Guam Diner Bytes: Mai Thai Cuisine
We had been meaning to stop by Mai Thai for a few months now and waited until we returned from Bangkok to try it out. We did and were for the most part quite impressed. One notable thing about this restaurant’s ambiance is authenticity of its furniture. The lacquered heavy wood tables and chairs set an immediate impression that’s reinforced by soothing Thai music playing in the background. Owned by a trio (we met Billy Ray and Preeya Nuchy, but not Kaeo), we arrived when things were not very busy and were able to chat with Billy about the how the restaurant had been steadily growing since opening. They have a very large menu (if not one of the largest), and they seem to have some marketing savvy (the tagline on their sign brazenly claims “You haven’t had Thai until you’ve had Mai Thai”!) They are also partnered with “GOOD TO GO” home/office meal delivery.
We ordered our beverages; Zee had water and I had a Thai Iced Tea ($3.00) which was properly made. We ordered the Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($8.00) as an appetizer. They came served in a little boat dish with sweet chili sauce in a well in the ‘stern’ of the boat. There were 8 pieces of golden fried spring rolls. We both took our first bite and heard and felt the crisp crunch of the wrapper as we bit through the roll.
These were very good, filled with slivered carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and rice noodles. They were not greasy (they’d rested on a bed of cabbage allowing some grease to settle).
Zee’s Vegetarian Panang ($12.00) arrived with panache looking like a golden stew on a white leaf, with coconut milk lines and red bell pepper slices shimmering through. This was served with steamed white rice and was quite aromatic. We didn’t order too spicy, but were given some peppers to add to our food if we wished. The Panang was excellent - not overly sweet but strongly spiced with a richly balanced taste. Though it was meatless, it was as tasty as if it had meat.
It had been a few years since I had the Ho Mok Talay (Seafood Curry - $15.00), which is usually served in a coconut shell. This is a spicy seafood curry that has mint leaves and Chinese cabbage in a coconut milk blend. It is served wrapped in foil and is like a stuffing that’s filled with shrimp, squid, and some fish. It is richly flavored and could adequately feed 3 people.
The last entree I ordered was the Phad Ka Proa ($10.00) with minced chicken, stir-fried onions, bell peppers, hot chilies and basil. I had this the way I love it, Thai-style, with a fried egg on top. It was beautifully presented and had all the colors and ingredients one would expect. The problem was that the basil wasn’t very aromatic or pronounced (it usually jumps off the plate!). This may be due to the heavy rains we’ve had. The portion was more than adequate for 2 people.
I had hoped to stop back by Mai Thai again to try a few other dishes prior to writing this review. I’ll have to get back later! With their opening hours it’ll be easy to find the time and day to make this happen!