Thai Time

Thep Thai 479-443-0029 1525 S. School Ave. Fayetteville

Gang Ped Gai has some bite to it

By Rachel Birdsell

TFW Contributing Writer

Preamble Ramble

I’ve had friends telling me for a while now that I needed to try Thep Thai because it was some of the best Thai food in Northwest Arkansas.
I finally decided to put my friends’ tastes to the test (at least their taste in food — I already know that their taste in friends is questionable). Before I go any further, for those of you wondering just how to pronounce “Thep,” the “h” in is silent, so it’s pronounced “tep.” I’m so glad we got that out of the way.

Food For Thought

I ordered the Gang Ped Gai, which is rice with chicken, red curry, bamboo, coconut milk, bell peppers and Thai basil. It came with a cup of chicken-ginger soup.
I was expecting coconut milk-based soup, but that was not the case. The soup was a broth-based soup (uh, oh), and it would have been fine except it was lumpy. I’m not sure if the lumps were just from not properly adding in the corn starch or if they were horrendously overcooked rice.
Either way, it wasn’t very pleasant to eat the little globules. In fact, it’s never good if you have to describe what you’re eating as “globules.” It’s also very heavy on the ginger, and while that’s what I liked best about it, if you’re not extremely fond of ginger, you won’t like the soup.
The Gang Ped Gai on the other hand was awesome. There was plenty of chicken, the rice was perfect and not even remotely globular-like and the bell peppers were fresh and crunchy. It also had enough heat to let me know there was some curry in there.  I found it refreshing to order Thai food that actually had some bite to it. The only thing that would have made it better was to have more coconut milk in it. It was very difficult to even discern that it was lurking around in there.

The Sporkcast

(1-5 sporks)

Atmosphere: 3.4 hand-turned pottery sporks
There is a lot of brick and bamboo, and the tables and chairs are natural wood. The décor is very organic except for the ball caps. I’m not sure what the significance is, if there is any, but there are ball caps hanging from the ceiling above the counter. The hats are also hung over bells which makes them look like the bells are coming off the brim. Maybe ball caps and bells are supposed to ward off evil restaurant critics?
Food: 3.5 bamboo sporks with tiny red peppers stuck on the tines
While the soup reminded me of ginger-flavored lumpy gravy, the Gang Ped Gai more than made up for it. I would like to try their coconut soup just to see if it holds up to other Thai restaurants in the area.
Staff: 3.7 very quiet sporks
The staff was very friendly and they were all soft-spoken. It was rather odd how quietly they spoke to me and to each other. Of course, growing up as the youngest of seven kids, any dining experience that doesn’t involve a lot of noise and food being thrown is a novelty to me.
Dollars spent: The lunch specials are $6.95, which is a pretty decent price for what you get. I had enough lunch left over to take home for a midnight snack.
Chance of returning: Thep Thai was good enough that I’d return, however, I’m still not convinced it’s the best Thai food in northwest Arkansas, which means I’m probably going to have to eat a lot more Thai food before I can make a decision.

Categories: Legacy Archive
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