Tipps 88 Thai Cuisine

Phoenix/Tempe Metro, Arizona


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I recently went in to Tipps 88 with a vegan friend of mine on her recommendation. Wanting to know out of all the Thai food restaurants in the area (something absurd like 10 around ASU) and as a fan of one of the other (that I will not mention here.) She told me that there vegetarian menu was fantastic. To quote her, "it rocked." I was not disappointed. The food was fantastic and full of flavor. Other Thai restaurants vegetarian options are very limited and tend to be a bit on the greasy side. Tipps had fresh ingredients and a refreshing taste. Finish off with the homemade coconut ice cream. You will not be disappointed.

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We went to this restaurant on the basis of the recommendations given by other reviewers. For the appetizer, we ordered the tofu satay with peanut sauce. It was delicious and very sweet, the only thing lacking would have been chili sauce to create more dimension/spiciness. For the main dishes, we ordered both the sweet and sour vegetables and the red curry with brown rice. The sweet and sour had a very delicate taste, which the brown rice overshadowed. The red curry had a bolder taste that went well with the rice. However, the brown rice was mushy and not very good (brown rice costs extra as well). Overall, the food was good and the atmosphere pleasant.

Update: I recently went back for lunch and ordered the Kang-Ped veggie. I was slightly worried that I wouldn't get enough food to feel full but they assured me this wouldn't be the case. The red curry sauce was the same as the last time but the eggplant in the dish was tender and delicious! I LOVE eggplant and this met my expectations. I also got a little mini egg-roll and a bowl of soup. The soup was so-so, just a combination of broth with a few veggies floating around whereas the egg-roll was the perfect finish to the meal.

My 3rd and 4th times here were both excellent. They give you a choice of 1-10 for heat and 7 seems to be perfect for my heat tolerance (which is pretty high). I have since ordered the Forest Curry and it's very similar to the Kang Ped Veggies but without the coconut milk. I have also never ordered the brown rice again as the white rice is satisfactory and free.

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We have been to Tipp's 88 twice and simply love the place. Being a vegetarian, what I like the most about this place is the number of VEGETARIAN items in the menu, right from soup, starters to main course.

Food is delicious and in huge quantity, balances the $9 plus cost. We generally end up having it boxed for next days lunch. Service is very friendly and interiors look spacious with good lighting.

When you carve for Thai food, reliable must go place. Only thing about this place is they close at 9.00pm (mon-sat) and closed on Sundays!!!!!!!!!! They did keep up their quality and quantity even when the price of rice went up.

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I ate here on recommendations of others and was not disappointed. So many dishes to choose from, and all sound delicious. I had a fantastic lunch and will surely visit again.

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Tipps 88 is another in a long line of new Thai restaurants in the Phoenix metropolitan area. One thing that sets this one apart is their sizable vegetarian menu. They even have mock duck for greater variety. Upon entering the quaint restaurant, you are usually greeted by none other than the owner herself, an amiable woman who is ready and willing to serve you an enjoyable meal. A quick glance at the menu might put off some thriftier customers, but once the dish arrives the value is apparent. Portions are huge, and I have never had a problem customizing my order. They even let my sister order off the lunch menu at 8 PM. It's good that the portions are so large because the food is delicious. Don't try ordering it hot unless you really know what you are doing. I order food as hot as possible at every Thai and Indian restaurant I go to, but it seemed even spicier here. It probably doesn't help that you can see the slivers of fresh Thai chili in the dish (as opposed to chili pastes used by most others). I would recommend the tofu satay (sweet & sour tofu was texturally inferior in both the tofu and sauce), the kang ped veggie, the fried rice with mock duck and, of course, mango with sticky rice. The pad thai is also very good, but it does come with egg unless you ask them not to include it. Overall, Tipps 88 has become my personal favorite Thai restaurant in the valley, offering exceptional variety and service.

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One of the best Thai places in town if you're vegan or vegetarian.
Thai 88 has a huge vegan menu (35 + items) and even a vegan desert (Fried Banana) option.

Overall Thai 88 was a wonderful experience.
They just recently opened at the end of August '07 and I hadn't heard of it or seen any advertising or promotion about it. We just happened upon it driving by and stopped in.

The lighting was a little bright, if dimmed it would have made for a more pleasant and intimate dining experience.

The staff was extremely friendly and very knowledgeable about their dishes.

The place was empty when we arrived (8pm on a Saturday) but a few people showed up as the night wore on. As more vegans
and vegetarians discover this place I can only imagine it will become very busy!

For starters we had the Vegetarian Egg Rolls ($6.95), the Tofu Satay ($6.95) and the Tom Yum Veggies soup ($8.99).

The "Egg" rolls are actually made with spring roll rice paper wrappers and contain only vegetables.
These were okay, they come with a pineapple sauce which tasted a little stale, (it may have been canned).
The Tofu Satay was DELICIOUS! 5 skewers, and all had a nice, flavorful charbroil. The satay came with peanut sauce...I like my Thai food HOT, and the peanut sauce was not at all spicy so I was a little disappointed, but it still tasted delicious.
We ended up dipping our "egg" rolls in the peanut sauce as it was much better than the pineapple sauce.

The Tom Yum soup was great. We ordered it "Thai Hot" which is as spicy as it comes and it lived up to it. It comes with pieces of tofu and fresh mushrooms. The full soup order is a large for two people unless someone is going to have it for their main course, so I would suggest ordering a bowl instead of a "hot pot" as the bowl is plenty for two people to get 2 servings each.

For our entree's we got Spicy Fried Rice with mock duck ($8.99) and Kang Ka Ree ($8.99).

The mock duck in the Spicy Fried Rice is the same type of mock duck you can find canned at 99 Ranch Market or Lee Lee's but it is prepared very well.
I usually do not care for the canned Asian "mock" meats but Thai 88 cooked and seasoned theirs nicely.
It came in little hunks mixed in the fried rice, overall a good dish with a huge portion.

The Kang Ka Ree also had a generous portion size. Kang Ka Ree is yellow curry with tofu, potatoes, and onions.
This yellow curry dish is a vegetarian staple at any decent Thai restaurant. Thai 88's version is probably the best I've had in the valley yet.

For desert we ordered Fried Bananas ($3.95) normally they would be served with Coconut ice cream or honey, but they also have maple syrup on hand so we had ours served with maple syrup.
The bananas are wrapped in rice paper and flash fried.
They were served on a plate with a cup of warm maple syrup and coconut shavings.
We dipped the bananas in the syrup and then in the coconut shavings and it was divine.
If you're vegan, you know that deserts at a restaurant are few and far between.

You like Thai? Thai Good...Eat at Thai 88!

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