Monday, April 23, 2012

Restaurant Review: Bhan Thai, Mt. Laurel, NJ

I've mentioned before that I'm taking a weekly circuit training class on Tuesday nights. The instructor runs the session on a 6-week cycle with a week off between sessions. This past Tuesday was our off week, which was perfect because we'd just gotten back from a long weekend in Chicago to celebrate my grandpa's 90th birthday and hadn't been to the grocery store. SP and I decided to meet up near his office for a quick dinner before heading to the store. There are hundreds of restaurants near his office, but it's been awhile since we had Thai food, so we decided to check out Bhan Thai, located in the Cambridge Crossing Plaza in Mt. Laurel, NJ. The Yelp reviews were very positive, so I was excited to try it out.

Since it was a Tuesday the place wasn't crowded, although we weren't alone either. We were seated immediately and given menus. Being me, I'd already looked at the menu online as soon as SP suggested it for dinner and knew what I wanted. We both started with the Tom Kha Soup, mine with chicken ($4.95) and SP's with shrimp ($5.95). As you can see, the portion was huge:


Tom Kha Soup - chicken or shrimps and mushrooms in light coconut broth with a hint of fresh kaffir lime leaf and galangal

The chicken was a little tough, but the broth was incredibly flavorful and chock full of two different kinds of mushrooms in addition to the chicken. We always order Tom Kha Soup when we try a new Thai restaurant (or even when it's an old favorite) and this was, hands down, the best version either of us has ever had. Delicious.

For our entrees, SP decided to get one of the specials, Chu Chee Duck ($18.95), which was in a coconut curry sauce over baby bok choy. He loves duck and usually asks them to make him a masaman curry with duck, but he thought he'd try the special instead:


Chu Chee Duck with curry paste and coconut milk over baby bok choy

It was a gorgeous platter of food and he liked it but wasn't overly excited. I didn't try any of the duck but it looked moist and flavorful. I think he was just jealous of my curry. I got the Chicken Masaman ($12.95) and was thrilled. It was also chock full of chicken and veggies:


Masaman Curry with coconut milk, potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, peanuts and avocado

The portions were huge, although for the amount of curry I wished for more rice. We had to ask for another portion of rice with our leftovers and were charged $1 for each. We both enjoyed our meals. Everything was flavorful, cooked well and beautifully presented. And having enough for lunch the next day was a bonus. That never seems to happen when we get Thai food. Other restaurants we visit have much smaller portions, which means no leftovers. Being able to enjoy the curry again the next day was a big plus in my book.

Service was also good. Even though we stuck with ice water our glasses were refilled frequently. Many times I feel like restaurants don't like when customers drink tap water and "forget" to refill glasses unless asked. I had one small complaint and that was with the timing of the food delivery. I try to eat slowly, both so I don't overeat and so I can enjoy the food. As I was slurping up the last of the soup the waitress was putting my entree down on the table. The soup had taken a little longer than expected to arrive and I wished there had been some lag time between the soup and entree.

I have to admit, I'm jealous that SP can visit Bhan Thai for lunch during the week. He works about an hour away from where we live so it's not convenient for us to eat there together often. Maybe someday he'll bring home takeout. If you're local or find yourself in the area I highly recommend this gem.

Bhan Thai
4330 Dearborn Circle
Cambridge Crossing
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone 856-234-4202
Fax 856-234-4203
info@bhanthaicuisine.com

Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 11:00AM – 9:30PM
Friday and Saturday: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Sunday: 12:00PM – 9:00PM
Closed everyday from 3:00PM - 5:00PM
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