Thai food is something that I crave on a regular basis. Which is great because Nashville has its fair share of Thai restaurants. When Thai Esane opened I was super excited. Not just because it was Thai but also because of the Laotian influence as well. When Nina Sayasack sets out to open a new restaurant, people follow in droves. Kind of reminds me of Field of Dreams, if you build it they will come and oh do they. Thai Esane is located on 12th South just before you get into the Gulch.
I had the pleasure of going with a good friend from Texas who also enjoys spicy foods the way I do. We ordered a whole table full of food to ensure that we could get a taste of everything. My favorite drink to order in any Thai restaurant is a Thai tea. And theirs is the best. The dark black tea is laced with spices and made creamy with coconut milk which makes it decadent and refreshing with spicy food. Before we ordered our appetizers I opted to get an order of Tom Kha Gai. I love the savory combination of coconut based soup with chicken, carrots, peas mushrooms and green onions, which are accented by kaffer lime leaves and lemongrass
For appetizers we ordered the Esane sausage, meatballs dumplings and the chicken satay. The sausage was my favorite and the dumplings a close second. The sausage was made in house with lemon grass, ginger, other seasonings, and pork. Then cooked until the outside was crispy and the inside was moist and tender. This dish is served with a mustard sauce, a spicy ginger sauce, sticky rice and lettuce cups. The dumplings were stuffed with chicken, mushrooms, celery, carrots, cabbage, onions and served with a sweet soy ginger dipping sauce. This is one not to miss in your order. The chicken satay was marinated in a curry, quick fried, and served with a delicious home made peanut sauce. The beef meatballs are mixed with Thai seasoning, deep fried, and served with a sweet chili sauce that goes perfectly with the crispiness of the meat.
For the main part of our course we ordered the drunken noodles, pad Thai, and tiger tear salad.
The tiger tear salad is one of the best, well-seasoned tiger salads I've had in Nashville. The beef was paper thin, seasoned and seared, then mixed in with thinly sliced onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, carrots, herbs and dressed with fish sauce and lime juice. The pad Thai was traditionally prepared and exceeded my expectations in the flavor department. Drunken noodles were the next to meet their demise. And they were unbelievable. Having never had this dish I was impressed and liked this even more than the pad Thai. Unlike the pad Thai, they used flat extra wide rice noodles tossed with broccoli, jalapenos, bell peppers, basil, and onions which are stir fried in their house sauce, Gai Lan.
If you're wanting a great place to get a belly full of amazing Thai, Thai Esane is the place to go. The interior is sleek and modern and can accommodate large parties or a dinner date of two. They also deliver if you live within a 3 mile radius and order at least $25.00 worth of food. Thai Esane is a casual/dressy place and you can get away with wearing jeans.