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Thai China Buffet

Posted by TIF 6 Mar 2011 4 Comments

Sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy: Thai food, when it’s done right, tickles every taste bud in one bite. When it’s done wrong however, Thai food is greasy, non-descript, and one-dimensional. Thai China, my favorite restaurant for Thai food in Durham, does it right. Located just past the Hwy 54/Hwy 55 intersection in the same strip mall as Food Lion, the Dollar Tree, and Kumon, Thai China has a warm atmosphere where the walls glow amber, the lighting is soft and the deep mahogany furniture is regal. Like so many other places in the Triangle, once inside, you forget you’re in a strip mall. And yes, even more impressive than the cozy interior is the food.

I’ve had a number of their curries, the Pad Thai, the mixed vegetables, and the spring rolls, all of which I really enjoyed. For this review, I had the Red Curry and the Pad See Eew, my two all time favorite Thai dishes. I ordered both with “medium” spice. If you’re not into the spice, definitely go with mild. They also offer an assortment of spices and spicy sauces that you can take samples of–as my mom said, you can always add more spice, but once it’s in there, you can’t take it out. I ordered “hot” once and I couldn’t eat it because it was too spicy (and I have a pretty high tolerance for spice)! So beware if ordering the “hot.”

What I love most about Thai China is that their Thai food tastes like Thai food, not like Chinese (American) food. I love Chinese food, but when I want Thai food, I want Thai food, and Thai China provides. And unlike a few of the other Thai restaurants I’ve eaten at here in the area, Thai China’s food doesn’t need additional salt (in my humble opinion). If I had to give the Thai China folks any “constructive criticism” it would be to include brown rice as a menu option and to make their curry sauces a bit thicker. But these are super minor points and perhaps just personal preferences. If you want great Thai food, that has complex flavors, and is served with the kindest of dispositions, definitely try Thai China. They also have a buffet lunch during the week and allow you to take food home from the buffet for a per pound fee (which I thought was pretty cool!).

Thai China Buffet

4900 NC Highway 54 # 200

Durham, NC 27713


  • Rich Broome said:

    We get takeout from here about once a month and it is always great! Yeah, the only thing that I don’t like here is how spicy your food is. I can order two dishes spicy and have one that is very spicy and one that does not have any spice in it. They have an area next to the checkout that you can pick up your own spices at. I just bring some home with me if I need to add some.


  • babeshka said:

    definitely my fav thai restaurant in durham also. I get take out from here at least once a month. The staff is so personable and the food is absolutely delicious.


  • Zack said:

    The address is incorrect. It should be NC 55.


  • Elliott said:

    “tickle every taste bud…”
    Please, please, please, please, don’t write like this.


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