There are few cuisines as sophisticated, and deeply satisfying, as Thai.
One of the most important secrets of great Thai food is the balance of sweet, sour, spicy, salty and bitter. If you get just one component wrong, then it doesn’t work at all. But when the balance is just right, it is simple perfection, harmony on your palate.
Thai Jasmine Cuisine has only been open a few months, but it has already earned a healthy following.
I found my way there for Sunday brunch recently and was enchanted from the start. The decor is sedate, hushed tones, with Thai motifs that make for a warm and friendly place.
Thailand is known as the land of smiles, and that is how you are going to be greeted here. Service is pleasant and quick.
There are only a few Thai places around, so seeing the menu, sprinkled with a few dishes from other Asian cultures, Japan, Vietnam primarily, seems like a good idea, especially for folks that are that familiar with Thai food ways. You will find Vietnamese pho on the menu, fried rice, an American/Chinese fusion, Japanese ramen noodle soup, as well as chicken satay, perhaps the most famous Thai street food ever. It’s a good mix.
Besides being diverse, the menu is substantial.
If you want to go classic Thai, try a curry ($12 to $17). There are five basic types to choose from, red, green, panang, pineapple, and massaman, with six combinations of protein, chicken, beef, pork, combination, seafood and vegetarian. These curries are made from coconut milk or cream, and a curry paste, never a curry powder (a British invention).
Whatever you order, you will be asked how spicy you want it, on a scale of one to five. If you are not used to true Thai spiciness, take care. Thai hot is volcanic.
Another good choice is pad Thai. It isn’t that old of a dish, having gotten its start in Thailand during World War II, when there was a shortage of rice. It is a stir-fried noodle dish, also commonly sold as street food, that is flavored with the five balanced components mentioned above, bean sprouts, wedge of lemon, and chopped peanuts, with your choice of the same six protein choices above. There are five other noodle dishes to choose from, ranging in price from $12 to $15. All are delicious and worth a try.
There are also twelve entrees to choose from ($11 to $16), with the Bangkok fish, spicy eggplant salad and pad garlic getting my vote.
Just a note on Thai etiquette: Thai’s hold their spoon in the right hand and use the fork to nudge food onto the spoon. You can certainly eat any way you like, but I think it enhances the overall experience to go with a bit of authenticity. See you there.
If you go
Thai Jasmin Cuisine
Where: 10122 Central Ave Ste D, D’Iberville
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday