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Don't like spicy? Try the Thai

Ken Kilander, left, of Riverside, Calif., tries a sample of Thai cuisine to decide what to order at the Kitsap Mall’s newest restaurant, the Thai Express, located in the Food Court. Co-owner Som Si and her son and co-owner Joe Suwandichit are behind the counter. - Photo by Kelly Everett
Ken Kilander, left, of Riverside, Calif., tries a sample of Thai cuisine to decide what to order at the Kitsap Mall’s newest restaurant, the Thai Express, located in the Food Court. Co-owner Som Si and her son and co-owner Joe Suwandichit are behind the counter.
— image credit: Photo by Kelly Everett

Some people shy away from Thai cuisine.

They can’t tell if it’s Chinese or Indian. And besides, it’s too hot and spicy.

“Thai food is interesting because it draws influences from everywhere,” said Thai Express co-owner Joe Suwandichit. “Thai has a rich coastal and seafood influence... while at the same time a strong influence from India — there are lots of curries.”

Some people avoid those curries. But they don’t have to avoid the new Thai Express at Kitsap Mall.

“The beauty of Thai food is that it can be as hot or mild as you like,” he said, “while still retaining its unique international flavor.”

He said house specialties include a teriyaki “sandwich” with poached salmon and ginger, and a pan-fried rice and noodle dish with eggs, scallions or peanuts with “a sweet tamarind sauce,” he said.

Suwandichit and his mother, Som Si, co-own Thai Express, the latest restaurant to open in the Food Court at Kitsap Mall.

Though it looks like a fast-food outlet, the quality of the cuisine is rich authentic. Both owners were born in Thailand, with Si learning to cook there. Son Suwandichit, 19, was brought to the United States as a young child. He was raised in America and attended local schools. He’s a CKHS grad. The restaurant has one employee in addition to the co-owners, Delia Bennett. The last place the family had a restaurant was in California, said Si.

The menu is headed by the restaurant’s “combo special” which gives a taste of several things. Appetizers include spring rolls or chicken satay with peanut sauce.

Soups include tom yum goong, hot and sour with prawns and mushrooms; and tom ka gai, hot and sour with coconut milk and chicken.

Vegetarian dishes range from veggie fried rice to tofu with cashews. Noodle dishes include pad Thai jay with rice noodles, tofu, egg, turnip and bean sprouts. Other specialties include ginger chicken, pork or beef with veggies; “showering” Rama chicken, beef or pork with mixed vegetables and peanut sauce; and spicy prawns with vegetables, chili paste and basil.

Customers get a choice of how spicy they want their food. There’s no MSG added. Beverages are also available.

Thai Express replaces former tenant, Edo Japan. Call 698-8700.

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