Gluten Free & Vegan Visit to Thai Kuu, Chestnut Hill PA

With mixed reviews, Thai Kuu has been on my mind. Craig LaaBan slashed Thai Kuu with a one bell rating - while Thai Kuu's customers are rating their experiences on average a 4 out of 5 stars review. You can find these reviews on places like: opentable.com, Yelp!, and so forth. I couldn't help but want to take a peak for myself.

Which on one hand, I kept thinking to myself, I am going to go here tonight, spend too much money and be 100% disappointed, as Craig LaBan and I, are usually on the same page as far as food goes. Still, there was that other half of me that wanted to go see for myself - I mean, the owner is from Thailand so how badly can the food be?

I made my reservations on opentable.com and was sure to add notes that I was both gluten free and vegan. In addition, just to be on the safe side, I also called the restaurant to not only confirm the reservations but to discuss my gluten free and vegan options.

The vegan topics was an easy one for Thai Kuu, like many Thai restaurants, you have the option to pick your protein - tofu and vegetables being one of the options. As for the gluten free options, I was given choices of a curry or pad thai dish.

I arrived a tad bit late for my reservations, thank you Philadelphia traffic, but the other half of my party had arrived and was waiting for us. When I arrived, I walked in with my green apple bottle of wine, and the waiter immediately showed us to our table and got us an ice bucket and wine glasses. P.S there is a $1 charge for BYOB service - which is very reasonable.

The waiter gave us some time to settle in and then stopped by to let us know what the specials of the day were. What I found interesting was, the waiter actually used an ipad to show us the specials and then to describe them verbally - obviously visuals sell! Unfortunately, none where vegan so I opted to stick with the curry or pad thai choices.

We all placed our orders- the waiter was extra careful and even asked if we should try to make each plate at the table gluten free!

All dishes are made to order, so I anticipated a bit of wait time. In the meantime, we enjoyed our discussions, our green apple wine, and the atmosphere. While I can see how on busy weekends the atmosphere would get a bit too tight, it is no different than any other romantic byob in the Philadelphia area. So if you are not down for the crowds and tight spaces, just be sure to check out Thai Kuu on a week night.

After some time, our food arrived. My dish coming out first. I ordered the green curry ( as it was noted to be the spiciest) and I couldn't help but have asked for the Thai Kuu Hot Sauce on side - I like to spice everything up!

My first bite in and I knew already, this was not the spice level that I would like it to be at, but it was edible. The curry was the creaminess that I yearn for in a curry dish and the vegetables where not overcooked. The rice was rice, I don't typically eat rice, but I was lathering it with the Thai Kuu hot sauce. Which, again, in my opinion, was a very mild sauce.

Going back, I think I would stress the spice level that I prefer and see if they can't heighten the level - I mean every dish is made to order, no?


Nick, as always, ordered the Pad Thai. This time around he ordered it without eggs - as we have been noticing an egg allergy that he is just not willing to suffer through the aftermath for the satisfaction of eating an egg.

Nick's beginning to realize that most food is better when you make it yourself. While Thai Kuu's pad thai was not awful, it was missing flavor - it was a bit on the bland side.

However, the presentation was beautiful and even came with an edible orchid.

Another guest of ours decided to try the pinapple himmaparn - which is a stir-fry with chasews, chili pasta, pineapples, scallions, and onions. The protein of choice was chicken.

Platting was on par - what a beauty!

The guest seemed to enjoy the dish and found the sweetness of the pineapple to match perfectly with his expectations.

I don't recall him being brave enough to try the orchid though.

Lastly, the table ordered the teriyaki chicken. Being a rather "picky" eater, Cory seemed to enjoy the dish. She made note that the sauce was full of flavor and she almost cleaned her dish!

Overall, the service that we received was perfect - very attentive. The atmosphere was calm and romantic, but it was a weeknight.... The food, was alright. In my opinion, all the dishes needed more flavor!

Would I return, perhaps, but it is not going on my favorites list!

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