We continue from the Islands of the Caribbean.
Thailand returns for its third year. You’ll now find it shifted down one position and it will be the first Marketplace that you see on your left if you’re starting your day by heading towards Mexico.
The only new item is the Shrimp and Cold Noodle Salad, which replaces the Seared Shrimp and Scallop Cake with Cold Noodle Salad. Pay attention to the presentation in the menu picture, because it’s not really going to represent what we’re served.
Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Stir-fried Vegetables – $5
This is a straightforward, satisfying dish with a lot of juicy, nicely-marinated chicken with just the right amount of flavorful, mildly spicy peanut sauce spooned on top. I appreciated the fact that it was mostly chicken, but the carrots, peppers, and other vegetables add a nice crunch and create a slightly different flavor profile than the saltier chicken. It’s a large portion of tasty food that isn’t going to be too “out there” for most people.
Shrimp and Cold Noodle Salad – $5.25
While the presentation may leave us a bit wanting, the three large, plump shrimp are freshly seared inside the Marketplace, and they sit on a bed of refreshing, cold noodles with a little bit of peanut flavor and a nice crunch from the vegetables. It’s not an overwhelming portion for the money, and overall, I think the Shrimp Skewer in Africa is composed better, but if you’re looking for something less spicy here at Thailand, then this is it.
This is the dish that the Shrimp replace. I said it “lacked flavor on its own and could have used a more robust sauce.” So what we see this year is an improvement.
Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice – $5.50
This is certainly not “RED HOT” as the menu stipulates, but there is a tinge of peppery spice in the sauce, which is then tempered quite a bit by coconut. Otherwise, cauliflower and green onion dominated our portion, though there are several bites of stringy beef mixed in on top of the white rice. I appreciated the fact that the rice did a nice job of soaking up all of the flavors without ever becoming clumpy. Overall, the dish is pretty average for the Festival both on flavor and value.
Singha Lager – $4.50
Singha is a very drinkable lager, that, along with Tiger Beer, is ubiquitous in most Thai restaurants around the United States. It has a malty, sweet character that helps cut the spiciness that may or may not be present here in the dishes at the Food and Wine Festival. It’s not going to impress the snobs, but it’s also not Tsingtao, which might be a good compromise.
Maison Willm Gewürztraminer – $6
This is an easy-drinking, fruity wine up front with a floral aroma and a spicy finish. It offers a nice pairing with the “red hot” Thai flavors offered here.
Overall, Thailand offers three dishes that range from pretty good to great at prices that don’t typically break the bank. You might try the wine over the beer.
That wraps things up for now. There are two new sweet treat Marketplaces opening October 1st that we’ll return to try. If you’d like to get going on the Marketplaces in Future World, start here with Flavors From Fire.