Thai one on

Thai one on

Tik’s Thai Grille, a Dayton original expands

By Avery King
Photo:The chicken satay appetizer with cucumber and peanut sauces at Tik’s Thai Grille
Tik’s Thai Grille in Sugarcreek Township is one of three local Thai establishments operating under the Tik brand – named after the owner. “Mostly Thai people have nicknames and we call each other mostly by nickname,” explained owner Siriya [pronounced “Sa-ree-ah”] Sripol. Her Thai nickname is “Tik.” Since her arrival in 1988 Tik has opened numerous businesses. Her first Dayton area establishment opened in 2003 in the food court at the Second Street Market complex. In 2004 she partnered with her friend Pakawan Christman [whose Thai nickname is “Fon”] to open Downtown Dayton’s Yummy Burger and then Ban Thai in Beavercreek in 2005.  The Tik and Fon team split in 2008 when Fon opened her successful Siam Pad Thai in Kettering [reviewed by DCP in May 31, 2011] and Tik opened Tik’s Thai Express in Fairborn.

Tik has since grown her mini empire with Bellbrook’s Tik’s Thai Grille in 2011, Springboro’s Tik’s Thai Grille #2 in 2012, and her seasonal Tik’s Thai Express Mobile food truck last year.

My friends and I visited the Bellbrook location, situated at 4459 W. Franklin St. The tiny storefront co-exists at the end of the DrugMart stripmall, adjacent to a high-end beer and wine carryout. The location offers ample parking, but the inside of the restaurant is cozy and seating is somewhat limited on busy weekend nights. We were bumped from our initial table because someone had reserved the four-top where the host first seated us, yet we were quickly re-seated nearby with no wait. While there were several large parties that Saturday night and most tables were full, there were a couple of open four-tops to accommodate those who came after us.

The restaurant atmosphere is upscale casual. Colorful Thai statues and delicate woodcarvings welcome visitors in the small lobby. Images of the Buddha and of Thailand adorn the walls, and a large Buddha statue rests in the eaves of the bar, with its pitched faux temple roof and ornate decorations. The ambient music was a tad loud and a tad generic, but it wasn’t off-putting. The rather large television mounted on the wall above the entrance was out of place in an otherwise polished décor, but the volume was silenced and several diners appeared to be watching the NCAA March Madness tournament on it.

The service was, well, serviceable – not overly friendly, but by no means rude. As noted above, there was an error with our being seated at a table reserved for someone else (who, oddly, never materialized during our dining session), but although the issue was odd, it was resolved quickly. We never waited long for our waitress and the food was served promptly and at the appropriate temperature.

A friend and his teenage daughter accompanied me. Although my friend was a veteran foodie, his daughter was not; this was her first Thai excursion. She is a vegetarian and tends toward being a picky eater, but she was pleasantly surprised at the number of appetizing options available to her.

My friend and I started the evening with wine, served by the glass. Tik’s offers a full beer and wine menu, although craft beer drinkers will be disappointed with the offerings, which tend towards domestics or Asian light lagers. The wine list isn’t extensive, but there are several reasonable options. Our drinks came promptly.

We ordered several appetizers, including the mango fresh rolls and the Thai classic, chicken satay. The mango fresh rolls were as visually appetizing as they delicious. Each roll is a cornucopia of fresh produce – a thin cone of rice paper holds a slice of mango, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, mint leaves and lettuce. The dipping sauce was a thick, brown peanut and soy concoction that melded well with the rolls. The satay included four strips of thin chicken, skewered and grilled, with a cucumber sauce and a peanut sauce. The cucumber sauce was sweet and refreshing. The peanut sauce was also solid, although lighter in body than the sauce that accompanied the rolls.

My friend ordered the red curry with shrimp, which arrived looking fresh and artfully prepared. He noted he would have preferred the vegetables cooked with the curry, but this dish worked regardless, and the curry did its job when mixed with the shrimp and rice. Tik’s offers a range of four spice levels. My friend ordered a 3 out of 4, tagged as “hot.” While it appeared to draw a few beads of sweat on his brow, those wanting serious heat should probably go for the maximum on their scale: Thai Hot.

Our teen dining companion ordered the Love’s vegetables, which comes with several protein options, including chicken, tofu, beef or duck. She chose the tofu, which was firm and well seasoned. The vegetables were the star of the dish, tender-crisp and perfectly prepared – even if the baby corn and napa were a bit too much of a challenge for her young palate. The sauce was savory with a nip of sweetness that brought the dish to life.

Peanut sauce, especially when mixed with soy and ginger, is one of my primary loves about Thai cooking, so I ordered the Tik’s thai garden with tofu, which promised a heavy dosage of peanut flavor. I was not disappointed. The sauce was similar to that of the mango fresh rolls, with slightly more heft. And although the sauce was impeccable, the perfectly prepared vegetables were the highlight of the dish. I can’t recall the last time I had broccoli so well prepared. My spice level was also a tad low, so you may be able to shoot higher than expected here.

The bill for the meal was reasonable, with each dish generally under $20 and many under $15. Overall, we enjoyed this local gem and would all recommend it to friends.

 

Tik’s Thai Grille is located at 4459 W. Franklin St. in Bellbrook. For more information, please call 937.310.1049 or visit tiksthaigrille.com.

