With so many Thai restaurants, it’s almost impossible to find the perfect one that satisfies your tastes. Just one bad experience could turn you away from the delicious world of Thai food.
I have tried all three of Puyallup’s other Thai restaurants and haven’t been impressed so far, so walking into Ayothaya I was a bit skeptical. Ayothaya is located on Meridian Ave. next to Best Buy.
When I entered Ayothaya, I was greeted by bamboo planters, a water fountain and gold plated pictures depicting Thai culture. If you’re looking for an upper scale restaurant this wouldn’t be for you. But for a semi-casual restaurant, the effort put in the atmosphere is surprising.
As I was seated, the waitress brought me a complimentary cup of soup. It was surprisingly tasty and the light broth with green onions, celery and tofu was a perfect way to start the meal.
The menu had a great variety of choices and was easy to understand.
The prices were reasonable. Almost every item was less than $9. Being rather indecisive, I found it a bit hard to choose my meal.
After 15 minutes, I finally settled on Tom Kah and Phad Kee Mao (also known as drunken noodles). The service was great and I was served within 10 minutes of ordering.
The drunken noodles were amazing. I have never tasted a better Thai entrée in my life. The meal consisted of wide rice noodles with bamboo shoots, egg, tomato, onion, bell pepper and basil stir-fried in special Ayothaya sauce. The beef was marinated in a rich and flavorful sauce.
The Tom Kah soup was the perfect complement to the entrée. The soup came in the biggest bowl I’ve ever seen. Being only 5 feet 8 inches tall, I felt the soup was made for some 10 foot tall, giant beast-man. There was easily enough soup to fill two average people.
The soup had four very distinct ingredients: coconut milk, lime, lemon grass and fresh cilantro. The unlikely combination of flavors made for a soup that could rival the ever so popular Pho. But the best part of the soup was the chicken. It seemed there was an endless amount of chicken in the soup. The big chunks of chicken almost melted in my mouth. The meat was extremely tender and juicy.
The only negative of the whole meal was the lack of a spice. I can handle a fair amount of spice in my meals but I felt like the meal was too reserved. The spice scale is from one to five, so I played it safe and ordered three stars. I expected to have my eyes occasionally water and for my nose to run, but this didn’t even happen. At Ayothaya, I recommend going up one or two stars from what you normally prefer.
After eating at Ayothaya, it’s hard to imagine there being a better Thai Restaurant in Washington. Its service, food and atmosphere are the best I’ve had.
If you’re looking for a romantic date, family celebration or just a great meal, give Ayothaya a try.
I give it: Four out of five stars
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