Ignore the sterile mall backdrop, Home Thai serves some of the most vibrantly tasty Thai fare in Shanghai.
An open kitchen and window display with jars of spicy vinegar, funky fish sauce and chili condiments greet you as you enter. So do the servers, serenading you with “sawadeekas” (hellos) as you enter. No, this isn’t just a surface attempt to fit the tone of the establishment, the staff have clearly gone extra lengths to embody the soft-spoken sweetness, the eternal smiles, and general amiability of Thai culture even though they’re Chinese. And they’re damn cute.
A kaleidoscope of colorful Thai classics from larbs to curries to satays. The only element missing is that scorching Thai spiciness that clings to your mouth like napalm no matter how much milk you gargle. Unless you’re super-sensitive to spicy, the worst you’re gonna get here is some throat tingling, less punishment than you’d receive at your neighborhood Hunan or Sichuan joint.
For starters, you can’t go wrong with the som tum, papaya salad (48RMB). Home Thai’s version takes the traditional crisp strands of green papaya drenched in fish sauce and chili, and beefs them up with juicy tomatoes, peas, and pungent little dried shrimp. The duck spring rolls are also a catch (68RMB).
Afterwards, try the pad kee mao with beef (58RMB), green curry chicken (48RMB), or their take on tom yum prawn soup (68RMB), a savory bog of sweet shrimp with the shells on, taro roots, lemongrass coconut milk, and bamboo shoots as tender as tofu. Or go with their red curry duck (68RMB) if you have a bit of a sweet tooth.
Home Thai’s also one of the few recently-opened places where you shouldn’t pass up dessert, in this case, the mango sticky rice (48RMB), a compilation of sticky rice, super tangy mango slices, and a saucer of creamy, syrupy coconut milk to drizzle over them. Delicious and invigorating.
Tasty, authentic Thai in Thai-starved Shanghai. What’s to dislike?
Home Thai – K11 Art Mall, 4/F, 300 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu (淮海中路300号4楼, 近黄陂南路).
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].