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If you were to come across Mai Thai Cuisine in an unassuming shopping center along the side of the highway (because really, that’s where it is – right across from Food Lion on 378…) you’d probably drive right past it and either not even notice it, or see it and think “how could that possibly be any good?” But you’d be missing out on a GEM of a restaurant.

The sampler appetizer platter

I had heard lots of good things about Mai Thai before I went. Everyone talked about how good it was, so good, in fact, that you may or may not even be able to get a table on a Friday or Saturday night.

Even though it doesn’t look like much on the outside, Mai Thai has a chic interior and fabulous food. The restaurant prides itself on using real, clean ingredients, and serving authentic Thai cuisine.

Case in point: our meal concluded with a coconut ice cream topped with Lychee fruit. Do you know what Lychee is? I had (and still have) no idea, but it added a fabulous tanginess to the ice cream (which had pieces of shredded coconut in it!!), with the slightest bit of nutty crunch.

Seafood Thai Basil

Our appetizer was also fabulous – deep-fried everything. We ordered the sampler platter (because, why not?), which included spring rolls, duck rolls, fried butterflied shrimp, and my personal favorite: the deep fried cream cheese wontons. Yum.

The staff is very friendly, and most of them are actually Thai, which I think is really cool. Who better to know what authentic Thai food is than someone who is actually from Thailand?

For dinner, we split the Seafood Thai Basil. It was FANTASTIC. A variety of seafood covered in a deliciously sweet and spicy basil sauce that had just the right amount of heat to it. It is served with a PILE of rice, so this meal is easily split between two people. We both left completely satisfied (maybe even a little stuffed). This entree was on the Specialties list, which I think is larger portions than the regular Entrees.

Coconut ice cream topped with Lychee

Other things that looked delicious (I may or may not have been spying on various dishes as they made their way past me to other tables…): a whole fish served over a bed of rice; the Panang dishes, and really, pretty much everything we saw go past us.

But definitely don’t skip dessert. There were numerous delicious-sounding items, but I’m happy with our choice. I only wish I’d had my own…

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