I could write an entire post about The Big Eat in Downtown Winston-Salem but there are way too many restaurants ahead of it. Suffice it to say The Big Eat is a great way to try signature dishes at half off and it’s exactly the reason that brought us into the very superb Thai Nee Tapas + Sake. Thai Nee is housed in the old Downtown Thai location, which moved into roomier digs a few years ago. And it has the same pioneering and charismatic owner, Souphab Daoheang. All you have to do is take a minute with Souphab and you feel his energy and love for what he does and for the food that he brings to us. If you are familiar with his location, you know that Thai Nee is, well, tiny. But perfectly sized for tapas. Its authentic decor is dramatic, yet intimate while still maintaining some nice tables for a gathering of larger groups.
The signature dish that evening was the Chicken Katsu, with potatoes, carrots, onion and curry sauce, served alongside steamed rice. It was wonderful and slightly spicy with a delicate curry sauce. Not at all heavy and a great sized entree for one or even to share, providing you get another small plate or two.
Our server also suggested the House Shrimp, marinated shrimp fried crispy served with mango sauce. One of my kidlets actually liked it. The sweetish sauce was a nice contrast to the crispy shrimp and a great departure from the previous dish.
Mr. foodie needed MORE protein so we added the Chicken Satay followed by the Steamed Gyoza Pork, because “potstickers” can and should be the measure of Asian-style tapas, don’t you think? Believe me, they did not disappoint. They were sitting in a curry-type sauce rather than the traditional ponzu sauce that I’m used to. I saw on the menu that the traditional method Gyoza is served with Ponzu. The Satay was moist and flavorful and served with two kinds of sauces. Chicken on a stick is fun!
And finally, I must let you know about the marvel that is the Sesame Chicken, which is served with vegetables and steamed rice. It’s not the sesame chicken you know. This one is a beautiful blend of sweet and savory with a perfect caramelization on chicken that you can taste and not fried to a crisp. My kidlets ate it. That’s right. I declare, they like Asian. This has been a few times in a row and I think it’s official.
(you see that almost empty plate?)
Thai Nee has a yummy selection of small delights, salads, entrees and even sushi, which comes from across the street at Downtown Thai.
I tell you, on a night when signature dishes are 50% off, it is simply NOT OKAY that so many restaurants, including Thai Nee, are NOT filled to capacity. There weren’t nearly enough of you foodies there. I’ll chalk it up to the cold and rainy weather, but though it’s cold tonight, these restaurants deserve your business. And one of those is Thai Nee Tapas + Sake. A foodie doesn’t need the Big Eat as Thai Nee offers reasonable prices all the time, including buy two, get one deals. Check them out, and when you are there and have Souphab pull up a chair and tell you what you are missing when it comes to Laotian food. Now, if we can only get him to open up THAT kind of restaurant.
271 W. 4th St., Winston-Salem, NC