Small space, big flavor at Thai House

06/01/2012 5:00 AM

06/01/2012 3:55 PM

My husband, Brian, and I had the opportunity to visit Thai House for the first time recently. Though the restaurant has been around for about 10 years, it was our first time there.

The restaurant, located on West Street, is a small “mom and pop” place next to a barbershop.

In keeping with the simple exterior, the interior of the restaurant is very small. It has only three sets of tables that seat four people each. There are a couple of barstools at the counter that separates the kitchen from the dining area. The space is so small that a dozen people in the restaurant would make it overcrowded.

Space limitations aside, the food is fantastic. Thai House has to be one of the best take-out places in Wichita. Since our first visit, we’ve been to Thai House three times. The food is good, and the value is even better.

Almost everything on the menu is $6.35, which is great considering the portion sizes and food quality. Where else can two people eat delicious Thai food for under $15?

We sampled a variety of great dishes, including the pork satay served with a delicious peanut sauce and cucumber (four for $3.95), yellow curry with chicken ($6.35), Thai-style fried rice with chicken ($6.35), combination Paad Thai ($7.35) and combination Paad Krapow ($7.35).

Brian loved the pork satay and the chicken-fried rice. I thought the pork satay was pretty average but agreed that the sweet and spicy peanut sauce made the dish.

Everything we ate had a good kick, which is to be expected when dining at any respectable Thai restaurant. But if you truly like spicy foods, Thai House is the place to go. The dishes are offered in four levels of spiciness: mild, medium, hot and Thai hot.

Brian made the mistake of ordering the chicken-fried rice medium the first time. Though he enjoys spicy foods, even the medium was a tad too spicy for him. He couldn’t finish it. However, he loved it so much that he ordered the same thing again on our next trip and ordered it mild.

I’m a pansy when it comes to spicy foods, so when I ordered yellow curry, which is a coconut curry dish with potatoes that I order at every Thai restaurant I visit, I asked for it mild. Even mild, it had a pretty good kick. Thai House’s version of the dish has peas and carrots and is pretty good, but I didn’t enjoy it as much I enjoyed the Paad Thai and the Paad Krapow.

The combination Paad Thai consisted of Thai noodles, bean sprouts, thinly chopped green onions, fried egg, ground roasted peanuts, chicken, shrimp, pork and beef. It had an excellent peanut flavor and was just the right amount of sweet and spicy. If the dish isn’t spicy enough for you, Thai House has pickled jalapenos and crushed Thai peppers at the table. And if the dish doesn’t have enough peanut flavor, there are also crushed roasted peanuts at the table or you can ask for a side of peanut sauce.

My favorite dish, though, was the combination Paad Krapow. It was a delicious blend of chicken, pork and beef stir-fried with spinach, mushrooms, celery, carrots and onions and served over white rice.

Though most of the restaurant’s business is take-out, those who decide to dine in won’t be disappointed with the service. The employees were attentive, helpful and friendly. One employee named Ricky readily provided recommendations when asked. In fact, we never would have known about the Paad Krapow had he not told us that it was his favorite dish at the restaurant.

Now that we know about Thai House, Brian and I will definitely be back.

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