Ploy Thai

Front table



**** (4 stars)

Terrific Thai food is served in this charming restaurant that’s been in business for 17 years. It is definitely a family run operation, from the gracious hostess to the chef. The restaurant is named after the owners’s daughter, Ploy, who has grown up with it.

All of the Thai favorites are here. The appetizers, while fried, aren’t to oily, and I’m a particular fan of the Talay.

Ploy Thai
1941 W Brandon Blvd
Brandon, FL
(813) 684-5007

The Attic Door

Pork slider



***** (5 stars)

Now under the new ownership of Laurie and Kevin Tarter of the Chef’s Table and Tasting Room across the street, the Attic Door has reached its full potential as a chill place to hang out and enjoy good food, wines, beer and live music.

Long-time fans will find that all of the Attic Door’s best features have been retained, but the food is now an order of magnitude better, the wine list more interesting, the beers vastly more interesting, and the seating more comfortable, and better suited to enjoying the food while listening to the excellent live music.

The service has the friendly professionalism you would expect from these experienced owners. There’s a passion here to make everything just right for guests.

There will also be an afternoon tea some days. Hearing about the research that has already gone into selecting the teas and scone recipes makes me excited to experience another unique offering.

The attic Door is definitely most chill place to hang out in Winter Garden.

The Attic Door
28 W Plant St
Winter Garden, FL
(407) 877-0266

Lotus of Siam

Dining room


**** (4.5 stars)

As the awards attest, Lotus of Siam serves some of the best Thai food in the country. This new location is a gorgeous building, and allows them to serve many more people.

As is often the case, with the growth come issues. We’ve always had amazing service at the old location. To describe the service at this new location as disjointed would be giving it too much credit. The fundamental problem is that you don’t have a server. Instead, a whole team of people randomly drops by; two people took our orders, two others took orders for wine, the food was delivered by runners, water refilled by others, and wine… well, the wine was another matter all together.

Lotus of Siam has a great wine list. I didn’t see anyone else in the vast space having a bottle, so it may simply be they’ve forgotten how to serve it. We ordered two bottles and forty minutes later(!) finally were advised they were out of both. We ordered an alternate for one of them, and accepted a recommendation for the other. fifteen minutes later the recommendation finally showed up. The other bottle? Missing in action. We finally gave up and cancelled it after all the food had been served.

And the one bottle we did get ended up being self-serve. We had to get up and get it from the ice bucket every time we needed a refill.

I guess next time we’ll order cocktails.

Lotus of Siam
620 E Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 538-6135

Chat Thai


***** (5 stars)

I absolutely love this place, and make multiple trips here whenever I visit Sydney. The stirfry dishes are not at all oily, and the noodle dishes are not overcooked. The menu is vast, and it’s not as if they are combining just a few ingredients in many ways. There are many many unique flavors. Wonderful place.

Chat Thai
Level 6
188 Pitt St
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 9221 0600

Oudom Thai & Sushi

Lettuce Wraps

Pad Thai

Dynamite roll


**** (4 stars)

Oudom is the latest occupant of a space that has been a revolving door for restaurants, and I hope it does better than its predecessors, because it is a much better restaurant.

We started with their Dynamite Roll, which emphasizes sriracha rather than wassabi. It was a well-made roll with a good balance of flavors.

Pad Thai was a bit lackluster, I thought. It lacked the crispness that should have been imparted by lime juice, and I didn’t detect any egg.

The lettuce wraps were our favorite. The mixture incorporated lots of cilantro, ginger and citrus, and was fresh and very flavorful.

The space is largely unchanged from its last incarnation. It’s open and high-ceilinged, and pleasant to be in.

Our server was friendly and efficient, and the pricing is reasonable.

Oudom Thai & Sushi
100 S Eola Dr
Ste 105
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 849-3739

Bamboo Asian Cuisine

Pork lo mein with fried rice and egg roll



**** (4 stars)

This isn’t a fusion restaurant (which would blend cuisines in one dish) but they do offer Chinese and some other Asian cuisines, particularly sushi.

I liked the three items I had at lunch: a particularly savory pork lo mein, a very interesting flavored egg roll and fluffy fried rice. Service was fast, perhaps due to the fact I was alone.

The place is bright and clean.

