I don’t know why, but every time I hear the name Pop Thai, I think about lemongrass flavored pastries that you heat up in a toaster.
But no, Pop Thai is the name of a new restaurant in the Mills 50 district that replaced the three or so years old Yum-mi Sandwiches shop.
It’s a full service restaurant with a spartan but tasteful decor and exceptionally friendly service. I stopped in for a quick lunch just to check the place out and ordered the Mussaman Curry with chicken. Although the dish’s listing on the menu has a chili pepper next to it, this mussaman was mild, which is actually the way it should be. It has as its base a creamy coconut milk that’s fried with a paste filled with myriad spices, including cardamom, peppers, dried chili powder and cilantro. Besides the hunks of chicken, the flavorful curry had carrots, onions and potatoes. And I didn’t care if the potatoes were a redundant starch with the jasmine white rice, I spooned it all over the fluffy rice and savored each bite.
I wasn’t expecting my entree to include a chicken and rice soup (otherwise I might have ordered my curry with the more traditional beef). The soup was mildly flavored but had a rich broth as its base.
Many of the traditional dishes, such as mine, are priced according to the protein you order: $8.95 for chicken, tofu or vegetarian; $9.95 for beef; or $10.95 for shrimp. At dinner the prices are $12.95, $13.95 and $15.95.
The staff did a lot to make it a pleasant meal. I’m looking forward to returning for a dinner visit. (No, they don’t do breakfast.)
Pop Thai is at 1227 N. Mills Ave., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-203-5008.