I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit disappointed in Mai Tai. No, it’s not because of the quality of food or the service provided, but because they took my secret favorite spot and let the rest of Omaha know about it. I used to love going to the Mai Tai location out west – it has less than 10 tables and was my hole in the wall place for true authentic Thai food. However, now, it seems that I have to share my love of Mai Tai with the rest of Omaha because they have opened a larger, second location in Aksarben Village and people are talking and loving it the same way I do. Luckily, the larger location allows for short or no wait times and the food is just as enjoyable at their original location.
Although I have eaten at the Aksarben location a few times prior, for this review I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and try new dishes that others had recommended. First to taste was the fried calamari. I’m always hesitant of seafood in Omaha because it is hard to ensure freshness without a local water source. However, I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled at the lightness of the batter, the perfectly cooked squid, and the added tempura fried vegetables that accompanied the dish. It is a light dish that doesn’t fill you up but offers a great start to a meal.
For dinner, I asked the waiter what dish she felt best represented the restaurant. She informed me that their mango chicken was a favorite by not only the diners but also the chefs. I was slightly worried when she told me that it was somewhat sweet, but I went for it and was instantly happy with my decision. The chicken was tender and swimming in a sea of sweet but not too tangy sauce, surrounded by onions, peppers, carrots, celery and my favorite, cashews. The nuts were the perfect complement to the meal and added a slight crunch with each bite.
Additionally, I ordered the yellow curry with chicken. I have not had great success making my own curry dishes so I am always excited to order a well-made dish using this ingredient. The beauty of Mai Tai is that they let you choose the level of hotness for a dish – on a scale of 0-5. For this dish, I ordered a 4 because the waiter explained that curry is a dish best served a bit spicier. They were absolutely correct – the mix of flavors from the curry, rice, potatoes and carrots all balanced together and provided a kick of spice that instantly gave me the sniffles, but made the dish delicious.
There are so many winning dishes at this restaurant that you really can’t go wrong exploring and trying new combinations. And although it is no longer my secret special restaurant spot, I must admit that I’m happy to share the love and let others experience the unique and wonderful flavors that Mai Tai has to offer.
Mai Thai Locations
2270 South 67th Street
Omaha NE 68106
Harvey Oaks Plaza
14618 West Center Road
Omaha NE 68144