Mpls St Paul Magazine, Frugal Gourmet
Steven Brown, February 2008
These is tiny and then there is teeny. And sometimes there's teeny-tiny, which is the case at Chai's Thai Restaurant. The place is blink-or-you-might-miss-it small (just remember it's located next to the Cedar Cultural Center), but once found, the hard part is over—the food is great, portions ample, and prices itsy-btsy. Take, for example, the sensuous fried crab and avocado spring roll with sweet and tangy dipping sauce for $8, or seafood salad (also $8)—loaded with large plump shrimp, succulent bay scallops, and curls of calamari—fresh and swimming in an ocean of briny lime vinaigrette and spicy chilies, all on a bed of crunchy lettuce. More amazing is ginger-roasted duck: a generous portion of meltingly tender boneless duck nuanced with the namesake spice along with shitake mushrooms, peppers, baby bok choy, and a hauntingly rich, sweet sauce ($10). This diamond-in-the-rough isn't lacking in sparkle either, thanks to cute budget décor and surprisingly
sophisticated food presentation.
Jeremy Iggers, December 24, 2005
...Presentation is more stylish and sophisticated than you might expect at a restaurant where everything on the menu is $9 or less. Dishes are served on black stoneware, and sometimes on banana leaves, while the tea is brought to the table in ornamental cast-iron teapots. Soups are served in a steel hot pot, and stir-fries are festively garnished with curly orange and white strands of julienned carrot and radish...
...The green curry with beef and eggplant is a less dramatic presentation, but for flavor, it just might be the best in town...