Cafe Reviewed: Wednesday, May 03, 2006
You better put on your fireman’s helmet — Thai Belknap’s fare is not only tasty, but hot.
Thai Belknap Cuisine
Thai dumplings $3.95
Phuket green curry $6.50-$8.50
Thai curry duck $8.50
Drunken Noodles $5.95-$7.95
Haltom City Dine-asty

To the list of Northeast Tarrant County’s awesome Southeast Asian eateries, add Thai Belknap.


Thai Belknap Cuisine

4023 E Belknap St, Haltom City. 817-838-9600. Tue-Sun 11am-10pm. Closed Mon. All major credit cards accepted.

Tucked between the Boba Tea House and Pho Bella Vietnamese restaurant in a Haltom City strip mall, Thai Belknap Cuisine may appear to be just another Southeast Asian restaurant in Tarrant County’s Little Asia. But diners who’ve made their way to this lovely, narrow room know better: Serving up authentic Thai dishes in a serene, softly lit atmosphere, Thai Belknap is a destination.

One reason the place is so great is the spices. While a lot of other alleged Thai eateries temper the sizzle for fear of scaring Americans away, Thai Belknap lets you have it. The Phuket green curry could curl your lips. Bamboo shoots, eggplant pieces, sliced green bell peppers, and chicken strips floated in a gorgeous swamp of coconut milk spiced with garlic and hot green chile peppers and laced with basil and mint leaves. The crunchy shoots and peppers nicely complemented the creamy liquid, and the combination of basil and mint played counterpoint to the scorching chile paste.

The change of pace was swift and sudden from the appetizer, Thai dumplings — thin rice crepes filled with finely diced and marinated shrimp, chicken, and mushrooms, baked, and lightly dressed in a sweet soy sauce with a touch of cilantro. Not nearly as doughy as the dumplings usually served in Chinese restaurants, Thai Belknap’s managed to be both hearty and refreshing.

In the middle of the heat-o-meter yet just as exceptional as the previous two entrées was the Thai curry duck, a chef’s special on the day of a recent visit. Served in nearly the same, soupy fashion as the Phuket green curry, the dish paired sliced shiitake mushrooms and slivers of bamboo shoots with generous chunks of moist duck roasted just long enough to burn off most of the fat before being mixed with the sauce. Red chile powder and cumin gave everything a subtle, pleasant zing. Along with a side of sugary jasmine rice, the Thai curry duck is an expansive tour of flavors and textures.

As excellent as the previous dishes are, do not visit Thai Belknap without sampling the Drunken Noodles. The bowl overflowed with broad, flat rice noodles, green beans, cabbage, carrots, broccoli heads, sliced green peppers and onions, and garlic, all united by the suggestion of licorice, everything stir-fried and seasoned with a hint of soy sauce, green chile peppers, and a dollop of Chinese star anise.

Co-owner Amin Ung has been in the restaurant business since his family immigrated from Thailand 25 years ago. Even though he’s never owned his own place until now, he seems to know what he’s doing. In addition to the calming vibe and fantastic and beautifully presented food, the small staff was polite, helpful, and attentive. Haltom City teems with terrific Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, and newcomer Thai Belknap is definitely one of them.

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