Review: Chow Thai

Chow Thai is a neighborhood restaurant special enough to entice old neighbors to return.

The one thing I miss about living “up north,” as we who live south of Northwest Highway like to call it, is that Chow Thai is no longer my neighborhood Thai restaurant. The pretty red and coral interior, the genuinely kind staff, the consistently delicious Thai specialties—I get weepy just thinking about it.
Recently I invited my North Dallas friends to join me for dinner, so nostalgic was I for the won ton soup that isn’t won ton at all, but rather a mild, soothing chicken broth filled with two pork dumplings, a meal unto itself. I ordered with gusto, starting with the Chow Thai sampler, an orgy of crunchy fried delights, including triangular crab cakes and vegetable tempura, plus satisfying skewers of chicken and spicy sweet beef satay.

We could have stopped there, but we didn’t, of course, for we had crispy sea bass with Thai basil chile sauce in our future. The crunchy exterior gave way to steaming-hot white flesh, enlivened by the heat from the chilies. Vegetables—Broccolini, red pepper, asparagus—were bright and beautiful and crisp. Sticky rice with mango was, shockingly, the lone disappointment, its edges terribly overcooked and hardened. Determined to enjoy one of my all-time favorite desserts, we simply spooned out the middle, and the fresh sliced mango sated our sweet tooth.

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