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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)