Thai Delight–Edmond, OK

Thai Delight
3409 S. Broadway
Edmond, OK
(405) 513-8881
Thai Delight

Thai Delight in Edmond


Update Jul. 2020: Thai Delight is now at normal operation with the dining room open. This is subject to any Health Department mandates including use of masks, spacing of customers in the dining room, etc. During the health emergency they were doing delivery and they plan to continue it afterward (they do the delivery themselves). There is one delivery price for anything up to five miles from the restaurant, and a higher price for delivery from five to seven miles. They indicated to me that during the Corona virus emergency they would be willing to go farther than seven miles but I do not know the details of this or whether this policy will be continued.

In 2016 I had what I thought was my best lunch experience of the year at Thai Delight, and this is what has made me determined to return whenever possible (it was the fresh ginger that made this memorable first impression). Thai food ranks high among my favorite cuisines, so this had something to do with it. However, not everyone does Thai food this well, and gives the service and ambiance to complement the food.

The former Thai Palace in Edmond was my favorite Thai restaurant in the OKC metro until it closed, and this has served as my standard for comparing other Thai restaurants. Thai Delight certainly hits many of the same marks, particularly in serving food that tastes authentic to me.

I find that I need to break down the menu, though, into the categories of curries and stir-fried dishes. Thai Delight has separate cooks that specialize in these two types of food, and I have great respect for a restaurant that will provide chefs with this kind of expertise. Personally I especially like the stir-fried dishes here when compared to the ones I get at some other restaurants.

Thai Delight also has a sushi menu which I have not tried, and I cannot comment about the food. I know that the Thai food cooks are from Thailand, though, and this is evident by the flavor and the complexity of food they serve.

The restaurant is located in a shopping complex at the southwest corner of 33rd St. and Broadway in Edmond. I would call the complex upscale, but for some reason they have raised the level of all the stores up a half flight of stairs. After several visits to this restaurant and Pho Bulous next door (as well as an Indian restaurant which used to be in the same center) I finally found a ramp on the north side of the building to give access to anyone who does not want to use the stairs. It is located at the north end of Charleston’s Restaurant (at the opposite end to Thai Delight) but it will work for getting to all the businesses in the center.

Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger

Fresh ginger on the lunch menu

Thai Delight has quite a good selection of items on the lunch menu, including Fresh Ginger. This was the dish I tried on my first visit, and it remains probably my favorite item at the restaurant. Some notable features of the fresh ginger were a vibrant flavor and the fact that it was not too sweet. The ginger was strong but well balanced by the sauce and the other ingredients. All of my orders have been with tofu, which is usually my preference and which also allows me to compare this dish with countless ones I have had in Seattle and other cities.

Basil

Spicy basil

Spicy basil from the lunch menu

Spicy Basil (listed as Basil on the to-go menu) at first did not wow me, but I asked for spicy fish sauce (prik nam pla) which raised the dish to one of the best I have had in the Oklahoma City area. This indicated that it had a very good underlying flavor but it just needed to be spicier (the dish comes at a default 3-star spice level but the waitress suggested that next time I should order it at 4 or 5). The waitress said it was already made with fish sauce but what I added just intensified the flavor. Note: I got a takeout version on a later visit that was spicier to just about the right level, a result of my learning curve and knowing to ask for it this way.

The vegetables on this dish were fresh and a little crunchy. Ingredients such as the carrots and green beans actually had a good flavor (not something I say often about carrots or green beans if they are still on the crunchy side).

Spicy Bamboo with Chicken

Spicy bamboo with chicken

Spicy bamboo with chicken

For some reason they serve Spicy Bamboo with Chicken on both the lunch and dinner menus, but there are no other choices of meat to order with it. This comes with a red curry paste that I wanted to try, but I was not overly impressed with it. This does not mean the dish was disappointing, because it was a treat to have a dish with this quantity of bamboo shoots. Like most dishes here, it seemed to have an explosion of flavors because of the different ingredients that were used. In a way, though, it was almost overpowered by the large quantity of chicken (but this certainly does not seem to be a bad thing). This is definitely one of the more filling lunches I have had at a Thai restaurant, and I imagine the dinner portion would be too much for me to eat at one sitting.

