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The tastes of Thailand: Coconut Thai


January 13, 2015

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    As Statesboro natives who have seen the location of Coconut Thai change from place to place, I think we’re all a little leery to branch out into the cultural fare housed in an ever-changing shopping center. To start this new year off right, I say, don’t hesitate — at least, not with this first-class restaurant.
    Coconut Thai is located in the small shopping center behind Wendy’s and Zaxby’s, tucked in the corner. It’s easily overlooked from the outside, but stepping into the renovated building transports you out of a Southern college town and into the elegance of an upscale restaurant in a major city. The dim lighting coupled with the intimate yet roomy feel of the large room shouts sophistication.
    The place considers itself to be a Thai fusion restaurant, which allows for a less intense flavor for our Southern palate.
    One appetizer plate offered by the eatery is the vegetable spring rolls with a homemade pineapple sauce. Unlike any other spring rolls I’ve ever had, the wrapper wasn’t greasy from the cooking process but still had that crunchiness that would be expected from a fried food. The sauce was a perfect pairing for the rolls, with the sweet tanginess balancing out the crispness of the vegetables.
    All meals are served with a side of steamed rice. The protein listed in the menu description of each dish is only a suggestion, allowing for substitutions and a dish that meets your individual tastes.
    The classic dish of stir-fried vegetables was, as promised, full of carrots, broccoli, water chestnuts, bell peppers, onions, baby corn cobs, green beans and mushrooms floating in a thin soy-based broth. Although the veggies were obviously cooked down in the broth to enhance their flavor, they weren’t mushy or blended together. In fact, every single vegetable managed to maintain its own natural shape and flavor and was simply improved by the addition of new tastes.
    The broccoli beef was similar to the stir-fried vegetables, although the broth was a little thicker and broccoli was much more prevalent than other vegetables. The two dishes even tasted similar, but the broccoli beef was more focused on enhancing the beef’s natural flavor while the stir fry was all about the vegetables.
    But the Fuji apple dessert dish was the main event. An apple with dark chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, pecans and strawberries on top came out on a plate larger than the entrée’s and almost too beautiful to ruin. There is literally no way to describe how good this dessert was. All of the tastes combined created a perfect flavor, with a crunch from the apple and nuts and creaminess from the chocolate and caramel.
    So next time you’re looking for a new date night spot, or an elegant lunch to cancel out that crazy morning, don’t hesitate to find yourself in the back corner of College Plaza for a Thai fusion dish in a classy and chic restaurant. And be sure to get the Fuji apple. 


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