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Thai Spice Restaurant
Bel Air, MD (Festival Shopping Center
Yesterday my daughter wanted to have lunch together and she wanted to go to this Thai restaurant at Bel Air Festival.
Covid has basically converted the restaurant into 1/2. One side was catering to carry out orders and pickup orders and the other half was for in house dining. At around 3 pm, the restaurant was empty for a Friday afternoon. Now, I remember when this restaurant opened up when the entire restaurant was in house dining.
The waiter brought us to a booth and the immediate area smelled like amonia and bleach used to clean the bathroom. It was disgusting. If your going to do the bathrooms, that a chore that should be done at closing, not during business hours. The booth seat according to the wife was very uncomfortable and requested we change to another booth location.
The waiter provided the menus and utensils and upon my review of the menu, prices were astronomical. There was an item that featured Tilapia fish and vegetables for $ 19 bucks, duck with vegetables for $ 19 bucks, the average price was over $15 bucks. Now, you need to know that I cook Asian at the Harford Community College and Frederick Community College, so I know the unit cost of most ingredients. But my daughter wanted to go here, so we ended up here.
I like duck with vegetables and string beans in a Thai sweet sauce. The duck was going to be fried, so I expected a nice portion of duck. My wife had a rice noodle dish with a special sauce and my darling daughter had a Thai Tom Yum Soup bowl with noodles.
Cosnider the restaurant was empty, maybe the cook was doing the carry out orders and take out but for the size of the restaurant I had to believe that that there is more than one cooking station in the kitchen.
We waited for our food for a good 15 minutes, I was wondering if they were chasing the duck in the kitchen to slaughter for my order!
Finally, the dishes came out. You know when you go to a fancy restaurant like La Cirque in Manhattan, fancy French food, they serve a large serving plate with a handful of the entree and that is all you get. Well, we weren't in a freakin fancy restaurant at the festival, and we didn't expect a fancy dish, all we wanted was a dish that was enough to satisfy my stomach in terms of value for the money. My daughter got the bowl of soup noodles, no complaints but I can tell you they probably opened a jar of the soup base sauce, added chicken broth and noodles and some vegetables. Don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that everything in a restaurant is premade when delivered. I know this because I have a jar of the Tom Yum soup base and its like $ 2 dollars.
My wife ordered a special noodle dish. Get this, the noodle dish came out and the little noodles given was swimming in the gravy sauce. There was barely any rice noodles. We had to search the dish to find some noodles and when we found it, I felt guilty eating one strand. Rice noodles cost barely anything.
and the finale was my duck. I'm not even sure if it was duck that I was ingesting. Imagine a duck breast, take 1/4 of a skinny duck breast slice it thin and dip it in a batter and deep fry it. Then add vegetables and a very sweet sauce over it. The amount of the so call duck didn't even have a duck flavor. It was hidden behind the deep fried batter and the sweet sauce. The amount given was a appetizer amount. I'm sure and convinced I wasn't given duck.
3 people and the final bill was $ 60+ tip. But if you want to enjoy an afternoon with family, its best not to go to Thai Spice.
On Chef Woo Can's scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I give Thai Spice a -1,000,000. It was horrible, terrible, smelly. I don't foresee this place lasting longer than another 6 months. It's very expensive and no value to any of the dishes.
There are plenty of reputable food establishments out there, let me know and I'll review them for you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to pay higher prices but at least give me good value for the amount that I ordered.
This establishment must rely on repeat customers, and the way their going the customers are going one way out. If you guys love Thai food, I have the sites where you can buy the ingredients and instructions on how to make it. Let me know, I can help or enroll in my Asian Cooking class "A Taste of Asia" at Harford Community College for January classes. You can enroll now.
Chef Woo can