CK Thai Cuisine
Tastes of Thailand in Central Texas
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., Oct. 9, 2009
CK Thai Cuisine5207 Brodie #200, 892-2744
CK Thai Cuisine opened its doors just a few months ago, and it's already winning over the neighborhood. The decor is charming, with upside-down parasols forming a dropped ceiling and colorful fishing nets and other inexpensive but pretty objects decorating the walls. The dining room has an elegant feel, with real tablecloths (albeit topped with glass) and soft lighting.
The service is attentive and careful and extremely welcoming, even when I went in on an "off" night and rather close to closing time. The entire staff seems very intent on making the place a success. The evening started off with a freshly brewed iced tea with a big, fresh wedge of lemon, and the glass was kept full throughout the meal without any prompting on my part. A fried dumpling was brought out "on the house" as a bonus for simply coming in the door. The dumpling was filled with fresh pork, flavored with mushrooms and scallions, and the sauce was delightfully sweet and pungent, so much so that I was briefly sorry I had ordered the Thai satay ($5.79) rather than the steamed dumplings ($4.79) for my appetizer.
Once I got my satay, however, I was mollified. The pork is perfectly tender and flavorful, the portion large, and is served with both the traditional fresh cucumber-and-onion relish and spicy peanut dipping sauce. My server was extremely helpful and was able to suggest several dishes that she thought were particularly outstanding. I opted for the pad woon sen ($7.95), a noodle dish made with stir-fried clear bean thread noodles, cabbage, green onion, eggs, and broccoli. When it arrived, along with a ball of perfectly hot and fresh white rice, I knew I was going to need a "to-go" because the entrée was immense. The entire dish was fresh and had that marvelous Thai element of combining a dizzying array of flavors. My server told me that the cook, a woman named Oo (I asked her to spell it for me), makes this particular dish perfectly, just as it is made in Thailand.
The sticky rice with mango dessert ($4.99) is also extremely good – a sliced mango resting atop a rectangle of sticky rice, drizzled with coconut milk. Though I took half my entrée home, I somehow managed to finish the dessert, the tartness of the mango perfectly contrasting with the warm coconut-flavored rice. All in all, CK Thai promises to be a real contender, and I look forward to returning.