Restaurants & Bars 16

Suwana's Thai Orchid - Asheville

ThaiNut | Jun 9, 200811:46 AM

Opened in late May in a former Italian restaurant at 148 Tunnel Road. It's in a single-story, stand-alone building very conveniently located to Exit 6 of Rt-240. Plenty of parking on three sides of their building. Their menu, phones, hours, etc. can be found at their web site(www.suwanasthaiorchid.com) (note: their carry-out menu omits the 's' in the URL and that does not work).

My wife and I ate here last night. She's Thai and we lived in Bangkok for 12 years so we know what authentic Thai food is supposed to taste like. Our bottom line is that this place is, by far, the best we have seen in NC this side of Raleigh.

They have about 20 table/booths in two areas. There is a drinking bar but they have not yet been able to obtain a liquor license, so it is currently BYOB. They also have a massive sushi bar but it does not seem to be in use yet. Business was brisk with about 8 tables being occupied while we were there.

The tables were set with knives and forks so we had to ask for tablespoons so we could eat Thai style. There were supposed to be two waitresses but one was out sick so the Manager, a Thai man named Khun Thuan, waited on us. We ordered:

YUM PLA MUK - squid salad. Excellent, though some people might find the large rounds of squid too chewy.

PHAD PHED PLAA DUK - catfish and vegetables (ผัดเผ็ดปลาดุก). This dish is off the menu and was suggested by the manager. It consists of chucks of catfish fried with pieces of carrot, tomato, onion, green and red pepper, hot peppers, fresh basil, stalks of peppercorns and a spicy sauce. It was excellent.

PHAD THAI with shrimp - an excellent dish and made right.

GAI YANG - barbecued chicken. Although we already had enough food we ordered this superlative dish as an afterthought. It was supposed to be a half of a chicken but turned out to be a half of a Cornish game hen. So it was small and perhaps a little old but the flavor was excellent.

For desert we had the mango with sticky rice and this was served very artistically with a large carved strawberry on the side. Again, made just right.

Service was excellent, portions were generous and the price quite reasonable at $45.

They also have a number of Japanese dishes on the menu including various sushi and bento.

Of the 15 or so Thai restaurants we have been to in the Asheville, Greenville, Spartanburg corridor this is easily the most authentic and is our favorite.

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