Wang Thai Revisited – Still the Undisputed King of Thai food in Seoul

Happy New Year! Hopefully your 2014 will present you with many blessings and adventures. One goal that we had for this blog was to update restaurants and attractions on a fairly consistent and regular basis. Although we love visiting new places, we thought that having a blog that is dedicated to quick and reliable updates would be something that could service the expat community. So, after visiting both Wang Thai and Buddha’s Belly, we decided to get out of the house for Jill’s birthday and head to Wang Thai for a Thai feast.

Image

How to get there: The easiest way to get to Wang Thai is by subway. Go to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 1. The iconic (or eyesore) Hamilton Hotel will be on your right. Walk for about 250 meters, during that time, you will be asked if you want a custom made suit. Wang Thai and What The Book are in the same building and both will be on your right. Wang Thai is on the 3rd floor. Image

Atmosphere and Service: The ambience of Wang Thai is hard to describe, but if I had to, I would describe it has casual, but classy. The place is immaculately clean, including the bathrooms. My only complaint is that there is only one stall in the men’s bathroom, which if the Thai food isn’t agreeing with you can be a problem. The dining area is huge, decorated with artifacts and symbols of the beautiful Southeast Asian country. There is even some plant life to give it a subtropical appeal. The service is incredibly prompt. Since I have the heat tolerance of a newborn Irish infant, it is necessary for me to drink a lot of water. The waiters are always buzzing around tables, making sure beverages are replenished. Tonight, even though it was packed, our appetizers came out in 10 minutes, while our mains were out shortly after.

Image

Doesn’t it feel like you are on the beaches of Phuket?

ImageImageImage

Food and Drink

Satay Ruam (11000KRW): Always one of our favorite appetizers to eat at Wang Thai. The Satay Ruam is a variety of meats on skewers which include chicken, beef and pork. The dish itself is visually stunning. A colorful mix of vegetables, meat and the satay sauce for dipping. The peanut butter satay sauce seems unusual for meat lovers, especially those new to Thai cuisine, however, the peanut flavor bounces off the meat quite extraordinary and is always a delightful culinary experience.

ImageImage

Green Chicken Curry Rice with Eggplant and Coconut Milk (Gaeng Khlew Whan Gai -15000KRW): The green curry is one of my favorite, albeit spicy dishes on the menu. The dish is so flavorful, and yet, the hint of coconut is still prevalent in the fiery dish. The curry is filled with chunks of eggplant, and both red and green peppers, which adds flames to an already warm hearth of a dish. The chunks of chicken are plentiful and in general it is a substantial meal. I find that I am always bringing home the green curry chicken, which tastes delightful even as a leftover with instant white rice.

ImageImage

Yellow Chicken Curry with potatoes and coconut milk (Gaeng Garee Gai – 15000KRW): A milder chicken curry for those without tongues of steel, yet still full of flavor. The yellow coconut takes it down a notch, it is comparable or slightly below the kimchi scale, as opposed to the green curry which is well above the kimchi scale. The potatoes add a substantial quality to an already hearty meal.

IMG_1756IMG_1757

Tapioca in Coconut Milk (Shaku – 5000KRW): When you spend the money we do, we usually get something for free. Well, that might sound as though we have some sway, but we really don’t. Normally, the Shaku is free at the end of the meal. Its a small bowl of tapioca in coconut milk and is a nice, refreshing cool shower for your tongue after bathing in the hot spices of Thai food. The denouement of your culinary experience at Wang Thai.

IMG_1760

Drinks – House Wine (6000KRW Glass, 30000KRW Bottle): The first night out since the munchkin was born, you bet we are getting a well deserved glass of wine. Although we couldn’t pinpoint exactly what the wine was (we are not wine snobs by any means). I believe that it was a cabernet sauvignon. It was dry, with a nice crisp aftertaste.

