I first noticed BAAN THAI while walking 河原町通Kawaramachi Street close to 市比賣神社Ichihime Shrine about several months ago. One can’t help but notice the orange and yellow exterior, bright as far as colors go for Kyoto; the Thai flag and statues outside indicated what cuisine that the restaurant serves.
I went as soon as I finished work last week at 5:00 pm which was pretty early to have dinner for most people; I, however, like to eat around then if possible (old habit from my childhood and school days). Plus I was starving and I had been craving green curry for about a week without getting my hands on any.
Of course there was no one in the restaurant except for the owner’s wife(?) who was Skyping with family or friends(?) in Thailand(?) while watching her toddler. She welcomed me briefly in Japanese with a thick Thai accent before going back to Skyping. A waitress brought me water.
The interior is just as bright as the exterior and did a very good job of making me believe that I was in Thailand, especially because I was in the restaurant with an unfamiliar tongue as the only background sound.
The menu is in Japanese, Thai and English. After looking through the menu and wanting to eat just about everything on the menu, I decided it was best to get a set meal which would let me taste several of the dishes. The waitress came back and I soon discovered that she spoke and understood very little Japanese…no problem, pointing to what I want in the menu works in such a case (I remembered what it felt like when I first came to Japan). Or I could have used English like I found out later when I paid…anyway, I was so happy to have some authentic Thai cuisine by a chef of 40-years experience!
I cooled down from the hot day and in no time my food arrived: バジル炒めのせご飯・グリーンカレー・春巻き・タピオカのココナッツミルクbajiru itame nose gohan, guriin karee, harumaki, tapioka no kokonattsu miruku (basil stir fry with rice, green curry, fried spring rolls & tapioca in coconut milk), ￥1800.
Everything was just the way that I wanted them to taste. I got confused about what to put in my mouth next, everything just tasted so good! Even the Japanese owner coming in and the cheerful chatter that went on in Japanese around me didn’t distract me from my food. Needless to say, I’ll be back for sure to try other items on the menu.☺
Update: I went back to BAAN THAI over a month later for lunch before heading into work. Although I could have eaten the green curry again, I decided to have the パット・タイpad thai lunch, ￥950, which came with salad, fried spring rolls and tapioca pudding.
I still think that the pad thai at Chang Noi is the best but this one is good if one is partial to fried noodles a bit more saucy.