Bamboo Asian Cuisine
1567 E Silver Star Rd
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 291-0100

Star of Siam

*** (3 stars)

This is a satisfactory Thai restaurant. It’s not going to change your life, but if you’re in the area and have a hankering for Thai, it’s a fine choice.

Ironically enough, the best dish we had was the Vietnamese spring rolls. They had a nice combination of basil and mint, and were very fresh. It was nice that they had been cut into bite-sized pieces, and they were served with an excellent sweet and chunky peanut sauce topped with scallions and laced with Sriracha.

Massaman curry was also fine, with a nice coconut base and plenty of whole peanuts. There were lots of shrimp in the version I had, and a few chunks of potato and pineapple. No peppers, but instead cherry tomatoes, which seemed an odd choice.

The beef salad had some great flavors, but the beef was really too tough to be appealing, and almost too tough to eat.

Service was very fast and friendly, and the decor is open and interesting.

Star of Siam
11 E Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 670-0100

Pop Thai Restaurant

*** (3 stars)

This is a nicely decorated space with very friendly service. The food is serviceable Thai. We tried a couple of lunch dishes and an appetizer, and although there were no standouts, everything was fine.

My favorite items were actually the soup and salad that came with the lunch. It was a particularly flavorful version of chicken rice soup, and the salad dressing had a nice mix of peanut and a minty flavor that elevated it above the usual peanut sauce.

I wasn’t a fan of one herb used in the potstickers and spring rolls. It was a flavor not usually encountered in these.

I enjoyed the crispy duck and shrimp lunch special, although the duck was far from crispy. The cocoanut tinged curry was nice.

Fresh Hot Basil was inexplicably missing any basil flavor or leaves; in fact, there was more basil in the duck dish.

If you’re in the area and tired of Vietnamese food and tacos, this is a fine choice for a meal, even if it’s not the best Thai in town.

Pop Thai Restaurant
1227 N Mills Ave
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 917-6139



***** (5 stars)

Years ago we liked to go to Tabla for the amazing food and spectacular desserts. Despite what was at the time a very decrepit building, the food was the draw. But then they changed lunch to a buffet and we stopped going.

I’m pleased to report that full lunch service is back, and the food is better than ever. In addition, the formerly dingy space has now been completely remodeled, and is one of Orlando’s most stylish restaurants.

The three course lunch must be one of the best deals in town. It begins with soup or salad, then your choice of many Indian and a few Thai dishes incorporating the protein of your choice, served on a very attractive platter along with rice, naan bread, and either a samosa or spring roll. Finally there is a choice of desserts.

Our favorites were the Chicken Tikka Masala and the Saag Paneer. The banana roll was a nice way to finish up. It’s a lot of food for a very reasonable price.

Service was friendly and fairly quick, so this will definitely go onto our regular lunch circuit. I’d also like to visit for dinner and further explore the menu. Tabla is back and better than ever!

5827 Caravan Ct
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 248-9400

Zab Thai

*** (3 stars)

OK, this is not a great Thai restaurant, but I had a much better experience than most of these other reviews.

It’s true that the server was completely untrained, and had no concept of when to turn in orders for food or to clear plates. So appetizer, soup and main course arrived spaced out by about 90 seconds each. And then plates started disappearing even while we were still eating off of them. So… 0 for service.

On the other hand, I’ve never been to such a beautifully decorated restaurant. With stone statuary on the walls, teak dividers, and elegant hanging lamps it’s really quite nice. If they turned off the glaring overhead lighting and completely went with the theme it would be one of the best decorated restaurants in Central Florida. So 5 for decor.

As for the food, it was okay. The sashimi was fine; a generous portion, fairly fresh tasting, excellent quality salmon. The Tom Yum soup was tasty, with crispy fresh vegetables added at the last minute. And the Pad Thai was good if not great, not as complex or citrusy as I like, but at least takeout quality. I really had to restrain myself at dessert time from ordering the yummy-sounding “Black glutinous rice pudding with young coconut flesh.” “Glutinous” and “flesh” are not things I look for in a dessert. Anyway… let’s say 3 for food.

That averages out to a solid 3 star rating. It’s a bit sad because that might make it the highest rated restaurant in Clermont, but that’s another story.

Zab Thai
1660 E Hwy 50
Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 242-1314