Friday, February 13, 2009

Mission: Yellow Curry PDX 003

I work in the Lloyd District of Portland and there are a lot of restaurants around here. I am always on the lookout for new or previously missed Thai places as I drive or walk around. A couple weeks ago I spotted a place on Broadway at 14th that I had never seen before and promptly ordered their yellow curry. It was amazing, and today I went back for round two. Chai Yo.

Chai Yo
1411 NE Broadway, Portland OR
They don't have a website but their phone number is 503 287 0500

What I Ordered:
Lunch special yellow curry with chicken, medium spicy.

Overall Curry Rating: 5

Service: 5
The restaurant is in a convereted old house and is beautiful inside. A little more white tablecloth than many Thai places. I called my order in today but last time I ordered and waited. Both times the service was prompt, friendly and accurate.

Presentation/Packaging: 5
The lunch special curry came in a pint sized plastic container with a lid with the rice in a separate to-go container. No leaks or spills or anything. Perfect.
Oh - there was a bit of a red oilslick on top of the curry by the time I got it back to my office to eat. This doesn't bother me, but it might bother some.

Portion Size/Pricing: 4
6.95 for the lunch special. It was a goodly sized meal, but none for leftovers. Well, maybe that COULD have been two meals, but this is curry for pete's sake. I blog about the stuff, I love it. I'm not going to say no :)

Flavor Complexity: 5
This is some of the most interesting and different yellow curry I've had in Portland. It is redder in color than most other restaurants, and part of that may be the spice level. When you say medium, they make it medium not the "you might be able to taste a little spice" medium of most Thai places in Portland. Other than that it has a great saltyness and you can detect fishy flavors every once in a while. Lemongrass pops out occasionally but this cook doesn't lean on the sweet like so many others do. This place is worth going to just for the experience of eating this curry :)

Overall Flavor: 4
As noted, it's a bit spicy. I actually got a little sweaty and lightheaded on the medium spice, so order accordingly. The potatoes and carrots were cooked through, and they gave me plenty of rice.

Anything Else I Ordered: n/a
I didn't get anything else this time, but last time I ordered their special avocado spring rolls. If you've never tasted melty hot avocado in crispy fried won ton skin you are missing out!

Last Thoughts:
Chai Yo has a mighty fine curry. I can't wait to have an excuse to go there sometim and try some of their other dishes. With the care and complexity they bring to their curry I can't help but be excited for their stir fry and noodle dishes!

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