Eat This Now: The Panang Curry at Thai Orchid
Tucked into a strip mall that faces the road behind Johnson Drive in Shawnee, KS is a cozy Thai restaurant with some of the best food in the metro. This hidden gem isn’t something you just stumble upon. It’s a place you have to search for or be told about. Honestly, it’s better that way.
The dining room decor is modest, comfortable, and warm, and the staff mirrors this sentiment. The restaurant is perfect for both Thai enthusiasts and newcomers. The menu is full of classical dishes with thoughtful and clear descriptions so there are no surprises.
The Panang Curry is made with coconut milk, which makes it a sweeter, creamier version of the more traditional fare and comes with mild heat from the use of red chilies. You can request more spice if that’s the way you like to roll. In addition to red chilies, the curry’s flavor complexity can be attributed to a blend of fish sauce, kaffir lime zest and leaves, coriander, cumin, and lemongrass.
At Thai Orchid, you can choose your protein (chicken, pork, tofu, beef, shrimp, or duck) or opt for the veggie version, which is loaded with stewed peppers and peas.
The curry is perfectly portioned alongside steamed jasmine rice, and the lunch menu will toss in two crispy and adorably bite-sized crab rangoons.
Thai Orchid is located at 6504 Martway St, Shawnee, KS 66202.