Thai Castle provides quick service, low price tag, variety of classic Thai dishes

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By Shireen Korkzan (

I’ve always considered Jasmine Thai Restaurant on 96th St. as my favorite place to go because Thai food is my favorite, and it was the only Thai restaurant near my house. But then in September, a new Thai restaurant opened in the Mohawk Landing Shopping Center on Rangeline Road, which is an even easier drive for me than Jasmine. Called Thai Castle, it more than exceeded my expectations.

The small restaurant is still developing from the inside but manages to keep itself looking nice by its authentic Thai photos and paintings. On the top of the wall in front of the door hangs a photo of all the past kings of Thailand surrounded by two American flags. The tables are simple, covered by basic tablecloth and flowers. Authentic Thai music plays in the background while ABC Family plays on a small television set on the front wall.

As for the menu, the prices of Thai Castle are cheaper than Jasmine, but for the most part, both restaurants offer similar dishes. For appetizers, the chicken satay, which comes with four sticks of chicken, small slices of toast, spicy vegetable sauce and peanut sauce, was the perfect way to start my meal since the chicken was cooked all the way and was still juicy. The peanut sauce was also an excellent complement.

As for the actual meal of Pad Thai with chicken, which came with a helping of sticky jasmine rice and two steamed spring rolls, it is a must for anyone who eats at a Thai restaurant since it is the most traditional dish in Thailand. The noodles in the Pad Thai were nice and thick and had a generous helping of crushed peanuts on top (Thai food is usually spicy and contains peanuts in many of their dishes). The chicken was cut at good sizes, keeping the dish simple yet still wonderful.

I also ordered a dish of Prik Khing, or stir-fried chicken in Thai spicy sauce. All dishes may be ordered mild, medium or hot, and since I love spicy food, I had all my dishes hot. The spice was right to my liking, hot enough to taste the heat but not enough for me to drink water until after several bites. The Prik Khing contained slices of chicken and green beans smothered in delicious Thai spicy sauce that had a strong taste of lemongrass, which was the best part of the meal.

When I was done, I was about to order the best part of every meal: dessert. At Thai restaurants probably the best dessert offered is fried bananas and ice cream (trust me, it’s better than it sounds). But before I could order this, my server came with a crystal glass filled with some canned peaches. I have never received free dessert at Jasmine before, but this is status quo for Thai Castle. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t need any more food after the peaches, so no fried bananas and ice cream were ordered. I left the small restaurant as a satisfied customer who will begin coming in regularly.

For inexpensive, satisfying Thai food, one can’t really ask for more out of a family-owned restaurant. At Thai Castle, the service was great, the food was quick and the free dessert was a nice touch. Don’t get me wrong; Jasmine is fancier than Thai Castle and still worth the higher prices, but I think the best part of the visit to Thai Castle was when the cook came from the kitchen, waved with a big grin and called out, “Thank you!” You don’t get that at more formal restaurants like Jasmine.