Sunday, January 4, 2009

One of the Best - Thai House - Jackson

My family likes to thumb its nose in the face of tradition, and instead of eating at home on Christmas eve, we paid a visit to the Thai House. The Thai House is a Jackson institution, at least in my mind. Owned and operated by the Bunnirans since 1992, the Thai House brings a taste of south Asia to Jackson.

Being Christmas eve, it wasn’t too crowded for our 7 person party, but Prawat and his son Toon were there to make this a wonderful Christmas eve dinner.

The first thing you notice about the Thai House is the decor. Tim Bunniran picked it all out on one of her trips home to Thailand.

That is the back of one of the chairs, you just can’t get that kind of detail in the United States. Each one of these chairs was hand carved and the tables have the same scene and the same level of detail.

Regardless of the furniture and the good nature of the Bunnirans, the thing that makes me keep coming back to the Thai House is the food. We always start with a plethora of appetizers and tonight is no exception.

Delightfully simple and delicious, these wontons are the perfect start to the meal. An added perk of knowing the owners so well is that we get special wontons. Instead of being just pork, these wontons are made with both shrimp and pork. There are few things better than dipping these wontons in a a mixture of sriracha (rooster) and soy sauce. Also notice the level of detail on the table top, and that is on every table.

Continuing in the vein of fried delights, we received several orders of the house spring rolls.

Normally, i think of spring rolls being solely vegetables and often cold. These spring rolls are seasoned beef, cabbage wrapped rice flour paper and fried. As good as these spring rolls are, they pale in comparison to the wontons and do come off as a little greasy, especially during a take-out order.

To round of the appetizers, we ordered both the moo-satay and the gai-satay, or pork and chicken respectively.

Marinated strips of chicken and pork are skewered and flame grilled and served with a peanut sauce and cucumber salad. I think satays are often overlooked as the chicken satay tend to get a little stringy, but the pork satay are positively sublime.

The aforementioned satays and compliments, served with a side of sliced white bread. I never really understand the white bread, but combined with the peanut sauce it cools off your mouth from too much rooster sauce.

I knew that I would be using this meal for a review, so I decided to go with an old favorite for my entree: the gai paht prik.

This dish is chicken stir fried with onions, garlic, hot chilies, and carrots. The nice thing about the Thai House is they give you a choice of three heat levels: medium, hot, and Thai hot. I always elect for Thai Hot, and the chicken paht prik isn’t overly hot, just hot enough to make things interesting. This dish is overflowing with flavor, although the garlic is a little muted.

As an accompaniment to our entrees, we ordered a side of combination fried rice.

Featuring a mixture of chicken, beef, and shrimp, this is a perfect accompaniment to the paht prik, although it is a little greasy. Actually when you take it home, the styrofoam will be coated in grease.

I could chastise the Thai House for a variety of things: the food isn’t spicy enough, there isn’t any duck on the menu, the menu never seems to change, but the Bunnirans have a corner on the market. There isn’t another Thai Restaurant within 100 miles, but that’s not to say that the Thai House is subpar. The Thai House is one of my favorite restaurants in Jackson and the Bunnirans are genuine people whom I wish only the best.

Thai House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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