Whenever you enter Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant, it’s a sensory expertise.
The aroma of advantageous meals, the glow of white lights and the hum of dinner conversations all mix to kind a welcoming ambiance.
For the primary time in a very long time, my spouse, Susie, and I loved a Saturday night time out in downtown Akron. I advised Cilantro as a result of I actually missed the meals.
Earlier than the pandemic, I had ordered takeout there dozens of occasions, having fun with such dishes as Pad Thai, Singapore Noodles, Mock Duck Basil, Cashew Nut Stir Fry, Tofu Rama and numerous sushi rolls — and by no means as soon as was dissatisfied. But, I had by no means dined inside.
Proprietor Charlie Somtrakool, a local of Thailand, opened the elegant restaurant in 2009 at 326 S. Major St. subsequent to Canal Park. The house beforehand housed Piatto till chef Roger Thomas moved to the Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls. Earlier than that, the constructing operated for extra 70 years because the Metropolis Mortgage Co., First Federal Financial savings & Mortgage Affiliation and Constitution One.
You’d by no means understand it was a financial institution. As a hostess led us by means of the lengthy, slender restaurant, we handed by means of a entrance eating space, sushi bar, cocktail bar and bustling kitchen earlier than arriving at our desk in an elevated space of the spacious again room.
Cilantro has a cool, energetic vibe. The hardwood flooring have an inlaid star sample. The trendy décor consists of origami-style chandeliers and inexperienced material chairs with wood legs and arms. White tablecloths are coated with white butcher paper. Silverware is wrapped in orange material napkins.
“The colour palette is actually fairly with the sage and orange,” Susie commented.
So many decisions
The contactless menu, considered with smartphones, presents an amazing array of Thai-Japanese delicacies. The menu is split into “Starters,” “Basic Thai,” “Home Specials,” “From the Sea,” “Sushi,” “Japanese Flavors” and “Desserts.”
There are many choices for vegetarians, pescatarians and carnivores, and lots of dishes may be made gluten free upon request. If we began on the high and labored our manner down, it would take a long time to attempt every little thing.
We have been there to indulge, so indulge we did.
For starters, we ordered Cilantro’s corn desserts ($7), golden-fried candy corn fritters served with recent cucumber slices and floor peanuts in a candy chili sauce. The sunshine, ethereal fritters have been loads tasty, however the chili sauce — candy, tangy and nutty — actually added one other dimension.
“The extra sauce you placed on it, the higher,” Susie stated.
I couldn’t agree extra. Earlier than lengthy, we have been out of sauce and out of fritters, eager for extra.
Subsequent up for me was a bowl of coconut milk soup ($7), made with freshly squeezed lime juice, coconut milk broth, mushroom slices and cherry tomatoes. With a selection of rooster or tender tofu, I chosen the previous. Wealthy, sizzling, creamy and easy, it was completely pleasant. The restaurant might bottle this and provides Campbell and Progresso a run for the cash. You should definitely attempt it when you go to Cilantro.
Spicing it up
For the principle course, I ordered Tofu Rama ($15.95), a favourite from my takeout days. It options stir-fried tofu seasoned with ginger and curry powder on high of broccoli, carrots, child corn and cabbage served with Thai peanut sauce and white rice.
How do I start to explain the peanut sauce? Luscious. Delectable. Heavenly. It clings to the opposite substances and enhances all of them. Cilantro’s sauces add a depth of taste that a number of eating places lack.
Very quickly in any respect, I cleaned my plate. (In the event you aren’t a fan of tofu, no worries: a rooster possibility is on the market.)
For her primary course, Susie ordered Thai basil fried rice with rooster ($15.95), ready with stir-fried rice, eggs, basil, crimson peppers, inexperienced peppers, white onions and inexperienced onions. Recent and vibrant, it was a colourful dish with a hearty portion.
“It’s superb,” Susie stated. “It’s a pleasant mix with the basil and the peppers.”
Diners management the spice stage at Cilantro. On a scale of 1 to five, my spouse and I each chosen 2, which is taken into account medium. We have been pleased with our selection. If we had gone a lot greater, we in all probability would have wanted a hearth extinguisher.
“My tongue is unquestionably tingly, however I might undoubtedly get the identical spice stage the following time,” Susie stated.
Cooling it down
With all that warmth, we cooled down for dessert. We break up an order of fried bananas and ice cream ($8). The fried slices are wrapped in wonton, topped with honey and sesame and served on coconut ice cream. The crunchy wrappers supplied an uncommon texture for dessert, but it surely tasted higher and higher as we munched our manner down. Teeming with shredded coconut, the ice cream was exotically candy.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out our server, Michelle, who was nice, attentive, answered all our questions and returned incessantly to verify every little thing was to our satisfaction.
We have been fairly full after we left. It felt good to indulge. With drinks and tax, our invoice got here to $70.21, not together with tip.
We totally loved our dinner at Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant. It was good to see so many individuals eating out after years of downtown building and pandemic lockdowns.
Cilantro is a perfect place to go earlier than a present on the Akron Civic Theatre, a ballgame at Canal Park or an occasion at Lock 3.
Thai it. You’ll prefer it.
Mark J. Worth may be reached at email@example.com.
Place: Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant
Handle: 326 S. Major St., Akron
Lunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday by means of Friday
Dinner hours: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday by means of Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 4:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday
Service choices: Dine in, curbside pickup, supply
Alcohol: Beer, wine and specialty cocktails
Out of doors patio: Seasonal
Extra data: Name 330-434-2876, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://cilantrothai.com