Kao Soi

Kao soi from the lunch menu

Kao soi from the lunch menu

I first tried Kao Soi at Thai Delight’s sister restaurant, Sushi-Thai Delight on Interstate 35 near the 15th Street exit in Edmond. This became one of my favorite items at Thai Delight, and I have ordered it several times since then (including a take-out order where I had to add the vegetables and crispy noodles at the time when I ate it).

They told me this was a dish from northern Thailand (in fact the yellow curry reminded me of ones I had eaten in Lao restaurants). The chef is not shy about making the curry spicy, and I definitely recommend ordering some Thai iced tea with it (for me Thai tea is the default drink with any Thai food).

One interesting feature of this dish is that it has soft noodles cooked in the curry as well as crispy noodles sprinkled on top. There are quite a few vegetables added–I did not realize how many until I got a take-home order where I had to add the vegetables at the time I served it.

Of the several times I have eaten this dish, though, my favorite one was at the restaurant on Interstate 35 (Sushi Thai Delight). This could be for a number of reasons, but I would definitely suggest trying out Sushi Thai Delight as well.

Salad

Salad

Salad with ginger dressing

The Salad was also very good, but even better because it was free. I found the ginger dressing to have a good flavor, but you can also choose the regular dressing or get one of the two soups that are available (but I do not have a list of these).

A spring roll also comes with the lunch special (and this was one of the better spring rolls I have had).

Thai Tea
I tend to put Thai tea into one of two categories–ones I like and ones that are disappointing. The one here was the former, so I was happy. However, I would also say that it was better than most.

Lunch
Thai Delight has 17 lunch specials for $7.95 (as of 2020), and there is a wide choice of items including basil, curry, cashew, ginger, eggplant, broccoli, and pad thai (each has a choice of chicken, beef, pork, tofu, or veggie).  Some lunch items are more expensive, including some fish choices for $8.95 and duck for $11.95. The dinner menu has a larger portion and there are more menu choices, but there is no difference in the way items are prepared that are on both the lunch and dinner menus. Lunch includes a free salad and spring roll.

Japanese box lunch and sushi specials are also available for lunch.

Dinner
The Thai menu is slightly more expensive for the dinner items, but it includes additional types of curry not available at lunch such as Panang, Massaman, and pineapple curry.

The bulk of the Japanese menu seems to be sushi, but it is mostly rolls with a small selection of a la carte sushi/sashimi. There are also Japanese dinners such as tempura, katsu, and teriyaki.

Other Details
The restaurant does not use MSG, but the employees said there might be some in the soy sauce and other sauces they import from Asia. I have not experienced any noticeable levels of MSG in the food.

The dining room was very large and comfortable (this is not the main reason I find this restaurant to be an enjoyable experience but it is an important part of it).

The service at lunch seems to be highly efficient for getting orders out quickly.

I was able to have some good conversations and ask some questions to the staff after the lunch crowd died down. One of the things I learned is that Thai cooks prepare the Thai food (one person for the curries and one for the stir fried dishes). The style of the food is from the Bangkok area, but the kao soi (egg noodles with yellow curry) is northern style. The bamboo chicken has a chile paste which is not made with coconut milk, and is this restaurant’s version of pad prik khing sauce.

I would give the tip to others that for many dishes the prik nam pla (spicy fish sauce) condiment they will give you on request seems to provide added flavor or to bring out the flavor that is already there (depending on which way you look at it). I also think it is a better way to provide additional spice to many of the stir-fried dishes than using chile powder or chile paste.

I originally thought the Thai Delight in Norman was another location of this one, however I found out that it is owned by the same extended family but does not necessarily have the same food.

