Jacksonville, FL 32225 Still catching up from my time away, I dined at the newly opened Blue Orchid Thai in the Harbor Village Shopping area. Blue Orchid strives to bring a true Thai experience to every diner, by using only authentic Thai ingredients in every dish. The interior is absolutely stunning with many pieces purchased in Thailand soothing background music sets the mood for a most delightful experience, and this staff rounds out the feeling with stellar, friendly service.Although I was there for lunch, I requested the dinner menu and inquired if I could order from that menu as well and was assured I could. The lunch menu by design is not as robust as dinner, about twenty offerings, of familiar Thai dishes, curries, and fried rice dishes, each served with jasmine rice or brown rice (except for fried rice and noodle dishes) and a cup of Thai chicken noodle, Thai chicken rice, or Thai vegetable soup. Along with the entrées there are several Starters as well as additional side dishes and dessert. This menu is available Monday through Friday until 3:00 I chose from both.My first order was from the dinner menu; Chaw Mooung described as delicate, violet, dough-pastries stuffed with a puree of chicken, sesame seeds, peanuts, and coconut. How could anyone resist? I saw this on the lunch menu but it was described only as Flower Dumplings, and did not spark any interest , perhaps it was just my ignorance. I was totally blown away when the dish was served, presentation was flawless, I just had to sit and look at it amazed.
On first bite it was difficult to describe. Dough slightly wet but chewy, stuffing released the layers of flavor as I chewed. I could actually taste each component of the dish; I can honestly say it may be one of the most delightful experiences with food I”ve had long time.
My next choice the Tom Ka soup I judge all Thai restaurants by the quality of this soup. If it’s not good well…..no problem this soup passed with flying colors. I ask for it spicy was asked what level and when the dish arrived it was perfect. Clear broth with coconut milk, galanga, lemongrass, mushrooms, lime leaf, young coconut meat, and chicken was my protein of choice. This was the real deal.
For my entrée the Masaman Curry looked interesting a thick, peanut-based curry, potatoes, carrots, and onion, served with a side of Jasmine rice. Massaman is a unique type of curry because it is more like an Indian curry using mainly dried spices for seasoning. Whatever it is my favorite curry of all time. I did ask for this to be kicked up a notch and again it was perfect. This was truly a delicate flavored dish, which brought total satisfaction to the taste buds. I chose the Crispy Duck for my protein choice, a healthy portion of perfectly cook mead, moist with a golden crust. The amount of meat is a meal in it self.The lunch menu prices for the entrée dishes are based on the protein option, with chicken starting at 9.00$ and the crispy duck the highest at 17.00$ For sure this is a very inexpensive lunch spot considering soup and rice are included in the price. I am going to get a few of my food besties and make a return visit, so we can order many dishes and share as we always do. I recommend you do the same this is a top-notch experience, offering some of the best Thai food you will experience in Jacksonville.