I have a serious love affair with authentic Thai food. Unfortunately, our little berg of Roanoke does not have much to offer a curry-loving soul. I have tried the two other Thai places in town with just so-so results. This week a friend of mine introduced me to this hidden gem in Vinton. The place has a homey feel and is a family-run business. The owner is full of family lore behind the recipes. Ask her about the dumplings and her brother's journey to the United States if you try it out! We sampled the Satay and the Thai Dumplings as appetizers. They were delicious. the satay was tender and juicy and the peanut sauce was a smooth consistency. For lunch, my daughter ordered the Shrimp Pad Thai. Everything was very fresh, but the dish lacked a little seasoning. My friend ordered the Shrimp Green Curry. This was REALLY tasty. The baby eggplant was thinly sliced and perfectly cooked. The bean sprouts were firm and added nice texture. The curry itself had nice round heat and did not overpower the jasmine rice's delicate flavor. I ordered the Thai Silk Noodles with the large noodles. The spice was perfect. The noodles were redolent with thai basil and the seafood was very fresh. Again, the bean sprouts added the perfect textural contrast and the pieces of squid were unusually tender.
We did not hesitate when offered dessert...the Mango Sticky Rice was divine! There was a fragrant coconut sauce drizzled over the sticky rice and the mango was perfectly ripe. It was the perfect cooling end to a spicy Thai lunch. Be warned that it is not necessarily an inexpensive lunch. Each entree was about $10, appetizers were about $6 a piece and dessert was about $6. The freshness of the vegetables, the perfection of the rice texture and the family food lore made the meal worth the price. If you like Thai, you must make the journey to Red Jasmine!