Lunch at Thai Basil

Thai Basil's Pad Thai
My cousin La had a special treat for me. She brought me to Thai Basil, a restaurant whose claim to fame is the owner and chef, Nongkran Daks won in a ‘Throwdown‘ challenge against TV chef Bobby Flay.

You can just imagine my excitement to try their Pad Thai, the winning dish. Pad Thai happens to be my favorite Thai dish and one that I never fail to order when I eat in a Thai restaurant.
Thai Basil

The entrance of the restaurant was covered with pictures and articles about the chef’s amazing win over Bobby Flay.
Thai Basil

The place was surprisingly full despite the location of the restaurant in a corner of a quiet strip mall.
Thai Basil

I ordered the chicken in coconut milk soup, a favorite of mine ever since I tried it at AzuThai in Makati. This version paled in comparison. The soup was very thin and barely had any coconut flavor. The chicken didn’t have any taste either. The only thing I liked was the fresh mushrooms.
Tom Yam Gai
Tom Yam Gai $4.95
Tender chicken breast, tomatoes and fresh mushrooms
cooked in a lightly spicy lemon grass and Kaffir lime
leaf broth.

In this dish the beef tasted boiled and simply topped with sauce. The beef was totally flavorless. The sauce was good though.

I usually love Thai rice but this was overcooked, soft and mushy. It tasted like an old batch of rice was mixed with a freshly overcooked one.
Penang Nua
Penang Nua $9.95
Beef in Panang curry with peanuts, lime leaves
and Thai basil.

All our hopes for a satisfying lunch was on the Pad Thai. The rice noodles were al dente and that’s the only redeeming factor to this dish. The entire dish was way too sweet and didn’t have any tamarind flavor. It was nothing like the delicious Pad Thai I had at Benjarong in Dusit Hotel. La and I were thinking maybe the taste of the dishes were adjusted to suit the American palate?
Thai Basil's Pad Thai
Pad Thai $9.95 (with shrimp)
Beef, chicken or pork with rice noodles, egg, seasoned with palm sugar and special tamarind sauce.

Overall it was quite a disappointing lunch for two Asians craving for good Thai food. The service was slow with only 2 waiters for a full restaurant. We had to ask for water and utensils several times before we got them. Well at least we got to experience dining in a restaurant featured in a TV show.


The Thai Basil Restaurant
14511- P Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy.
Chantilly, Virginia 20151
telephone: (703) 631-8277

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