03 March 2008

Chi Thai

Nestled near Hamilton and Dublin Granville Roads is Chi Thai, a clumsily named but effectively executed Asian fusion spot. This is a great new discovery for me, and I'll definitely be back for a second round.

Chi Thai is named for the two cuisines it offers (Chinese and Thai). It's a new project from Joey Chang's, a high quality Asian establishment tucked in a strip mall similar to the location of Chi Thai but mirrored in Hilliard.

Chi Thai was recognized as one of the 10 best new restaurants in Columbus. It easily fits that bill, and Chi Thai could also be recognized as one of Columbus' finest Asian establishments alongside stalwarts like Lemongrass, Haiku, Q2 and Hunan Lion.

The decor is modern and brightly colored. The interior is almost unexpected when compared to the nondescript facade of the building. My service was attentive, with the server taking careful time to point out the vegetarian selections on the menu while taking the time to suggest special items that the chef could prepare for me that weren't listed on the menu.

I started with the vegetable dumplings, which were stuffed with spinach, lettuce and carrots with a soy-ginger sauce on the side. It was tasty. Other vegetarian items that I didn't try as appetizers included sesame noodles and tofu lettuce wraps (by special request--not on the menu).

The plating of the entree was fantastic. The spicy pot of gold was made of piles of deep fried tofu triangles in a spicy black bean sauce with green onions and a choice of steamed white or brown rice. The rich, mildly seasoned sauce was intensely flavorful, with smoky elements and a faint nuance of red pepper. There was at least eight ounces of tofu in the dish which was not breaded but fried until it began to take on a light golden color.

There are many other vegetarian dishes on the menu. Mala string beans, kung po tofu, vegetable delight, spicy eggplant and a Thai green chili tofu are a few of the many options that keep the herbivores smiling.

The prices also will keep me coming back. I spent less than $14 (minus tip) for an appetizer and main course. The appetizers are big enough to share, and entrees are available in lunch and dinner sizes.

Check out the pictures below.

Chi Thai

Chi Thai on Urbanspoon

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