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Avery King at AveryKing@DaytonCityPaper.com

 

Tik’s Thai Grille in Sugarcreek Township is one of three local Thai establishments operating under the Tik brand – named after the owner. “Mostly Thai people have nicknames and we call each other mostly by nickname,” explained owner Siriya [pronounced “Sa-ree-ah”] Sripol. Her Thai nickname is “Tik.” Since her arrival in 1988 Tik has opened numerous businesses. Her first Dayton area establishment opened in 2003 in the food court at the Second Street Market complex. In 2004 she partnered with her friend Pakawan Christman [whose Thai nickname is “Fon”] to open Downtown Dayton’s Yummy Burger and then Ban Thai in Beavercreek in 2005.  The Tik and Fon team split in 2008 when Fon opened her successful Siam Pad Thai in Kettering [reviewed by DCP in May 31, 2011] and Tik opened Tik’s Thai Express in Fairborn. 

Tik has since grown her mini empire with Bellbrook’s Tik’s Thai Grille in 2011, Springboro’s Tik’s Thai Grille #2 in 2012, and her seasonal Tik’s Thai Express Mobile food truck last year. 

My friends and I visited the Bellbrook location, situated at 4459 W. Franklin St. The tiny storefront co-exists at the end of the DrugMart stripmall, adjacent to a high-end beer and wine carryout. The location offers ample parking, but the inside of the restaurant is cozy and seating is somewhat limited on busy weekend nights. We were bumped from our initial table because someone had reserved the four-top where the host first seated us, yet we were quickly re-seated nearby with no wait. While there were several large parties that Saturday night and most tables were full, there were a couple of open four-tops to accommodate those who came after us. 

The restaurant atmosphere is upscale casual. Colorful Thai statues and delicate woodcarvings welcome visitors in the small lobby. Images of the Buddha and of Thailand adorn the walls, and a large Buddha statue rests in the eaves of the bar, with its pitched faux temple roof and ornate decorations. The ambient music was a tad loud and a tad generic, but it wasn’t off-putting. The rather large television mounted on the wall above the entrance was out of place in an otherwise polished décor, but the volume was silenced and several diners appeared to be watching the NCAA March Madness tournament on it.

The service was, well, serviceable – not overly friendly, but by no means rude. As noted above, there was an error with our being seated at a table reserved for someone else (who, oddly, never materialized during our dining session), but although the issue was odd, it was resolved quickly. We never waited long for our waitress and the food was served promptly and at the appropriate temperature. 

A friend and his teenage daughter accompanied me. Although my friend was a veteran foodie, his daughter was not; this was her first Thai excursion. She is a vegetarian and tends toward being a picky eater, but she was pleasantly surprised at the number of appetizing options available to her.

My friend and I started the evening with wine, served by the glass. Tik’s offers a full beer and wine menu, although craft beer drinkers will be disappointed with the offerings, which tend towards domestics or Asian light lagers. The wine list isn’t extensive, but there are several reasonable options. Our drinks came promptly. 

We ordered several appetizers, including the mango fresh rolls and the Thai classic, chicken satay. The mango fresh rolls were as visually appetizing as they delicious. Each roll is a cornucopia of fresh produce – a thin cone of rice paper holds a slice of mango, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, mint leaves and lettuce. The dipping sauce was a thick, brown peanut and soy concoction that melded well with the rolls. The satay included four strips of thin chicken, skewered and grilled, with a cucumber sauce and a peanut sauce. The cucumber sauce was sweet and refreshing. The peanut sauce was also solid, although lighter in body than the sauce that accompanied the rolls. 

My friend ordered the red curry with shrimp, which arrived looking fresh and artfully prepared. He noted he would have preferred the vegetables cooked with the curry, but this dish worked regardless, and the curry did its job when mixed with the shrimp and rice. Tik’s offers a range of four spice levels. My friend ordered a 3 out of 4, tagged as “hot.” While it appeared to draw a few beads of sweat on his brow, those wanting serious heat should probably go for the maximum on their scale: Thai Hot.

Our teen dining companion ordered the Love’s vegetables, which comes with several protein options, including chicken, tofu, beef or duck. She chose the tofu, which was firm and well seasoned. The vegetables were the star of the dish, tender-crisp and perfectly prepared – even if the baby corn and napa were a bit too much of a challenge for her young palate. The sauce was savory with a nip of sweetness that brought the dish to life. 

Peanut sauce, especially when mixed with soy and ginger, is one of my primary loves about Thai cooking, so I ordered the Tik’s thai garden with tofu, which promised a heavy dosage of peanut flavor. I was not disappointed. The sauce was similar to that of the mango fresh rolls, with slightly more heft. And although the sauce was impeccable, the perfectly prepared vegetables were the highlight of the dish. I can’t recall the last time I had broccoli so well prepared. My spice level was also a tad low, so you may be able to shoot higher than expected here. 

The bill for the meal was reasonable, with each dish generally under $20 and many under $15. Overall, we enjoyed this local gem and would all recommend it to friends.

Tik’s Thai Grille is located at 4459 W. Franklin St. in Bellbrook. For more information, please call 937.310.1049 or visit tiksthaigrille.com.

 

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