Takeout

Fresh ginger for takeout

Fresh ginger for takeout

I have tried several items for takeout that I also ate in the restaurant, and have been happy with the result. The Fresh Ginger had the same flavor and impressed me every bit as much as the dine-in version. The one pictured was the dinner size, and was enough for two meals at home (the substantial portion of rice that comes with it makes this possible).

Spicy basil for takeout

Spicy basil for takeout

The takeout meal of Spicy Basil was also excellent, and in fact seemed to be better than the restaurant version (I asked for this one to be spicier than their default level). This was also a dinner portion, and was enough for two meals for me. Like the ginger dish you can have a choice of meats, and I usually choose tofu on the stir fried dishes.

As I mentioned earlier I also tried a take-home version of Kao Soi. This one was interesting because you have to construct it yourself (you add the vegetables to the curry and put the crispy noodles on top when it is ready to serve).

Takeout version of Panang curry

Panang curry for takeout

The Panang Curry is something I have only had for takeout, but it has a vibrant flavor that stands up well to being taken home. It is not as spicy as the kao soi, and overall I enjoyed the dish very much.

Conclusions
The Thai food here is the real deal, although they do not have the massive menu that I found at the former Thai Palace and some other restaurants.

My favorite dishes here have been from the stir-fried menu, but the curry dishes are good as well. Everything I have tried has been among the highest quality Thai food I have had in the Oklahoma City area.

I have made one visit to Sushi Thai Delight as well (925 W. I-35 Frontage Road #116 in Edmond). Here it was a curry dish that was really impressive, and I would say try this restaurant as well if you get the chance.


RATING: 26

Cuisine: Thai & Sushi
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm)
Accessible: Yes (look for the ramp on the north side of Charleston’s Restaurant)
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: May 29, 2020

Number of Visits: 6

Best Items: Fresh Ginger, Spicy Basil, Thai Tea

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Fresh Ginger
star 5 Spicy Basil
star 5 Spicy Bamboo with Chicken
star 5 Kao Soi
star 5 Salad
star 5 Thai Tea

Golden Phoenix–Oklahoma City, OK

Golden Phoenix
2728 N. Classen Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 524-3988
Golden Phoenix

Golden Phoenix


Golden Phoenix (Kim Phung in Vietnamese) became aptly named when it arose out of a fire that occurred in 2011, and was reborn as a more upscale and arguably better restaurant. Both before and after the fire it has operated as a dual restaurant in a single building–there is an authentic menu for Vietnamese food as well as one for Chinese food, each of which has its own chefs. The menu is written in English, Chinese, and Vietnamese and is separated into the categories and styles of food served. It does not make an obvious division, though, between the dishes that come from China or Vietnam.

The Chinese food is Cantonese style, and reflects the cuisine served in Hong Kong except for the fact that they do not serve dim sum. The Vietnamese side of the menu is the one I initially found to be the most interesting, and before the fire I had designated Golden Phoenix as the best Vietnamese restaurant I had found in Oklahoma. After the fire I have tried several Chinese dishes, and have found them to be excellent as well. As it stands, both Vietnamese and Chinese food are among my favorite items at Golden Phoenix.

Vietnamese Food

Pork chop

Vietnamese style pork chop

Some of my favorite items at Golden Phoenix have come from the Vietnamese menu, but both of the ones pictured are ones I ordered before the fire occurred. One was a Pork Chop recommended by the waiter as one of his favorites, and it turned out to be one of my favorites as well. This came with tender meat, but the flavoring was so good that this is what made it so memorable. Most of the meats at Golden Phoenix have MSG, but the pork chop “didn’t have much,” and I was able to eat it with no ill effects. I really think this was one of the best Vietnamese dishes I have had in OKC.

