Over in Cary Town Plaza is a quiet little Thai restaurant called, Tom Yum Thai. I had been here years ago when it opened and thought it was decent but it literally took over five years before I came back for a re-visit! Cary Town Center is just not a spot I get to that frequently but I’m glad I did get back to try Tom Yum Thai again. From the outside the restaurant looks pretty humble. Most likely a conversion of a fast-food restaurant, the drab exterior opens up to a large, high-ceiling dining room full of dark woods and pendant lighting, quite nice! We grab a table in the corner, there’s plenty of sunlight to keep the place bright for lunch time. Tom Yum Thai does a bunch of lunch specials for $8 which includes drink, soup or salad and entree.
The table starts with some Thai spring rolls: six diagonally cut pieces with some sauce. They’re decent vegetarian rolls, well-fried but sort of bland including the sauce. For the price ($3.95) it’s a decent app but just doesn’t pop with much flavor which is what I usually associate with Thai food. My colleague’s crispy rice cake with chicken looks a lot more interesting but don’t want to fill up before my entree. The chicken soup is fine, just some clear broth with some light noodles and chicken. And of course I go with the Thai spicy noodles with chicken for my main, Tom Yum Thai’s equivalent of pad kee mao. It’s a nice portion with plenty of rice noodle, chicken and adds some tomato, mushrooms and onion. Spicing at hot is really medium to me, I usually order in the middle for hotness. The noodles are well-cooked with some suppleness but the dish is lacking basil. I spy a piece or two but it can really use some more. The additional veggies make for a nice touch but this dish just seems to be lacking a bit of flavor.
Service at Tom Yum Thai is solid and efficient for lunch time. They’re busy but not super-busy so they did a nice job keeping glasses filled. In the end, Tom Yum Thai is a decent spot for Thai eats but very much in the middle. Good portions, decent flavor for lower prices which is perfect for lots of people. But my instincts are that they’ve toned things down a bit for a suburban crowd. Still I’d come back again because there isn’t a lot of decent Thai food in this neck of the woods outside of Thai Villa. In the end, I guess waiting five years wasn’t that big a deal but hopefully it won’t be that long before my next visit!
685 Cary Towne Blvd
Cary, NC 27511