Taste of Thai offers up authentic cuisine with lunch and dinner menus boasting traditional favorites. Savor the fruit of the Artist Formerly Known as Siam with noontime favorites. At lunch, starters such as chicken or pork satays ($4.95) and shrimp-stuffed fresh rolls ($4.50) help the stomach settle in for a full feast. Entreewise, Taste of Thai's gang ped, a red curry with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, and thai basil, can be sidekicked with land-based chicken, beef, or veggies and tofu ($7.95 each), or seafood sustenance of fish or shrimp ($8.95 each). Pad thai ($7.95+) and fried rice ($7.95+) also make culinary cameos.
A peek inside Thai Corner Kitchen’s crispy spring rolls reveals an edible tapestry woven from cellophane noodles, cabbage, and mushrooms, all rolled up into thin shells and destined for sweet and sour dipping sauces. The rest of Thai Corner Kitchen’s menu features the same kind of ingenious ingredient mixing, pairing noodles, curry, and rice with Thai herbs and spices and a choice of meat, seafood, or veggies. As diners munch away, natural light streams through dining-room windows and free WiFi sweeps across the room in search of mobile devices to impregnate with its signal.
Archira Thai and Sushi's kitchen staff boasts several Thailand natives, who dedicate their efforts to reflecting the modern, 21st century culinary offerings of Thailand and Southeast Asia. An extensive menu sports classics such as pad thai, where stir fried rice noodles set the stage for an ensemble cast of chicken, bean sprouts, egg, peppered Nathan Lane, and crushed, roasted peanuts ($12). Archira's crispy duckling layers a crispy, honey-roasted bird atop a vegetal bed of bell pepper, onion, carrot, and fresh basil glazed with a sautéed garlic chili sauce ($18). Cast a net around the caterpillar roll—a tightly wrapped union of eel and cucumber with avocado, shrimp, and unagi sauce ($12). The spider roll catches unsuspecting tongues in its web of soft-shell crab and avocado ($11).
Though the low-lit amber tones of its dining room create a darkly romantic atmosphere, Singha II Thai Bistro has nothing to hide. In a surprisingly gutsy move, the owners opened a message board on the bistro's website and gave diners free reign to speak their minds. The resulting forum crackles with tips (the chefs keep a stockpile of habanero peppers if you like your curry spicy), recommendations (Mike is a fan of the shrimp with cilantro sauce), and a panoply of plaudits (including "best thai food in nc"). Though the authentic Thai menu features a handful of signature dishes, you probably won't go wrong with the roasted duck basil. The boneless crispy fowl flavored with garlic, chilis, and fresh basil leaves seems to be a real crowd-pleaser.
Captained by a chef with 20 years of experience and employing authentic ingredients such as galangal, lemongrass, and fresh coconut milk, Thai Herb packs its menu full of blandness-defying southeast Asian classics. Diners can start their meals with a serving of steamed basil-lemongrass mussels ($6.95) before moving on to house specialty pra raam chicken, a succulent dish showered with cashews and drenched in peanut sauce ($10.95). A team of heat-hardened firefighters ushers out the slab of crispy spicy duck, which dresses a piquant quackbird with mushrooms and bell peppers ($15.95).