Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I went out to lunch with a coworker today for Thai food. We've hit up many of the Thai restaurants in our area so today I figured we would go to Qi. M and I have been here a few times, but we've never had their lunch special. To be honest, I was very impressed. The food has always been good, and chef Pichet Ong has put together a wonderful menu. The thing that really got me was the amount of food.

As per the menu, I was allowed to pick 1 appetizer and 1 entree. The menu gives you a short list to pick from, but there's also a small note that says that you can select any appetizer or entree from the full menu. I thought about doing this, but in the end I wanted something simple. I ordered the chive corn dumplings for my appetizer and the spicy basil fried rice with chicken for my entree. Normally this wouldn't be that big of a deal, a simple appetizer and a nice, filling entree. What I was not expecting was what came next.

The waiter came back fairly quickly and put down a plate with 4 bowls on it. Apparently with the lunch menu we also each got a bowl of chicken tom yum soup and 3 spring rolls. Had I known this I probably would have ordered a lighter entree.

Spring Rolls and Soup

The soup was hot, spicy, and with just enough of a touch of sourness to be perfect. There was a surprising amount of chicken in each bowl, but I wish there had been more mushrooms. The spring rolls were pretty standard. Vegetarian, fried, dumped in Thai chili sauce, and topped with carrot strings and black sesame seeds. Overall nothing too exciting, but they were at least tasty.

Next came the appetizer. I think M and I have had these dumplings before, but I didn't remember what they tasted like. They were good, but nothing outstanding. M and I have eaten so many dumplings, and we're of the mindset now that if they're not Earth shattering then they're just okay. These were just okay.

Chive Corn Dumplings

Next came the entree. I always like eating either Pad Kee Mao or Spicy Basil Fried Rice from Thai restaurants because it's a decent gauge of how the restaurant is. Both taste basically the same except one is a noodle dish and the other is a rice dish. Having eaten here previously, I already knew that the dish was good, and I was expecting to see a smaller dish come out for the lunch menu. Instead I was faced with an actual full order of fried rice. I was impressed that, even for a lunch special, the portions remained large. It makes me wonder if they do the same if you order from the regular menu as part of the lunch special.

Spicy Basil Fried Rice with Chicken

The flavor was spot on as usual. It also had a good amount of heat that didn't overpower the dish but left a nice burn. I probably shouldn't have finished it all, but I really couldn't stop myself. Overall I loved this lunch. For (currently) $7.95 plus tax for chicken, it's a phenomenal deal loaded with tons of food. The only issue I had was that there weren't enough workers there to handle the demand. Water refills were non-existent unless we flagged a server down to ask, and overall the people there seemed to just be running around a lot. That certainly won't stop me from going back, though.

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