I do not know where this dish is located on the new menu (or the old one, for that matter, since I was just following the waiter’s suggestion). There are several pork chops listed in the section labeled “Broken Rice Platters” with different side dishes, but I cannot match any of them to the one pictured. I would recommend ordering any one of them from the menu or that the staff recommends, and although the side dishes will vary the pork chop itself should be as much of a sublime experience as it was for me.

Bún bò Huê

Bún bò Huê

Bún Bò Huê is a popular soup in Vietnam, but Golden Phoenix is the one place where I was able to find an authentic version of it. This is number 214 on the menu in the “Rice Vermicelli Noodle” section.

The spicy soup had several types of meat and meat substitutes (such as congealed pig blood) that I probably would not normally eat, but I found the flavor to be good and overall I really enjoyed it. This was a deliciously flavored soup cooked with beef bones and lemongrass for flavor, and I found it to be surprisingly good. At least from the description of this dish I have found on the Internet, I think the one at Golden Phoenix was about as authentic as is be found in the U.S. I have had other versions of this soup in OKC, but the one I had at Golden Phoenix was the most flavorful (either in spite of or because of the blood balls).

The current menu lists this dish as “Hue style spicy beef noodle soup with beef, pork, balony and thick round rice noodle.” Absent from this is any mention of the blood balls, so perhaps this is something that has now been dropped. With or without the blood balls, though, I think the excellent flavor of this dish will remain.

Chinese Style Noodles

Flat noodles with beef and vegetables

Flat noodles with beef and vegetables

The Chinese items available before the fire are still on the menu, including Beef Flat Noodles. This was a delicious dish with a large assortment of vegetables mixed in with tender sliced beef. There are so many noodle dishes served I think it will take some experimentation to find the best ones, but I was happy with the one I had.

Pan Fried Noodles were recommended as an authentic dish from the Chinese chef’s home region of Guangdong, and consisted of a wreath of crispy noodles around the edge that resembled a bird’s nest with the customer’s choice of meats and vegetables on top. Mine had a light brown sauce, and was thoroughly enjoyable. This one had a larger portion of noodles than others served in Oklahoma City, but they did not scrimp on the vegetables. It would not be advisable to attend a business meeting after eating this delicacy, however, since a heavy garlic flavoring is a key component to its essence.

Congee

Congee

Congee, or rice soup

Congee, a traditional Chinese dish of rice pudding, makes a good breakfast or appetizer. Even though it comes with fish, chicken, pork, or other types of filler and flavoring, it is not generally considered a dish Chinese like to eat exclusively for a meal except for breakfast. Knowing that I do not generally expect a whole lot out of a bowl of congee, though, I thought the one here was very good. Grand House, across the street from this restaurant, is the only other place I know in town that serves congee (Grand House only has it on weekends and when dim sum is served), but even with a lack of competition in town I thought the rice pudding at Golden Phoenix compared favorably with ones I have tried in other cities.

Chinese Style Hot Pot

Bean curd with assorted meat hot pot

Bean curd with assorted meat hot pot

Several Chinese hot pot dishes are available such as the Bean Curd with Assorted Meat Hot Pot. This is a dish I ordered at night shortly before closing time, and they warned me that some of the meats could not be cooked that late in the evening but it did include several varieties of seafood. Some of the seafood was not as flavorful as I have had at other restaurants, and without the other meat this was a disappointment to me. Despite its apparent shortcomings near closing time, though, it still had good sauce, tofu, vegetables, etc..

The Vegetable and Bean Curd Hot Pot is one that I ordered at a “normal” time, and was very good with tofu, vegetables, and sauce. I thought it could have used some ginger, though. It contained more shitake mushrooms than I expected, and probably as a result of this was somewhat pricey for a vegetable dish.

While the hot pot dishes are very good, this is one case where Golden Phoenix faces stiff competition for other restaurants. I am happy to give my business to all of them, since hot pot dishes are definitely among my favorites.

