Chow Down In Milwaukee

Restaurant Reviews

Thai-Namite Explodes With Flavor

Located at 932 East Brady Street, Thai-Namite packs a vast array of options for any type of food enthusiast; from vegetarian to red meat to poultry and seafood, Thai-Namite has something for everyone. Thai food is made with emphasis on detail; it takes on simplicity while also enhancing the aromatic smells and flavors of its distinct ingredients.

When a friend and I went to Thai-Namite the other night, I definitely saw the simplicity in the dishes we ordered and noticed how colorful it all was; the dishes truly looked like works of art. My friend, Justin, and I love to try different ethnic foods, especially ones we haven’t had before, and Thai was one of them.

Once we were seated, we first ordered the Sake. Thai-Namite offers different versions of Sake and you can order it either hot or cold. We ordered ours hot, mainly because that’s the way I’ve always had Sake. It was pungent, strong, and did it’s job. It’s served in a white pouring cup with a matching white shot glass. Overall, the amount served is probably worth about three full ‘shots’ of Sake. I say ‘shots’ because they’re so small, but in reality, I don’t slug down my Sake like I do my vodka; this was so potent, it needed to be sipped.

I played it safe and ordered the Kamikase, which contains spicy tuna and asparagus, topped with spicy mayo and unagi sauce. When I say I played it safe, I mean, I wasn’t daring enough to try the scallop, squid, escolar, eel, or octopus. The Kamikase is the only maki (roll) that is deep-fried before serving, and it was extremely good. The outside of the roll was warm, slightly golden from the frying which also gave it that slight crunch. Personally, if it’s possible, I think they should deep fry a few more of their rolls, or perhaps they could make it an option

The spicy tuna and asparagus worked well together. Both were creamy, light, and flavorful. The tuna was hearty and not ‘fishy’ at all and the asparagus was cooked to that slight crispness, not raw nor overcooked. Topped with spicy mayo, which always goes great with spicy tuna, adds to the bit of heat in the dish. However, the heat of the spicy mayo is a tad offset by the semi-sweet unagi sauce served alongside; it makes for a sweet heat sauce. The spicy mayo reminds me of mayo and chipotle while the unagi sauce reminds me a little of BBQ, to be quite honest. This was a great dish, definitely now my go-to for when I dine at Thai-Namite. (Note* I ordered this again during my family outing a few days later and the asparagus was barely cooked – way worse than my first experience. I suggest that, when it comes to veggies, you request that your vegies are cooked thoroughly)

Justin had the Green Bay Packer which has smoked salmon, cream cheese, jalapeno, and cilantro topped with avocado, unagi and lemon sauce. Justin said he could taste everything in the first bite. “It’s exploding in my mouth,” Justin said. I just had to laugh. I asked if I could try for myself and I’m sure glad he let me. The sensation of creaminess instantly took over; between the rich smoked salmon and the silky cream cheese (another great pairing), the smoothness ran throughout my mouth. I found a crisp jalapeno which provided a bit of bite to the roll as well. I couldn’t taste the cilantro much, nor the lemon sauce, but I was surprised to see they added the avocado on top. Altogether, this is a very rich, almost heavy dish, but extremely appetizing all the same.

I saw they had a lunch menu and thought I’d check that out the next day. I got there at 11 a.m.,  right when they opened. As I looked over the menu I saw there were a few dishes on the lunch menu that were also on the dinner menu. My waiter informed me that the difference is such that the lunch specials are smaller portions and therefor less expensive, but that you can order off of the main (dinner) menu as well. I stuck with the main menu and decided to try the Chicken Satay, an appetizer, and the Cheesy Veggie roll.

The Chicken Satay was delicious, perfectly cooked with a flavorful charring and smoked flavor. The white meat chicken is served in thin chicken-tender form (without the breading) and placed on a skewer – you get a set of three. It’s served with fresh diced cucumber and a creamy peanut sauce, which, in my eyes, truly ‘made’ this dish. The sauce is succulently sweet with a blast of peanut flavor; it’s simply amazing with the chicken. If the sauce and grilled chicken weren’t great enough together, I added the fresh cucumber; it’s like an instant sweet peanut chicken cucumber salad in your mouth. The only thing I would say about this dish, is there would be complications if a group of four ordered this as an appetizer – heck, it would be hard to only eat one.

A quick side story: A week later, we went out for a family lunch, Justin, my son, and I. I was hesitant to order my son, Braden, sushi and for him to not like it (even though he’s had sushi before and has). So, again, I played it safe and ordered him the Chicken Satay. After it cooled, he loved it! He kept saying “Mmmmm, this is so good.” He dipped his chicken every single time into the sauce - he loved it. “It tastes like peanut butter,” Braden said. I chuckled and thought to myself, you know what? It does taste like a liquidly sweet peanut butter.

Since I had chicken as an appetizer, I thought I would go the vegetable route for my main dish. The cheesy Veggie roll contains cream cheese, avocado, and cucumber. Because of how creamy the spicy tuna and asparagus was the night before, I hastily assumed the cream cheese and avocado combination would pose nothing but smoothness – I was wrong. The cheesy veggie roll was quite bland, not much flavor and wasn’t nearly as rich as I expected it to be. On top of that (or lack of topping in this case), the roll wasn’t topped with anything, no sauce no seasoning, no garnish what-so-ever, making it that much more insipid.

I needed to salvage this roll. Because of this, I asked my waiter for a side of spicy mayo, which shockingly cost me a dollar. It was well worth it in the end though. The condiment added the needed texture to the dish and the heat I like. I needed more heat though so in addition to the spicy mayo, I added the wasabi to the top of the Cheesy Veggie roll and bam! – Dynamite. I just concocted my own Spicy Cheesy Veggie roll.

I must mention that the wasabi is superb; it had my nose cleared within three seconds and my eyes tearing after seven. I also tried the Cheesy Veggie roll with the ginger that every roll is served with. Somehow, this combination did not work well together. I think it’s the base of the cream cheese and avocado that don’t mesh well with the tanginess of the ginger.

As I finish up my meal, three business men walk in, suit and tie, and sit down. Once the waiter arrived, all three of them adamantly ordered the red curry chicken. I guess that’s going to have to be the next dish I try - because I’m definitely going back.


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