IMG_1751

Singha Beer (7000KRW): This is definitely a beer made for the summer or any day in Thailand. A nice, crisp and light lager that was very refreshing. It’s a pale lager, which is sweet, but leaves a hint of tartness aftertaste. This is definitely a beer made for the summer and not the cold, harsh winter of Seoul.

IMG_1748

Value: We ordered an extra yellow curry to go and of course, some chicken pad thai. The whole bill came to 103,000KRW. As I said, we feasted pretty hard for Jill’s birthday, and normally the bill wouldn’t be that high. Now, that said, the quality of food at Wang Thai is always exceptional and the service is always great. So for my money, it is an excellent bargain and I would recommend it to people on all budget. On a side note, it is time that I explore other Thai restaurants in this great city and do some more comparisons. However, for now, Wang Thai is still the Bhumibol Adulyadej (Thai king). 

Who should go to Wang Thai: Probably the best place in the city for Thai food, and fits multiple budgets and travelers. It is family friendly, and offers a wide selection on its menu.

Who should avoid Wang Thai: Not really a date spot, especially for the younger crowd. I find that Buddha’s Belly is a little more “hip”.

Website: http://www.wangthai.kr (Full Menu Online)

7 comments

  1. Shame I didn’t get to try any Thai restaurant when I was there. Have you been to Thailand yet Derek? The food look as good as it does here!

    1. Not yet! Phuket and Bangkok later this year though! I’m looking forward to your recommendations 🙂

      1. Ohh how exciting! You’ll love Phuket and all the islands around.. It’s sooo beautiful 🙂

  2. Kirsty · · Reply

    I went here a few days ago, based on your recommendation 🙂 First impressions: the place is immaculate! My friend and I agreed it is surely the cleanest restaurant in Itaewon. We were also greeted readily and heartily by every staff member whom we crossed paths with, from the moment we walked in the door. What excellent impressions these two factors gave us. These seem to be people who take pride in what they do and are doing something they really like doing. Which sadly is rare in the hospitality industry these days! As for the food, it did not knock our socks off, but it was not terrible. We ordered the spring roll appetizer. Soft and fresh tasting but not really flavorful, and a bit thin on the filling part. The sauce was utterly uneventful, as well. For our main entrees, I ordered a vegetable curry, my dinning partner ordered chicken pad thai. The curry could have been more hearty in terms of vegetable content, and basil was lacking although it was mentioned on the menu in the item description. The dish needed the brightness of this herb, as it otherwise was just a too- easy flavor profile based on the creamy cocoanut milk. But at least it didn’t taste overly sugary as some such thai curries I’ve had here have tasted. As for the pad thai, I also think it’s flavor profile was oversimplified. It was also greasy. There were also no condiments on the table, which is something that could have improved the meal at least a couple of notches. Some hot sauce at the very least. They did give us a complimentary dessert of liquid tapioca. It was yummy. I had the house wine to drink, btw, white. It was fine. Didn’t quite go with what I ordered LOL but I wanted it….

    Anyway just thought I’d chime in and tell you our experience. I can see that meat-eaters would have a different and better experience here, food-wise. The satay seemed to be on every table around us (the place was packed at around 3pm on a Saturday…they aren’t one of those places that closes between lunch and dinner hours. Which is another plus) so it must be a big draw. For semi-vegetarians/light-meat eaters like us, we agreed that we could make something better at home for the same price. Might try it again someday though! Definitely 5-stars for service and ambiance.

    1. Thanks for your input Kristy! I was surprised to hear that the pad thai was greasy. I’ve had the pad thai at other places and in comparison, I found it less greasy. I would agree though that the veggie options could be a little better. My wife has had their vegetable curry and has said that a few times, they could stand to toss a few more veggies in, but I guess it is all based on perspective as well. Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. Amazing Thai around the corner closer to the other end of Itaewon is pretty good too, but i still go to Whang Thai coz its much closer to my friends place haha

    1. I gotta check out! Mings Noodles is suppose to be a good one too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: