also imparts a distinctive, if delicate, aromatic note.  The end result is a fragrant, spicy curry. 

There is some room for improvement. The bed of fluffy rice mutes the spiciness of the curry and prevents it from overwhelming the dish, but the serving size is a little too meager. A larger portion to sop up the liquid would add more substance and balance to the meal.  While the chicken in the curry is plentiful and contributes some textural diversity, it is largely forgettable. 

The peculiarities in Thai Thai’s atmosphere also lead to some issues. Wait times for food are long, even when the restaurant isn’t crowded, and it’s cash-only for meals less than $10. 

These criticisms aside, the food at Thai Thai is very good. If you are up for dealing with the longer wait times and cash-only rule, the food will make it more than worth your while.