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“Sadly...my last meal here.”
Review of Thai Marlai - CLOSED

Thai Marlai
Cuisines: Thai
Restaurant details
Woolwine, Virginia
Level Contributor
223 reviews
185 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Sadly...my last meal here.”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

I was excited 6-7 years ago to learn that the owner of Thai Marlai had opened the restaurant at exit 28. I ate there sometimes as much as 3-4 times a week. My wife finally refused to go there more than twice a week. Two or three years ago I noticed the quality of the food had deteriorated and that the owner was seldom there. I had always recommended the restaurant to friends etc, but I stopped for fear they would not be pleased. However, I kept supporting the place myself in hopes that the food would return to its former excellence.
I slowed in my frequency of eating here after an incident where the food was so spicy that I could not eat it. When I complained to the waitress she just laughed and said "I make it hot for you".
I went there for lunch today since I had stopped at the new bakery nearby. The owner's son out did his usually rudeness with a surly attitude today. When my food came I detected an odor even through my allergy clogged sinuses that was NOT a Thai spice or herb! I complained to the son and he said "Do you want something else?" I said..."this is inedible I cannot eat it". He repeated his "Do you want something else?" No "I am sorry", no apology, nothing.
I got the Pad Thai but had trouble eating it for wondering what might be the problem this time.
I had noticed that when I ordered originally I did not get soup. The usual lunch special is soup, roll and entree. I figured they must have done away with the soup as a way to cut cost. Then I saw that other people were having soup.
When I went up to pay (yes there was NO consideration from the restaurant for serving me food I could not eat), I asked the other waiter (the one that can only deliver one plate at a time lest his baggy pants fall off) what the soup today was. He said "hot and sour". I said "I bet that was good". He finally caught on and said "you didn't get any?" I said no...his reply was 'huh'. No "I am sorry" no " I apologize".
Rereading this review I am struck that I sound like a woman scorned "no wrath". Perhaps that is how I really feel since it is like losing a a good friend to see this restaurant go SO far down hill.
Someone else needs to open a Thai place nearby so I have a place to eat good Thai food. Till then I will stick with my sushi hangouts.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Foodandwine60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

24 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very disappointed. Won't go back.”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

I love Thai food and have been to many Thai restaurants around the country, and I don't think I have ever had anything but enjoyable food at pretty much all of them. We decided to go out for a last minute dinner and wanted to try Thai Marlai. We ordered fresh spring rolls, steamed dumplings, red curry chicken, basil beef, and pineapple fried rice. The spring rolls were ok, nothing special, with an ok sauce. The dumpling were heavy on the chicken, not much flavor otherwise and we left one even (my kids have never left a dumpling ever). The red curry chicken was the best thing of the night, but was just average. The basil beef unfortunately was inedible. My husband always loves it at other Thai restaurants. This one uses beef that is ground up almost to the consistency of hamburger and had a sauce that was not good. We ordered the pineapple chicken fried rice because my kids were still hungry and it was absolutely awful, right down to the "furry" topping that looked like hair, but they said was some kind of pork. Now that I've read other reviews I'm sorry we didn't try the Pad Thai, but they love fried rice over noodles usually. For 2 adults and 2 little kids the bill was $70 without any alcohol or tip, which is a lot for what we got. I'm glad others have said they like it but I can't imagine how, given the food we were served. We love Eez, and Basil Thai, also Thai Orchide, Deejay Thai, and even Emerald Thai and Thai House weren't bad. I would recommend trying those instead.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nhlar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“I t was just ok!”
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Decided last minute to go out for a nice dinner. We were there early and thought that would be ok. Specials were not ready. We also wanted the restaurant special ribs but of course they were out. We have visited this restaurant three times in one year for the ribs and each time they were out. Do they exist!!!

I ordered spicy ciopinno and it arrived with no spice. My husband ordered a ribeye that was tough.

I don't think we will be back!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chattykathy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Best Pad Thai ever!”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

I am a local and truly love this restaurant. I have never been disappointed in the quality of the food. I have tried much if their menu and only had one dish that I did not like (nothing wrong with it...just not to my taste). When the waiter noticed that I was not eating it, asked me about it, then quickly brought me another dish more to my liking. Nice! If you love Pad Thai, you HAVE to try theirs. The wait staff here is friendly, but not overly so (which I appreciate). The restaurant is not fancy, but is clean and comfortable. Great for take-out too.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chloegirl30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Solid Pick”
Reviewed September 17, 2012

Great Thai kitchen .Honest and the real taste .Atmosphere ok , but what can you expect in the USA . Its not Europe .

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HarmBertil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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