Curry, stir fry, bbq, spicy salads, steamed dishes and flavor-packed soups – what’s not to love about classic Thai cuisine? Thai dishes are undoubtedly at the top of my list when it comes to different food genres from around the world. The delightful essence and aroma that Thai food releases is sublime – it engages all of the senses. Where can you find some of the most delicious Thai offerings in St. Petersburg Florida? At none other than Thai Wok, located on 4th St. N., which has been family owned and operated since 1994.
The quaint restaurant is situated in a plaza/strip mall that is tucked away off of the northern tip of 4th St. N. in St. Petersburg. The ambiance is relaxed, the food is above satisfactory and the hospitality is genuine and exceptional. The original owner’s son, Henry, oversees the operations at Thai Wok present-day. He said that it took a while for his father to fully let go of the reigns, but the operation has been running smooth ever since he did.
Thai Wok is open every day of the week with the exception of Sundays. They’re prepared to welcome you every other day for lunch and dinner though. They’re menu is comprised of classic thai cuisine, like curries and a myriad of stir-fry and noodle dishes. Drink varietals range from teas and soft drinks to wines and imported beers.
The dining room isn’t too large, but it can accommodate plenty. We enjoyed our first meal at Thai Wok on a Thursday evening. There were a few tables in the midst of their meals upon our arrival and the restaurant steadily filled up through the duration of our visit. A number of to-go orders went out the door, too. All the while, Henry took great care of every patron at Thai Wok while his cousin prepared all of the food in the back – like a well-oiled machine. Their operation is quite graceful and the food, well, the food speaks for itself and I’ll offer more on that next.
The menu is quite extensive and it was difficult to choose because everything sounded delicious. We ended up ordering an array of items, including lunch for the following day. One of the first dishes to hit the table was an appetizer, the Curry Pops. I love any and everything with curry involved so these were a non-negotiable. Ground pork and sweet potatoes with curry powder, wrapped in wonton skin, then fried and served with a tangy sauce for dipping. Nothing fussy – just simple and savory with a hint of sweet but super satisfying.
The Thai salad landed and it was as crisp and refreshing as I had imagined. Cool and crunchy lettuce and chopped veggies tossed in a peanut sauce/dressing. It made for the perfect light bite before our entrees arrived.
Then their was the wonderful Tom Yum Goong soup. Hints of lemongrass, mushrooms and heat from chili paste are present with faint notes of shrimp lime as well. The portion was perfect – just enough for my husband and I each to have a few tastes without getting too full.
Pad Thai is one of those familiar entrees that always does the trick when I’m not sure what else to order. You can usually find it on the menu at most Thai restaurants 99.9% of the time and it never disappoints. At Thai Wok, their Pad Thai (as well as all of their entrees) is available with chicken, pork, tofu, beef, squid or shrimp. Chicken Pad Thai is quite classic in my opinion and it is also what was recommended to us. Surely enough, it did not let us down. We appreciated the manageable portions sizes as well – though, we still had plenty to take home with us.
As I mentioned earlier with the Curry Pops – I love everything about a curry dish. The melting pot of spicy, savory, sweet and tangy flavors is mostly everything you could want in an entree. The characteristics and profile, no matter what kind of curry, are almost addictive and really tap into all of the senses. Thai Wok has a handful of curry varietals which include: Red, Panang, Masaman and Phad.
My cravings lead me to the red curry with tofu which is red curry paste cooked with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, snow peas, sweet basil and pineapple. I didn’t realize that the pineapple was in the dish initially; however, it was a pleasant and sweet surprise that aided in balancing the rich and incredible curry. The curry and most all of the entrees are served with jasmine rice that is spooned directly from its beautiful vessel.
We recently had a Garlic & Black Pepper Chicken dish at a different Thai restaurant in the area and we totally fell in love with the profile of prominent flavors. Since then, we’ve had a few renditions of the dish, including this one from Thai Wok. It was recommended with either chicken or beef and we enjoy the chicken variation too much to deviate. It was as appetizing as we had hoped it would be.
Stir fried garlic and black pepper sauce served over a slew of steamed vegetables and chicken and garnished with carrots and scallions. It’s a savory delight and not one single bite was left behind. It is also absolutely worth mentioning that you can control the spice level of your entree. Mild has the least amount of heat while Thai Hot provides the most on the scale.
In addition to Sundays, Thai Wok also closes daily between lunch and dinner time. A reservation is not required but they do fill up, especially during dinner service. After one meal and experience at Thai Wok it became evident quite quickly why the establishment has been thriving since 1994. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed dining experience with quality service or a delectable and always-satisfying dinner on the go, look no further than the folks at Thai Wok.
Family-owned nook in a strip mall with an old-world ambiance offering Thai classics & imported beer.