Goddesses of Cuisine
By Elizabeth Fields Hogue Kenerly
I’ve written a few articles in the past about the Asian Culinary Goddesses of Dayton: Japanese and Vietnamese. I will now add Thai to this growing list of culinary masters who have migrated to the Miami Valley. First, I must admit that I don’t like all Asian food – there are a few really bad places in town. Even so, when it’s good, when the Asian cuisine we are so lucky to have in our midst is really good, it’s really, really good.
I recently went to House of Thai in Beavercreek, and was pleasantly surprised as Hemant Wiratsorn and Chuhtamat, his wife, ushered out dish after dish of delicious Thai cuisine. Chuthamat began working in restaurants as a child and with over 25 years of experience, she is a master saucier of her country, overseeing every aspect of preparations at House of Thai. Mrs. Wiratsorn studied in Thai culinary school and proceeded to cook in major hotels in her native country. After cooking in the United States for over 10 years, she and her husband – a former engineer – moved from Iowa to Dayton in 2008, specifically to open House of Thai, after seeing the restaurant real estate online.
Cooking the cuisine of central Thailand and Bangkok is the specialty of this restaurant. The flavors are clean and uncluttered. I find it absolutely inexplicable when Americans assume Thai food is the same as Chinese food; the flavor profiles are so different in my mind and on the tongue. Most of what we see in America as Chinese food is not really culturally accurate, but rather Americanized versions of the cuisine. Fortunately, Thai food in the U.S. has not yet succumbed to this unholy mish mash of food and culture as Italian, Chinese, and Mexican food has…swirling into a different, less uplifting melting pot other than the one envisioned by the Statue of Liberty. I’m not a big fan of “fusion cuisine.” I like my food discernable.
To that end, I recommend House of Thai’s Spicy Fish ($14.99). It was not only good and yummy, but I ate the rest of it for breakfast with scrambled egg and rice. The dish contains a fried fish fillet topped with red curry paste, bell peppers, onions, basil and kaffir leaves. The fish is a crispy golden brown with a succulent sauce. I actually like this with added crushed peanuts and a little hot sauce. So good! Many people, including entire families, have made this a regular weekly dining experience from as far away as Springfield.
The Yellow Curry ($10.99) is also a succulent winner, featuring sliced chicken in a deep yellow redolent curry sauce with potatoes served with rice and peanuts. I love that…and yes, add more peanuts. Other best choices include the Basil Duck ($15.99), a boneless crispy duck breast served with bell peppers, onions and cashews in a spicy basil sauce. In addition, Pineapple Tangerine Chicken ($10.99) and House of Thai’s Pad Thai ($9.99) are rated best of its kind in the mind of many Daytonians.
Lunch is a modest $7.65 for some substantial choices including the Basil Chicken. I loved the flavors but ask for sliced chicken instead of minced. It’s just a textural thing for me since I prefer a more substantial bite of food. As a healthy alternative to fast food – Thai culture is very health conscious – House of Thai is an excellent choice for lunch. If you’re really hungry, or want to eat with friends, try the Daily Combo for $9.45 that includes two entrees, three appetizers and steamed rice. It’s an extremely good value for the cost conscious as well as the health conscious. Be sure to try the delicious Thai Iced Tea as well, which is a deep, dark and strong black tea with cold heavy cream over ice. The visual alone is strikingly beautiful. The ancient and yummy forerunner of today’s smoothies and Starbuck’s type of drinks, House of Thai’s Thai Iced Tea is
House of Thai is located at 3230 Seajay Drive, Beavercreek. Hours of operation are (lunch) Mon-Fri 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; (dinner)
Mon-Thu 4:30 to 9 p.m., Fri 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., Sat 12 to 9:30 p.m. and Sun 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call (937) 429-2236 or visit online at
Reach DCP dining critic Elizabeth Fields Hogue Kenerly at firstname.lastname@example.org