Thai Express is an average sized establishment near Ehwa Women’s College, a good 10 minute walk is all you need to get here. Thai Express resides in a building of several restaurants that are all owned by my fellow foodie’s father, Arnold! You can check out his blog here. He invited the business club to try out the food and treat us to a free dinner! Nothing better than that. Getting there was quite a feat and left me quite hungry, so I was ready to eat some authentic Thai food.
Onto the interior and first impressions…
The outside of Thai Express resembles a hut and gives you a sort of “village” vibe. Sadly, I couldn’t take a picture because it started raining and honestly, I forgot this time. When we walk through the doors, no one greets us even though we were a group of about 6, I’m not really taken at this because all the waiters were busy at the moment so it was only understandable. Taking a first glance at the walls, they were a pairing of orange and black which may sound odd, but it worked. The booths were well lit and not too flashy, giving each group significant space. Right down to the bathroom, the interior was clear and clean cut.
Enough about the interior, let’s get onto the 100 different dishes at Thai Express! The names of the dishes were quite hard to pronounce, so I’ll refer to them simply, like crab curry. I ordered a mango smoothie to begin my meal and it was refreshing and crisp. It paired well with the spicy dishes and cleaned the palate although I had to drink all of it in a matter of seconds due to me thinking a chili was a piece of meat…
As starters, we ordered shrimp toast, which is basically a fish cake. The toast was fried to a crispy crunch, and you could really take a bite into it because of the meatiness of the shrimp. Although a bit greasy, I found it helped mesh it all together. Secondly, we ordered the Kung Pao Chicken…? But wait a minute, I thought this was a THAI restaurant?! I’m not sure of the exact name of this dish, but it looked real similar to its Chinese counterpart. I forget whether it was chicken or pork I was eating, it was yummy all the same. The cashews in the sauce helped give a nuttiness to the dish and paired well with the spicy factor. The chicken or pork came out crunchy, not being consumed by the sauce and becoming soggy.
Our third appetizer was the Lemon Chicken. I felt that the chicken was too salty and not lemon-y enough. Also, the portion was smaller than expected, as opposed to the picture. We finished the chicken in 2 minutes flat. Gone.
Moving onto the main course, my friend Ezra felt confident enough to suggest some dishes that he had tried at a Thai Express in Singapore. He ordered a seafood curry that I had been eyeing since we got there along with a green curry that I could not take a picture of because of my hungry friends. Oh yes, a small, random tidbit that was amusing was after my chili incident, the water was flowing as if it were Oktoberfest! Back to the curries. When they came out, I dug my spoon in and ate a mouthful. It was pretty darn spicy for me! It’s the kind of spiciness that makes you want to keep eating it because it was tasty. I finished a whole bowl of rice and barely made a dent into the curry! They were both creamy, sweet, and a punch of chili in each bite. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to the curries to make room for tastier, less spicy dishes.
The final three dishes were curried crab, honey chicken fried rice, and beef salad. The curried crab looked appetizing, but sadly, it was too bland and didn’t even have a spicy kick to it. The crab itself was bland and felt like there was nothing there. The next two dishes were the game winners. They were incredibly tasty! Doesn’t the name “Honey Chicken Fried Rice” just make you want to eat it? As it was Arnold’s favorite dish, it had to be good! The chicken was so moist, sweet, and crunchy that I had to eat it apart from the rice to savor its clean flavor. The fried rice was done so well, they even had extra egg strips! So scrumptious. We gobbled all of the rice and chicken so quickly, it was the definite winner at our table. The Beef Salad was very delicious and did not disappoint. The beef strips were cooked to a medium well and had a sharp vinegary punch at the beginning that made way for a great chewy bite. It was basically eating mouth-watering steak, my own mouth is salivating as I write this!
All in all, I had an exceptional dinner that night and all of us left content and not being able to eat anymore. Although many of the dishes could probably use less chili and allow a system where you can choose the spiciness level, they were still edible! Definite “must-eats” are the shrimp toast, honey chicken fried rice, beef salad, and mango smoothie.
I would recommend this place without a doubt, just keep in mind that some curries are spicy and might not cater to foreigners. The price tag on each dish is quite hefty so be ready to pay a significant tab. Definitely ask the waiters what they recommend, 100 dishes is A LOT. My advice? Bring as many friends as you can so the tab can be split. 😉 I estimate that for six people, it would come to about 79000WON including drinks. That is around 13 dollars per person.