Wang Thai Redux: My New Favorite Thai Joint

Som Tom at Wang Thai in Itaewon
Lunch with Friends at Wang Thai
I can admit when I am wrong. The first few times I was at Wang Thai, I wasn't that impressed. Maybe it was because I spent one too many days in Thailand and that is never a fair point of comparison. I think the first time I was there, I was upset that they didn't have jasmine rice (the light, fragrant rice is a the perfect vessel for Thai sauces). I haven't been too nice to many of the Thai restaurants in the past and that is something that I am looking to change- especially since I have been finding places that serve great food.

A benchmarking dish for me at a Thai restaurant is Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad). This dish should be citrusy with a shot of spice and rounded with a savory pungency from fish sauce. It's a dish I always enjoyed and one I have found memories of while eating in Chang Mai, Thailand. The Som Tam at Wang Thai is all of that plus they give you a side of cabbage and bok choy so you can wrap the crisp papaya in more greens. Delish.

The Red Curry at Wang Thai is also very good. It has nice chunks of duck in a thick, red, coconut curry. The chunks of fresh pineapple in the broth make it very fresh tasting. The curry is excellent with the rice and I think we went through two bowls to get all of the sauce.

The pad thai was great as well. It had all the all the elements that make a pad thai, pad thai...well...minus a fresh squeeze of lime (but have you seen how expensive they are in Korea, like 2,000 won for 1!). They do you lime juice in the balanced sauce and the noodles are stir fried just right.

On a previous visit, I had the pineapple fried rice. The presentation was nice- it is in a cut out pineapple, but here I wished they had used long grain rice. Korean short grain rice, just doesn't stir fry up crisp enough.

Regardless, this is a worthy restaurant and the interior is top notch. The space is very open with many Thai statues and art pieces that fill the room. This is a great place to host guests or to have a date. Prices are reasonable as well. Curries start at 12,000 and noodles at 10,000. They have a full wine and alcohol selection and set menus.

Wang Thai
2-stars (Recommended. Good interior, flavorful food- almost fully authentic)
176-2 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
South Korea
Red Curry Duck at Wang Thai
Dessert Tapioca with Coconut Milk

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