There’s just something special about Thai food, especially if its cooked to perfection. Plenty of restaurants in Northern Virginia, serve foods from Asia, but only a few consistently get rave reviews from publishers and diners alike. One of the most popular is Cee Thai, which is located in Fairfax, VA, and not that far off from the Nation’s Capital. Its been in business for almost five years, and is known for its popular entrees, elegant dining area, and friendly service. Also, and unlike many other restaurants in the area, they offer free cooking classes on a regular basis. While I have not had a chance to partake in this opportunity, people whom I respect say they are a lot of fun, in addition to being informative.
Start out with an appetizer here, and the best one is the Jacketed Shrimp. They are huge, and these shrimp are battered. This might be one of the few items that isn’t spicy, but there are some tart notes that will make this a favorite. There are traditional Thai appetizers, such as numerous forms of dumplings, along with more “Americanized” offerings, like buffalo wings and crab cake. One major disappointment, although it only cost $8, was the Num Tok. While the flank steak by itself would be superb, unfortunately the cilantro and lime sauce, are beyond disgusting. Without getting too graphic, I can only say that it reminds me of being sick, and I will never order this appetizer again.
Thankfully, my last visit I had the Crispy Catfish Entree. This is a generously sized filet, with minimal amounts of bones, and its battered with a whole host of spices. I could taste the chili powder in every bite, and while not overly hot, its perfect for those who want a little bit of “spicy seafood.” A lot of places use frozen fish, but this one tasted as if it had just landed at the docks. It was a perfect meal with red wine, and there are a whole bunch of those drinks to choose from, along with traditional beers and mixed drinks. At $15, its a great value, and one of the best entrees here for “filling you up.”
My personal favorite is the Chicken Kra Pra. This is the entree you must try, as its a delicious meal, that will allow you to experience the best of Thai spices. A word of caution, as I made the mistake of asking for this “hot.” I cried my eyes out, as it was truly overwhelming, so just order it regular. Even in that form, you are going to sweat, and any cold you might have will be cleared away. The rice that the spicy chicken is served upon is steamed appropriately, and the mix of chili powders and large pieces of chicken make for an unforgettable experience. My only complaint is that I wish it could be a bit bigger in size, but at $12 its one of the least expensive items.
Most entrees in here are $15 or above, and some of the lobster based dishes will cost you near $40. While their food isn’t cheap, the quality is above average, and the service always brings me back for more. As soon as you walk in, you will be greeted by a host, who is usually an attractive young lady. There you will be presented a comfortable booth or table, and your drink order will be taken. Appetizers are brought out in five to ten minutes on average, and another ten minutes after that, your entree selections will be delivered to your table. The wait staff, while a bit reserved, is more than willing to recommend selections and refill your drinks. Every visit a manager has come to my table, to guarantee that all is going well. That’s service hard to find, and I think its an impressive attribute on behalf of the staff there.
The dining room is truly beautiful. While the exterior is nothing special, the interior truly shines, with Thai decorations and paintings that will make you feel as if you are in Bangkok. There is Thai music playing at a low volume, and if you want a romantic dinner type of place, you can’t do much better than here. It is a fairly busy place, but it has the ambiance of a laid back type of restaurant, although on the weekends you might have to wait a few minutes for a table. That is okay, as the food and service excel the rest of Thai restaurants in the area. The dining hours are 11:30-10 p.m. daily, and Cee Thai is located at 9901 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax VA 22030. Get some of their spicy foods, and see for yourself why its the greatest.