In the last Saturday of October, I decided to treat myself to the Toni Braxton concert in Baltimore! I got an email to arrive early to the concert to pick up my ticket and merchandise so I did not have time for a full dinner that I expected. But after getting through the lines, I still had about an hour and 15 minutes to grab something to eat. I searched on my Yelp app for delicious places nearby and found a listing of a new Thai restaurant less than a mile away called Khun Nine Thai. I choose to go to this restaurant instead of one of Baltimore’s best restaurants because first, I love Thai food, and I figured there would not be a long wait so I could get in and get out quickly. It took my Uber longer to get to me than it did for me to get to the restaurant but I made it in reasonable time. Nonetheless, I made it there quickly and was seated right away.
Khun Nine Thai is located at 804 North Charles Street in Baltimore in the Mount Vernon to University of Baltimore area. The restaurant is quite small with maybe a little over 10 tables which creates a very intimate setting and they call themselves the Thai Soul Food of Baltimore. They pride themselves on their ability to get fresh ingredients and produce the finest Thai food and service Baltimore has to offer. They have been open for a little over the month so they are growing their business and gaining a following. The reviews on Yelp for the restaurant were in the 4s of 5s with comments about amazing or flavorful food with good portions. The host was very friendly and tried to sit me at a larger table though I decided to take a smaller table since it was just me. It should be noted that due to the size of the restaurant, it did not appear that the place had a restroom unless you are supposed to walk through the kitchen. I could be wrong but there was not a lot of places for a bathroom.
I mistakenly ordered a Lemon San Pellegrino ($3) thinking that I ordered sparking water with lemon but it ended up to be more like sparkling lemonade filled with a lot of sugar! (I’m talking like 32g worth!) It was delicious nonetheless but definitely dangerous if you are into sweet drinks. It was served in the can and a cup of ice with a straw. I ended up putting the straw in the can and drinking directly from the chilled can. I had to pace myself to not drink it too quickly because it was that good! Definitely a treat!
I was in between the Duck Spring Rolls special and the Pork Belly appetizer to start. I talked it over with the server and he was not much help because he liked them both but leaned toward the duck. After I decided to order duck for my entrée, I decided to go with the Pork Belly ($9) appetizer that included baked pork belly with vermicelli rice noodles, roasted garlic, and a lime fish sauce. Flavor wise, this dish was tasty and presented well. However, it did not come together the way I anticipated. The noodles were moist and the pork belly was a bit dry. The sauce served with the dish was basically cold. So once I poured it over the noodles and pork belly, it cooled the warm food which was disappointing. Again, the dish itself was good but I properly would try something else during my next visit. Something like the Lampang Duck Crispy Rolls ($9), a Shrimp Cake ($9), or the Chicken Satay ($5) with peanut sauce.
For my main entrée, I ordered the Duck Ka Prow ($15) which I can no longer find on the online menu. The dish included a fried duck breast with steamed vegetables and crispy basil leaves on top of a sweet Thai sauce served with a bowl of white rice. Because the sauce was at the bottom on the dish, it left the fried duck pieces dry. I would recommend ordering the sauce on the side and drizzling it on top of the plate. The annoying part of the dish was that the restaurant did not appear to have butter knives and the duck and vegetables were cut large which needed to be cut into smaller pieces for more enjoyment. So I was trying to cut with the fork and the spoon which got a bit messy at some point. The vegetables were not very seasoned on account of the sauce but they were very crunchy which made it hard to put them into smaller pieces. The sauce as just ok, and tasted like a typical Thai chili sauce you could buy from the store. Nothing extraordinary about it. Be clear, I enjoyed the dish but again, I properly would not order it again. There was so many other dishes that I would want to try such as the Kao Soi soup ($13), Shrimp Pad Thai ($13), Pad Key Mao ($11 with beef of $13 with seafood) aka Drunken Noodles, and Stir-Fried Eggplant ($10).
Overall, I had a nice dining experience and I look forward to returning to the restaurant in the near future. It is not very far from my home but the only deterrent is that there is only street parking available which is annoying and I dislike paying for parking. But once I would have gotten there, I would know that I was in for a delicious meal. I spent a total of $28.62 and after tipping, $32.62. I recommend this place but just for a small group of 1-4 people. The following is my Seven Mac Score for the restaurant:
Khun Nine Thai
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And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!