Return of the White Lotus

Special to the Sun HeraldJune 26, 2014 

After a two-year hiatus, the White Lotus is back in Ocean Springs with a new location and the same great food.

"Chef Scott" Khong opened White Lotus on the east end of Government Street, near FireFly Tavern. It's a cozy place, beautifully decorated, and painted a peaceful green. Aside from common seating, there are two rows of low tables where guests can sit on the floor, remove their shoes and stretch their legs.

My friend and I knew we were in for a grand experience. With lots of appetizers at $9 or less, we started with a few of our favorites.

First was the Som Tum Salad, a healthy portion of shredded green papaya tossed with fresh lime juice, shredded carrot, tomato, crushed peanuts and Thai chili. We ordered a side of sticky rice to sop the lime dressing.

The Som Tum was so tasty, I envisioned myself making a meal of it, but then I tried our other appetizer -- the Naem Sod. This traditional Thai dish awakened my senses with a burst of fresh ginger and zesty lime dressing and delighted my palate with whole peanuts and crumbled ground pork.

Other appetizers include salads, egg rolls, calamari, crabmeat Rangoon, dumplings a selection of Thai soups and crispy, spicy chicken wings.

For our entrée, Chef Scott recommended we try the Crispy Boneless Duck served with Panang Curry Sauce ($27). The dish was a thing of beauty and the duck was tender and tasty. We also ordered the Steamed Lobster Tail ($28), which again was a dish presented brilliantly. It is 5.4 ounces of succulent meat with the option of garlic sauce or basil sauce.

These were just two of the Chef's Specials offered for dinner only. It would take many trips to White Lotus to try them all, with offerings such as Grilled Yellowtail Snapper, Steamed Sea Bass, Grilled Rib Eye, Volcano Chicken and combination platters. Also offered for dinner are selections of Thai fried rice, stir fry and curry sauces.

The lunch menu, served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. offers many dishes from $9 to $12 along with a choice of soup or salad.

White Lotus also has many desserts: fried banana, fried ice cream, cheesecake tempura, Thai donuts and mango sticky rice. The crème brule we chose had the juiciest, plump strawberries, as well as fresh kiwi and mango. The plate was accented with whipped cream and drizzles of chocolate and vanilla syrup.

With so many exciting dishes and a great atmosphere, White Lotus is a nice place for a special night out.

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