After reading numerous posts about Yum Thai and the secret Thai menu my wife and I decided to cash in a few frequent flyer miles and make the trip to Yum Thai. The evening started out well, light traffic, clean pleasant restaurant, friendly pleasant person to seat us, attentive pleasant waitress, just darn pleasant all around, which seemed to be the theme for the evening, including pleasant Thai food. Our waitress, happily, gave us the secret Thai Menu inquiring as to where we learned to read Thai and seemed mildly disappointed in our lack of language skills when I asked her to translate a few dishes, though she was happy to accommodate.
When I asked the difference between the two menus Aoy, our waitress, said there was no difference, but when pressed a bit said that the Thai menu dishes were not as soupy, or was that soupier, I forget. We ordered an appetizer from the regular menu, which was quite good. (#6) Deep-fried bean curd with ground chicken and crushed peanuts, the dish did not include the peanuts, though they did remember to put the sweet sauce on the side for us.
We next had a beef salad that we ordered from the Thai menu, which was flavorful, but the large slices of beef were a bit tough from the acid in the marinade. The presentation was nice, with strips of red pepper, cucumber, tomato and lettuce. There was no discernable heat, even though we asked for the dish Thai style and hot.
Next up was red snapper in chili sauce, which Aoy said was only on the Thai Menu, but is also listed on the English menu, menu not withstanding, the snapper was so so at best. The chili sauce had no heat, the edges of the snapper were so hard that I had to use a knife to cut the fish, though the inside flesh was still moist, and the fish itself was a day away, at most, from being over the hill.
Our final course was Lard Nar with beef, though what we actually ordered was chicken larb, though it may have been my fault as I was inquiring about the lards and may not have been clear as to what I was actually ordering. Either way, this was one bland dish, my wife actually compared it to hamburger helper.
Overall Yum Thai was, IMHO, a pleasant experience and if I lived in the neighborhood I would most certainly eat there on an occasional basis, though I might not have the snapper again. I also think that if we were regulars they, eventually, might increase the heat level past the baby step stage and serve us actual dishes from the Secret Menu, but then again, maybe not.
7748 W Madison
Forest Park, IL. 60130