Doing a review on Thai food is always a challenge, because I like Thai food and I have enjoyed to a certain degree everywhere I have gone in Salt Lake City. With that said, while I haven’t been to a place that I wouldn’t give the time of day again to, I also have not visited a place that was head and shoulders above the rest. With Thai food for lunch I expect options, I expect good price, I expect quality and portions, and I expect good flavors. Pawit’s Royale Thai Cuisine gives you all of those.
One fun thing about Pawit’s is the decor. There were literally hundreds of trinkets and Thai ornaments scattered throughout the restaurant. I felt like the restaurant was going for that nature, outdoor feel because lined along the walls were crumpled leaves. It felt dangerously close to a Quilted Bear without going too far. That is until you go into one of the restrooms. The restrooms actually put Quilted Bear to shame. Gentleman out there, think you are going to find a urinal to go tinkle? Think again, the urinal was stuffed with plants with little brass statues on top. Either Pawit’s is thinking outside the box on the decor or they want to save on water costs in maintaining some of the plants. To use the actual John, you have to navigate around a cabinet full of more plants and decor. I admit it was bazaar but cool at the same time.
I was presented with this house salad as soon as sitting down, and my immediate thought was “I’m not going to waste my time eating this” but after taking a few bites it was actually tossed in some of the house dressing and quite tasty. Don’t underestimate this little guy.
The lunch specials run at $7.95 and you can choose two items from a list of about 20. I went with mussaman beef curry and some Tom Kat soup. Maverick would be happy with this Tom Kat (See what I did there?) It was loaded with cabbage, chicken, carrots, and potato chunks all in a coconut milk broth. It was a comfort soup, nothing too exotic, just very decent in taste. Then there is the mussaman curry chicken. Every Thai place has it. I enjoyed the dish, it was flavored well, had good portions of meat and veggies. The peanuts were fresh and crunchy. Lots of good texture and flavor here. The plate didn’t knock my socks off, but it was good.
My co-worker with the Gai Yang chicken with the famous peanut sauce. I don’t know if it is “famous” level, but the peanut sauce was solid. Unlike Thai food in general, rice is a dish that indeed can be screwed up and served just wrong. Luckily Pawit’s is on the other side of the fence. The side that knows how to cook and serve rice. It wasn’t overly sticky and bland, just fluffy, slightly sticky, and prepared just right.
I was pleased with Pawit’s. I didn’t leave the place immediately planning my next trip, but at the same time if I happen to drive by again, I’ll point to it and think “Hey that place is pretty good” If you have a hankering for Thai food, it will scratch that itch, but you probably won’t be writing home to mama about it.