Today’s lunch was a return visit to Charm Thai Cuisine – a quaint little Thai restaurant tucked away into the corner of a new strip mall located at 5805 NW 50th Street in Oklahoma City.
The owners also own New Sala Thai and Little Sala Thai restaurants in Oklahoma City as well.
Upon entering the tiny dining room, one is pleasantly surprised by the warm, hip, Asian-modern decor.
You will be warmly greeted by one of the 2 or 3 employees working who will seat you at one of the small tables. I think I counted 8 total tables in the dining area.
I highly recommend not sitting at the tables with stools. They’re too tall for the table and pretty uncomfortable to sit at for the course of a meal with your knees all scrunched up sideways under the table. Ask to sit at a table with chairs. Unless, of course, you prefer to eat your knees with your meal.
Like Sala Thai, the menu has a large selection, varying from Appetizers, Soups, Chicken, Curry, Beef, Seafood, Salad, Rice and Noodle dishes. One complaint I have every time I go into Charm, is I can’t decide!
I want to try some of the interesting flavors I haven’t had in my Thai food experience – like one of their Signature Dishes that has chicken, sour mustard green, cabbage and cinnamon. Cinnamon? What’s up with that?
Or how about Ginger Fish? Steamed fish with ginger and wine. Or how about this Appetizer? Karee Puffs – Golden brown soft and crispy croissant bread filled with minced chicken, snow pea, potato, carrot with house special sauce?
Today I opted for the Thai Spring Rolls ($3.95) – chicken, mixed vegetables, glass noodles, and deep fried. A little pricey for 2 small spring rolls in comparison to other places I think.
The rolls were crispy, fresh and hot and the filling was good. The sauce was a typical Thai dipping sauce usually made of lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. I added a little chili to mine as I like the spice.
I ordered the Thai Basil Chicken ($7.95), which is usually one of my favorite dishes.
This dish didn’t disappoint me. The vegetables were cooked to a perfect crisp tenderness. The sauce was deep, rich and spicy with a touch of sweetness.
All dishes come with a side of rice they serve wrapped up and stuffed into a little wicker basket with lid.
My friend Mary ordered the Chicken Rama, and the sauce was amazing. It is their signature sauce. We came back to work and tried to do a search on a recipe and came up with nothing similar. It’s like a spicy sweet and sour sauce but with some savory in it as well. You can get a take out container (small) of this sauce for $1.50. Guess what I was carrying while walking out to my car? Maybe I can analyze it and figure it out!
Also try their Tom Kha Khai Soup ($3.95)- delicious! It’s a coconut milk/lemongrass based soup with cabbage, mushrooms and even a bit of tomato in it.
I’ve heard from others that the Crab Rangoon appetizer is the best they’ve had.
All in all, I think Charm is a keeper. My only complaint is that they don’t have a lunch-special menu, and for lunch, the entrees, at an average of $8-$9 is kind of steep when you add in a drink and a tip. At these prices, I wouldn’t complain about dinner, but for lunch, it’s more than I typically like to pay.
***Update! 7-29-10 Charm now has lunch specials for $6.95. You get 2 of their 3 offerings plus one fried spring roll and a dessert (usually lychee) and your rice for this price. Quantities are pretty small. It’s fine for me, but maybe not for a guy. This was Thursday’s special of Panang Curry and Teriyaki Chicken.
I referred to the Rama sauce and here is the dish – Chicken Rama ($7.95)
Very good, but I ordered a 1 in spiciness and man, was my mouth burning!
In the hot summer, I crave their Larb Kai Salad. Tiny pieces of diced chicken are surrounded by a salad made of shredded cabbage, carrots and red onions with a light dressing that tastes like lime and fish sauce with a bit of sweetness, mint and cilantro.
Try Charm today – if you love Thai food, you will love it!