“Thai Taste,” in terms of names for ethnic restaurants, is on the same field as “New No. 1” Chinese restaurant. Additionally, Thai Taste’s location in the Mt. Hope Plaza, surrounded by a laundromat and Curves, is not the place you’d expect to find good food. When you enter the restaurant, there are multi-colored Christmas lights draped over the wood-paneling and traditional Thai woodcuts.
When I first entered this restaurant my freshman year, I expected it to be on a par with what I have learned to expect from Rochester Chinese cuisine – barely adequate and completely Americanized. When, however, I opened up the menu, I was pleasantly surprised, and by the time the food arrived, I was overjoyed to have found a good Thai restaurant so close to campus.
Many students prefer the “King and I” in Henrietta, but the menu at Thai Taste has more variety, and the food is of better quality as well.
To start the review, the vegetarian fresh spring rolls cannot be topped. They consist of a slightly gummy wrapper filled with lettuce, cucumber, carrot and a touch of mint. The rolls come served with a plum sauce sprinkled with crumbled peanuts. I have been to many Asian restaurants all over the country, and I have yet to discover fresh spring rolls prepared better than those at Thai Taste.
If you prefer a warm appetizer, the fried tofu is also excellent – I have a passionate love for Thai peanut sauce and this appetizer satisfies that craving with deep-fried tofu served with peanut sauce. There are also the more traditional appetizers of fried spring rolls and chicken or beef satay, for those who don’t want to venture off the beaten path.
I discovered during my dinner at Thai Taste that I have already tried 12 different entrees on their menu – I can honestly state that I have yet to be disappointed. If you prefer spicy dishes, you can always ask the kitchen to increase the spice and they will happily comply. They also provide jars of chili oil upon request to further spice up your meal, if you so desire.
My favorite entre is the peanut tofu, which has all the components of the tofu appetizer but also adds vegetables like broccoli that absorb the peanut sauce wonderfully. I do not handle spice well, but the Curry Duck is another one of my favorites.
Served in a clay pot, the spices in the dish are wonderfully aromatic and the duck is always tender. When perusing the menu, make sure to flip to the last page, something I didn’t know existed the first few times I went. On the last page there are the traditional noodle and rice dishes like pad thai and lard nar.
Every entre at Thai Taste can have beef, chicken and vegetables added at an extra cost. For an added bonus, Thai Taste offers a student discount of 10 percent. With the close proximity, it is an easy walk when weather permits, but they also deliver to UR. Bon appetit!