I’ll admit that my experience with Thai food is limited. The yum seen salad and sticky rice from Kob Jai was only my second ever meal of Thai cuisine. But what comes shining through in the dish, and it’s accompanying glass of Thai iced tea, is a sense of the culture and the place. And isn’t that part of the fun when it comes to trying different ethnic foods? I don’t think there is a better reflection of regional cultures than the taste of those cultures.
Thai food is complexity on a plate with chopsticks. It’s fair to say that all foods are complex to one degree or another, but Thai food is a subtle complexity. It’s a blending of diverse but faint flavors that harmonize in unexpected ways. The only sensation that stands above the melody is heat. Thai food rates right next to other spicy offerings from anywhere in the world. Thankfully, Kob Jai allows a gentle introduction to Thai heat in the form of a three-step hotness ladder. I’ll be climbing another step for my next meal.
Among the sensations of a good food, texture is often forgotten. But without texture flavor is often lost. Enter the sticky rice. There is no better compliment to the varied flavors of yum seen. The sticky rice serves as an anchor, a base for the Far Eastern sophistication that peppers your palate with every bite. Wash it all down and cool the heat with some sweet and slightly fruity Thai tea and it’s the closest you can get to a true Thai experience here in the River Valley.