The old town’s diverse collection of foreign food just got a little wider with the opening of Pha Tha Thai last month.
This intimate Thai place on Więzienna street, near the Rynek, delivers a fresh and powerful taste of one of the world’s favorite foods, and despite a few glitches will only add to your repertoire of eating out options.
Pha Tha is run by two native Thais who work in an open kitchen, dishing spices and noodles over open flame while customers watch from behind glass. Their menu is only one page but serves up the tried and true classics of Thai street food: three curries (red, green, and yellow), noodle dishes from Pad Thai to drunken noodles, and appetizers like fried spring rolls and sam tam salad.
The green curry is subtle but hot, with generous portions of pork, eggplant, baby corn and mushrooms; the noodle dishes are firm and silky, just what you’d expect from having been boiled a few moments before they hit your plate. There is also the customary four-pot spice rack at the table for extra flavor and heat.
If you’ve got a love for spice, you are in luck. Ask for Thai-strength spice and you’ll get it, though you might have to ask several times so they’re sure you want it. When your dish comes it will have the kind of nasal-clearing, endorphine releasing heat Thai food is famous for.
The only drawbacks are space and tableware. Pha Tha is going for a fast-casual approach, with disposable cutlery and styrofoam bowls, so earth-huggers won’t be happy, nor will those seeking a slow,
romantic evening. Both times we’ve been there the small space was crowded even with only ten diners, so during a rush you may have to settle for takeaway. The good news is the price: at around 15 zloty an entree it won’t bust your budget, and for a fast dinner of comfort food from halfway around the world, you can’t do much better.
Pha Tha Thai, Więzienna 5