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Take extra time with Thai Pom’s big menu
By Karen Beaudoin, 2007-06-05
|There’s good reason why Thai Pom in South Portland has so many rave reviews displayed on the wall of its entry way. And those preview reviewers knew what they were talking about.
My favorite thing about Thai Pom? The pictures. The menus — food, drink, takeout — all show diners what the selections look like which, for those of us who aren’t Thai experts, is pretty darn helpful. Also educational is the first page of the menu, which gives patrons a description of each of the available sauces and offers a primer for first-timers.
Thai Pom describes itself as “The only authentic Thai food in the Maine Mall area,” but if there were five more of these restaurants it could easily say it’s the best.
For appetizers we chose the house specialty Steamed Butterflies (chicken dumplings, $5.95) and Shrimp in The Blanket (whole shrimp wrapped in spring roll skin and fried until crispy, $5.95), which came with the best duck sauce I’ve ever tasted.
We needed extra time to choose our meals because the menu has such variety. There are nine noodle dishes, nearly 20 seafood selections and a handful of a la carte choices. The debate came between Pad Thai ($9.95) or Thai Rad-Na ($11.95) and between Thai Orange Seafood ($15.95), Orange Chicken ($12.95) and Three Flavored Seafood ($15.95). We went with the Thai Rad-Na with beef, but unfortunately wished we had chosen differently. Not that the meal wasn’t good, but though it was ordered with a bit of spice it had no zing. The noodles, veggies and beef were all fresh and tasty but the sauce seemed a bit watery.
The Thai Orange Seafood was outstanding with a fresh burst of orange flavor in every bite. The seafood — shrimp, scallops, haddock and squid (which we omitted) — was crisply fried in batter but the coating was extremely light and not greasy. The veggies were so good I even ate the red peppers.
We were thrilled with our dessert choice of deep fried vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce ($4.95). If ice cream can ever be described as anything other than heavy and filling, this was. It topped off a great meal, as did the attentive service, which had a host of wait staff picking plates up as soon as they were emptied.
Another plus for Thai Pom is its quiet, modern atmosphere (there’s no chintzy music chiming through the conversation). The tables were impeccably set and soft drinks came with straws with pseudo-origami designs performed on the wrappers.
And the topper? Even the bathroom was gorgeous.
Thai Pom is located at — Western Avenue Crossing in South Portland and is the sister restaurant of Thai Taste at 435 Cottage Rd. in SoPo. The lunch menu is served Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and dinner hours are Monday-Thursday 4:30-9:30 p.m., Friday 4:30-10 p.m., Saturday 11-10 p.m. and Sunday noon-9:30 p.m.
GOOD TO KNOW
Meat & potatoes meals?