Ask any foodie in Orlando what their favorite Thai restaurant in town is and you will hear the words “SEA Thai” the most. Found on East Colonial Drive, SEA Thai sits in a small strip mall down the street from Orlando’s Little Vietnam neighborhood. However, SEA (South East Asia) Thai is quite popular among the locals- from a professional business lunch to a romantic evening with your date.
The dining room is very small, a handful of tables and a wall full of cozy booths. My other half (Chad) and I settled into a booth and quickly looked over the menu. We already had a pretty good idea what we wanted. We both started with salads.
Chad ordered the Thai Salad, a bit pricey for the $5.99 price tag. It was a simple garden salad with a light peanut dressing. Nothing special and the dressing was very watery, leaving a nice puddle on the plate.
I lucked out a little better with my Papaya Salad. A handful of shredded green papaya tossed with tomatoes, string beans, carrots and peanuts tossed in a spicy lime juice dressing. I enjoyed it and it was different enough to justify the $5.99 price.
For my entrees I went with two appetizers- the first being my favorite- the Soft Shell Crab. I have had this before here and it was just as good as I remember. The crab was perfectly fried and served over a bed of crispy rice noodles. The sweet chili sauce added a wonderful spicy flavor to the dish.
My other appetizer was the Mee Grob– a huge bowl of those same crispy rice noodles with spicy Thai shrimp. Also the dish has bean sprouts, roasted cashew nuts, scallions and cilantro. I had three plump pieces of shrimp that were so delicious I wish I could have ordered an entire plate of them. Even though it was just an appetizer I ate every last bit of those rice noodles. Loved this.
Chad had the Vegetable Fried Rice as his entrée, the same dish he orders in about every Asian restaurant we ever go into. For this reason, we have learned to judge a lot of places by the fried rice. His vegetable version had broccoli, carrots, green onions, tomatoes and mushrooms mixed into rice. He enjoyed everything except the carrots. They were extra large and hard to chew.
We love the atmosphere- the owners here have managed to take a rather generic strip mall space and turn it into a cozy spot for some decent Asian grub. Though we enjoyed SEA Thai, we would be careful next time with the veggie fried rice and probably avoid the $6 ordinary garden salad. In the past I have always loved the vegetable curry dishes and coconut Soft Shell crab dinner. 3 1/2 out of 5 sprouts.