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Lunch, Anyone? Thai Dish

A taste of the exotic in Kenmore Square

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Appearances can be deceiving. And nowhere is that aphorism truer than when it comes to Thai Dish in Kenmore Square. Tucked directly below Fin’s Japanese Sushi and Grill, the eatery has a rather bland exterior. But from the moment you walk in, you are welcomed by the bustling crowd, the fish tanks filled with exotic specimens, the tinkling fountains, and the unique artwork that brightens the walls.

A small group of us found the place crowded when we stopped by for lunch recently. With its reasonable prices and fairly generous servings, it was easy to see why. Despite the crowd, the service was fast and friendly.

The restaurant prides itself on offering authentic Thai cuisine. The appetizer list immediately attracted our attention, and we ordered several, beginning with the fried butterflies ($5.25)—wonton skins filled with ground chicken, sautéed with herbs, ground roasted peanuts, and turnips, and served with sweet and sour or soy sauce. The skins are shaped in the form of butterflies and were crispy on the outside and crunchy on the inside, thanks to the roasted peanuts. The golden triangles ($4.95), deep-fried and stuffed with potatoes, onions, and light curry powder, came next and were equally good. We rounded out our appetizers with one of the Thai Dish soups—the Tom Kha Kai ($3.50)—slices of chicken breast and mushrooms in a light coconut milk, flavored with galangal, chilies, and lime. The creamy and salty soup hit the spot—the lime gave it just the right tanginess.

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Among the many appetizers are fried butterflies (top), wonton skins filled with ground chicken, sautéed with herbs, ground roasted peanuts, and turnips, served with sweet and sour or soy sauce, and golden triangles (bottom), stuffed with potatoes, onions, and light curry powder.

We employed the same strategy ordering entrées, selecting several to sample as many tastes as possible. Our favorite was the pineapple fried rice with chicken ($7.75). In addition to pineapple and chicken, the rice was loaded with eggs, cashews, scallions, and raisins. It wasn’t just the taste that impressed us, but the presentation: it filled a hollowed-out pineapple. Although usually served this way only during dinner, the day we stopped by it came that way at lunch too.

For our other entrées we chose the mango curry with chicken ($7.75), flavored with red chili paste and yellow curry powder, tossed with mango and onion slices, and the drunken chicken ($8.75), stir-fried ground chicken breasts, green beans, and basil leaves in a spicy sauce. We especially enjoyed the mango curry in the first dish. Unlike many Thai restaurants, where the curry is overwhelmed with other flavors, here the mango remained the main focus. The drunken chicken was also tasty, offering a unique blend of classic flavors. Both dishes were pretty spicy, but the restaurant is happy to prepare most entrées specifically to order, so it’s possible to get milder versions of both.

Thai Dish’s appealing array of salads include duck salad ($11.95), dressed in a spicy lime sauce, and papaya salad ($6.50), featuring shredded green papaya, green beans, crushed peanuts, and tomatoes with a fresh lime dressing, as well as numerous noodle dishes and curries served with a choice of chicken, pork, tofu, duck, seafood, or vegetables.

If you are looking for a tasty lunch at a decent price close to campus, Thai Dish is definitely worth the trip.

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Mango curry with chicken (front), flavored with red chili paste and additional yellow curry powder, tossed with mango and onion slices; and drunken chicken (back), stir-fried ground chicken tender, green beans and basil leaves in spicy sauce.

Thai Dish, 636 Beacon St, Kenmore Square, is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. The restaurant accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover; the credit card minimum is $10.

This is part of a weekly series featuring Boston lunch spots of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the comments section below. Check out our list of lunchtime tips on Foursquare.

Andreia DeVries can be reached at adevries@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @andreia_dev.

3 Comments

3 Comments on Lunch, Anyone? Thai Dish

  • Dan on 04.11.2013 at 11:47 am

    Very true. I highly recommend this place, not only for it’s excellent thai meals, but also for the calm it provides. It will take you one step away from the hassle of Kenmore square, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful meal surrounded by friends or one’s own company.

  • Kate on 04.11.2013 at 3:12 pm

    I really beg to differ on this review. The one and only time I went to the Thai Dish, it was the worst Thai food experience I have ever had. I got the chicken pad thai, and it was mediocre at best. All of my friends didn’t like their food much either. What was worse, though, was the service. Our waitress was not attentive in the slightest, and I went without water for almost all of dinner. They also “didn’t know” how to split up the check for a party of 5. It’s not rocket science. Go to Noodle Street instead, it’s much better.

    • Aaron L'Heureux on 04.11.2013 at 5:13 pm

      And despite much love for Noodle Street that I’ve heard, of the two times I’ve been there the service and food were absolute disasters.

      20 minute delay between one person’s food and another’s, billed for food not served, never revisited at the table after food was delivered, and had to be hailed over to bring a check…twice. And the food was mediocre both times. I gave them two chances and I’ll certainly never go back.

      Nub Pob is where it’s at…though I bet someone, somewhere has had a bad experience there too.

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