Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Royal Thai Orchid

Lunch in the suburban sprawl that is the Malvern/West Chester/Paoli string of endless office parks and strip malls. Fast food abounds out here, with some nicer places tucked away along Lancaster Ave and in downtown West Chester. Over the past few years of working in the 'burbs I've managed to find a few gems that offer more than just french fries and burgers. For sushi there is Kooma on Gay Street in West Chester, decent Pho at the Green Parrot in Exton, and very good falafel at Cedars in Malvern.

My latest find is right next to the aforementioned Cedars restaurant, in a strip mall of course, called the Royal Thai Orchid and offering a very authentic taste of Thailand. Service is quick and somewhat friendly, and their $9 lunch special is a deal for food this good.

Thai dumplings
An appetizer of Thai dumplings was excellent.  Pan fried and filled with ground pork, bamboo shoots & trumpet mushrooms. They were crispy and perfectly golden brown. Served with a savory soy & sesame sauce for dipping, you could clearly taste the earthiness of the mushrooms and the sweetness of the pork, with some nice texture added by the bamboo shoots. No fillers, no soggy dumplings. These are the real deal. I will order these every time we come back. 

Drunken noodles / Pad Kee Mao
The star of the show for me though was the Drunken Noodles. If you read my post on Thailand in July you'll know that I am bordering on obsession with this dish, called Pad Kee Mao in Thai. Broad rice noodles, hunks of chicken or pork, some sauteed greens (usually bok choy), tomatoes, scallions, sauteed quickly with a spicy sauce, it is the quintessential taste of Thailand for me. And Royal Thai Orchid's version hit a homerun with theirs. The noodles had just the right texture - not soggy or limp, a little bite to them - tender chicken, hints of cilantro and fresh lime and just the right amount of heat. I could eat this for lunch every day and never get tired of it. 

I'm always happy to discover some great Thai food. I long for those unique tastes and bright flavors, especially in the middle of winter. What better way to fill your belly and warm your soul?  Finding some this good just a 10 minute drive from the office makes working in the burbs bearable. 


Food Baby Rating: It's a Boy! 

Royal Thai Orchid
309 Lancaster Ave
MalvernPA 19355
(610) 240-9930
Lunch Monday thru Friday 11:30-2pm
Dinner 5-9:30

1 comment:

  1. Looks awesome -- I've heard a Thai restaurant is moving into the old 2nd St. *shitty Pizza spot. There's never enough Thai food around -- tons in SF, but not here.