Steamed Rice Dishes
One of the best dishes I have tried here was the Curry Chicken on Rice from the Steamed Rice section of the menu. It was not the kind of curry I was expecting, even from a Chinese style curry. The curry was a little sweet with a very complex and interesting flavor compared to most curries. I just had a few bites of it, but this was one of the best Chinese dishes I have tried in Oklahoma City.

Barbecued Meats

Barbecued meats

Golden Phoenix is well known for its display of hanging ducks and other meats

Golden Phoenix is probably the premier Chinese barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma City. First Chinese B-B-Q, a chain out of Dallas, was the original restaurant here, and when Golden Phoenix opened it seemed to be merely a name change with the new restaurant still being known for its meats. One of the most notable features of the restaurant is the array of hanging barbecued ducks, chickens, and other animals in a display case near the counter.

Chinese barbecue shares the technique of slow cooking with other barbecue traditions, but the meat can be anything from pork ribs to duck. The smallest portions of barbecued meat served at the restaurant are a half duck or chicken, except for some steamed rice dishes that come with individual portions of duck and other meats.

Roast duck

Takeout order of roast duck

I recently shared a takeout order of Roast Duck with some friends, and it reaffirmed the conventional wisdom that barbecued meats are one of the items Golden Phoenix does best. To me the flavor and quality were on par with duck I have had at some fine dining restaurants.

In 2020 I shared some roast duck on Mother’s Day (also a takeout order) which was so good that I have to list this as an official Steve’s Food Blog tip. The roast duck is always good here, but on Mother’s Day they seem to make a special effort to give you the tenderest and most flavorful roast duck possible. For me this was one of the top three or four examples of roast duck I have ever experienced. (I was told that the roast duck is only available after 12:00 noon but I do not know if this is only on Mother’s Day or whether this is the case every day).

Tea
The original Golden Phoenix served jasmine tea made with loose leaves that was on the house. Now it is made with tea bags and they charge for it. This, along with a new dining room and a somewhat new menu, makes me think they changed the management after the restaurant reopened. In any case, the tea was one item that was better at the “old” restaurant.

Recommendations
I have found consistently good quality with both the Chinese and Vietnamese food, and for both they seem to serve the food as it would be done in Asia. The menu is very extensive, and at times it has been hard for me to decide what would be best to order. The staff is usually a big help if you have some idea of the type of food you would like.

Really my only disappointing experience here has been going late in the evening. They were down to somewhat of a skeleton crew, and the waiter had advised me that they did not have all the ingredients to make some of the dishes properly. I am not holding this against the restaurant because they did advise me, but I will know in the future that when they warn me not to order something that I should not expect the best result from it.

Another lesson I have learned is that many dishes that are quite good did not sound all that appetizing on the menu, so for many of us this requires a learning curve. At the same time some dishes that do not sound very good are really not something I or other people would particularly enjoy. There are plenty of “safe” dishes here (the barbecued meats are hard to beat), but this really is a great place to explore the menu if someone is so inclined.


RATING: 26

Cuisine: Chinese and Vietnamese
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer and Wine

Most Recent Visit: May 10, 2020
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: (Chinese) Roast Duck (and other barbecued meats), Curry Chicken on Rice, Crispy Pork Bean Curd Hot Pot, Pan Fried Noodles, Congee, (Vietnamese) Pork Chop, Bún Bò Huê

 

Asian Food Details

Tea: Jasmine (bags)
MSG: Yes
Buffet: No

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Roast Duck
star 5 Vietnamese Pork Chop
star 5 Bún Bò Huê
star 5 Pan Fried Noodles
star 5 Beef Flat Noodles (dry)
star 5 Congee
star 5 Crispy Pork Bean Curd Clay Pot
star 5 Ginger Chicken
star 5 Curry Chicken on Rice
star 4 Vegetable and Bean Curd Hot Pot
star 4 Shredded Chicken with Garlic Sauce

 

Menu (Jul. 2017):