BLUEWATER BAY — Not being schooled in the fine details of Thai food, both Paul and I were happy to invite our young friend, Lee Flowers Jr., to try the House of Thai in Bluewater Bay. Lee has more knowledge than Paul and I of what we should expect in this Asian-inspired cuisine.
Lee coached us well, explaining that Thai food focuses flavors.
“It’s big on the tamarind (spice),” he said. “You have tropical flavor to it, and you have the red peppers and a good oil base.”
The food, he also said, could be prepared as spicy as we like.
We opened our meal with vegetable egg rolls, which surprised me in a good way. These are smaller than a Chinese roll, still filled with fresh vegetables. The paper is quite thin, and they were fried to a little deeper brown that provided a deeper flavor to match.
Other appetizers include wontons, Chinese shumai, and dumplings as just a few options.
Both Lee and I ordered rice-based entrees, which incorporated a traditional fried rice. The stir-ins are what bring different tastes to the foundation.
I selected the pineapple fried rice, replacing the shrimp for chicken because I have a shellfish allergy. I could taste the spices, but they didn’t overpower my palate so that the pineapple flavor came through.
Lee’s rice featured basil, and he also preferred chicken.
“That chicken’s really tender,” he said. “You have the lime flavor in there, of course the spice, and the sweetness of the peppers and the onion.
“When I say sweet, it’s not like honey or candy. It’s really good.”
Paul took Lee’s recommendation, selecting green curry that incorporates curry paste mixed with Thai basil, squash, bamboo shoots, broccoli, bell pepper and coconut milk.
“It’s not spicy hot, but I’m waiting to see if it sneaks up on me,” Paul said.
“Oh, there it is,” he added, and the spice heat did indeed come through.
I enjoy trying new things, and the sweet rice dessert seemed to be my new for the evening. Paul and I shared an order, while Lee enjoyed his own.
White rice is combined with coconut milk, giving it a sweet and salty combination. It’s patted down, with Lee noticing the resemblance to a pastry.
Slices of fresh mango accompanied the dessert.
We enjoyed our meal a week before House of Thai’s beer and wine license became active, but we didn’t mind. Both Paul and Lee sipped hot Thai tea, while I enjoyed ice water during a hot Florida summer evening.
This is not a multi-Asian menu, with a primary focus on Thai choices. House of Thai does offer soups and salads, but the larb seems intriguing as it is the chef’s own recipe.
House of Thai recently opened in a location that has traditionally hosted previous Asian cuisine restaurants, and those North Bay area residents in and around Bluewater will be happy to know that this eatery continues the tradition.
Because the previous eatery had updated the décor, House of Thai needed no changes.
It’s a quiet eatery; we could talk without hearing other people’s conversations.
A server greeted us at the door, and she allowed us to select our own seats. We arrived at an earlier dining time for a Friday evening, so the place was empty.
As our meal continued, more people were arriving. Everyone was seated quickly, and the staff was attentive.
The server handles the payment. It also appears that the take-out business will be popular.
The restaurant’s website lists a partial menu, but in-store presents the larger menu.
A FINAL TASTE
One question that we ask each other is would you go back: in this instance, yes. I sampled one bite of Paul’s curry, and House of Thai makes a good one. Lee, our Thai food expert, also said he would return.