On your next Charleston, South Carolina vacation, feast on classic Thai cuisine in a lively environment at Basil Thai Restaurant. Basil is a well-known place for tasty Thai food in the area, which has become one of the best Charleston restaurants. Situated on King Street, you can’t miss their bright green vintage sign out front, as guests line up to get a table and Chef Suntorn Cherdchoogarm’s cuisine.
Suntorn started his career in Bangkok and cooked his way through various places around the world and, thankfully for guests and locals in Charleston, ended up at Basil after reading an advertisement in his local paper. He was hired by the two 30-something-year-old Cambodian immigrant brothers who came to the U.S. from Thailand over 30 years ago and created Basil Thai in 2002. The older brother, Henry Eang, turning 45 next year and his younger brother Chai Eang, 40, have since expanded beyond Basil to create Chai’s Lounge and Tapas (also on King Street), along with an additional Basil Thai restaurant in Charlotte, NC.
What makes Basil a success is the combination of atmosphere and cuisine. The busy trendy dining and bar areas, the music and conversation that fills the air and the glass kitchen that allows guests to see the chef in action all create a unique dining experience. The food is what keeps guests, coming back for more, with authentic dishes made from scratch, served for lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner available every night. Keep in mind they do not take reservations, so be patient in line or get cozy with a cocktail while you wait by the bar.
Once you are seated, you can start your dining experience with one of their soups, including wonton, hot and sour or chicken coconut. Then enjoy favorites off the menu including their classic Pad Thai, served with delicate rice noodles, bean sprouts and scallions, tossed with chicken, shrimp, eggs and chopped peanuts, along with sauce and a lime wedge. Another house specialty, the Basil Duck, includes a boneless deep fried half duck, topped with vegetables and basil sauce, while the well proportioned spicy Pad Prik comes with a curry sauce, garlic, onions, bell peppers and basil, along with your choice of meat, tofu or seafood. There are plenty more options available on the Basil menu, making this one of Charleston’s favorite dining destinations, worth a visit on your next vacation.