One of our favorite restaurants here in Shanghai is Simply Thai. I haven’t been to Thailand yet, so I can’t speak to its authenticity, but Simple Thai consistently wins expat magazine awards for best Thai food so they must be doing something right. I’d give them an award just for the scrumptious tapioca, sago and coconut milk puddings wrapped in banana leaves. This must-try dessert is served chilled and is supremely refreshing.
The standout entree is the roasted eggplant topped with crumbled pork, onion and peppers and drenched in a savory sauce. We also love the beef sauteed with cilantro, garlic and chilies. It’s an herbaceous dish with a rich broth that I’ve been known to drizzle over my rice. Luckily a waiter passes through the restaurant periodically doling out rice refills to whomever needs one.
The chicken and green curry is enjoyable, though I could do without the bitter capers and green bell pepper. I’ve had better versions, but the meat is tender and without any of the tendon or gristle we sometimes find. A better choice is the chicken with basil and cashew nuts. Tangy, sweet, salty and spicy, this dish has a little something for everyone.
There are several Simply Thai locations around town, but we like the former French Concession outlet with its secluded patio and relaxed vibe. Go early in nice weather to secure a sought-after outdoor seat.
Simply Thai Address: 5 Dongping Road, Shanghai, China Pricing: 200-300 RMB for four family-style dishes (about 30-45 USD)