Dining Out: Little Spice captures Thai cuisine’s bold flavors

The weather was getting cooler, and the changing of the seasons was starting. I didn’t feel like being in at home to cook, so I asked my husband if he wanted to go out. We decided to go to Little Spice, which we have ordered carry out from before, however, never had a sit down dinner.

We had a 5-month-old with us, and he would end up deciding when we could leave. As we were about to open the door to the restaurant, one of the servers opened the door to let us in with a friendly smile. The interior was clean, calming and airy with minimalist decor. They were very accommodating and put us towards the back of the dining room.

The server came over with the menu, and instead of ordering what we usually get for carry out, we decided to change it up. We started with the yum woon sen ($8.95) and the som tum, also known as green papaya salad ($7.95).

The yum woon sen was a warm bean noodle salad with chicken, shrimp, red onions, peanuts, cilantro, tomatoes tossed together in a sweet, sour and spicy dressing. Each bite was a lovely marriage of all the flavors, yet for a warm and spicy dish, it had a refreshing aftertaste.

The dressing was truly deliciousand I almost drank it. To counter the spicy noodle salad, we had the cool, crisp green papaya salad that was made up of shredded green papaya and lots of crunchy vegetables. The aroma was pungent from the salted shrimp and the taste was tangy and sour from the lime, but that’s how this dish is made. Both starters were fantastic with abundant portions.

The servers were quick and attentive in bringing out the food. The reason: the food came out hot and fresh, all served either as individual plates or family style.

Next, we had kaeng kari with chicken ($12.95) which was their yellow curry, and the pad kaprow with chicken ($12.95) which was the Thai basil sauce with chicken, my husband’s favorite. I should have asked for the yellow curry to be spicier, but it was balanced out with the sweet coconut milk and pineapple pieces. The chunks of vegetables, served with a bowl of Jasmine rice, were plentiful. The curry was hot which made for a comforting meal for fall.

The Thai basil sauce chicken was also another winner, which was salty, sweet and spicy. The Thai basil gave a flowery scent to the sauce, but did not overpower. The vegetables and the chicken absorbed the sauce wonderfully, making it similar to a satisfying stew.

Unfortunately, our son was starting to get fussyso I asked for a scoop of their house-made taro ice cream ($4.95) to go. It was nutty, a bit vanilla-y with a delightful light texture and a great palette cleanser. I thought the whipped coconut cream was unnecessary as it was too sweet of a topping for the ice cream. However, this was the perfect dessert to end the meal.

When you see the name “Little Spice,” you wouldn’t necessarily associate it with a Thai restaurant since Thai food can be spicy with strong, bold flavors. Possibly the name means it welcomes the opportunity for the customer to add a little more spice to their dishes. Nevertheless, Little Spice offered authentic Thai cuisine, generous portions, friendly service and staff and a calming environment for a not so calm five-month-old.

Little Spice

WHERE: 1350 Dorsey Road, Suite L, Hanover

PHONE: 410-859-0100, 410-859-0106

WEBSITE: littlespicethaicuisine.com

HOURS: LUNCH: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; DINNER: Monday-Friday, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday, 4 to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday closed

OWNER: Wan Fuangphon

PRICE: LUNCH: $8.50 to $10.50; DINNER: $4.95 to $18.95

RESERVATIONS: Not recommended

CREDIT CARDS: All major cards

ACCESSIBILITY: Yes

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