King and I Thai

Twin Cities, Minnesota


rating star

your vegan experience here greatly depends on your server. sadly, the staff has gone down hill over the years, but as a patron of 9 years, hopefully i can help. michael is the most attentive server i have ever had and he will check into anything there. that being said, yes, ALL curries w the exception of the palatial are NOT vegan. the palatial is exceptionally good with mock duck. the roasted hot pepper sauce CAN be made vegan, and it has been done for me, just ask michael for it, or geoffrey at the bar ;) i have had servers say it cant be done, but they also are the types to not want to take the 5 minutes to ask. Another delicious dish is the garlic chile sauce with tofu-super duper hot and flavorful! it has mounds of fresh tomatoes, zuchinni, tofu, and onions swimming in spicy garlic.
i reccomend eating in the bar, its dimly lit (romantical!) and the dj's are hand-picked with great taste. the drinks kick ass as well :)

rating star

the restaurant is ok. PLEASE BE AWARE...ALL CURRIES HAVE SHRIMP PASTE IN THEM. i visited them once before last night, and the waiter said the red curry was vegan.
last night i had the pad thai (minus the egg) after finding out i had eaten shrimp paste a month ago. the food was good. the service was questionable. the waiter was always doing something else, but the water boy was attentive! :)
the waiter took a long time to do anything. i would definitely try and find a better thai eatery-this one is too expensive, gave me wrong info and had slow service. nice atomsphere though.

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

Like almost every other Thai restaurant in the Twin Cities (and maybe the US, from what I've seen), King and I offers a menu full of seemingly-vegan/vegetarian dishes which are not, in fact, vegan or vegetarian. Indeed, fish sauce or shrimp paste is lurking in every corner. Ask questions, people!

Indeed, the red and green curries at King and I contain shrimp paste and cannot be made vegan. Also, the "Roasted Red Pepper Sauce" dish cannot be made vegan.

However, there were a couple of other dishes that we could work with. We shared a "Holy Basil Sauce" with fried tofu ($17.50) which was spicy and loaded with tofu and basil. The portion size is huge (it's easily enough for 3 or 4 meals), which sort of justifies the unusually high price tag, though I would prefer a smaller dish at a smaller price. For $17.50 you expect a 4-star dinner or maybe a 5-star lunch; King and I is but a generic Thai restaurant at the end of the day. This first dish was good, maybe even above-average, but it wasn't gourmet or spectacular.

We also shared a "Palatial" modified to be vegan with tofu ($17.50). Since the red and green coconut curries contain shrimp paste, The Palatial is the closest thing at King and I you'll get to a proper curry---it's basically a stir-fry with vegetables and tofu or mock duck, covered in thick, creamy coconut milk. The dish was slightly bland as it was served, but we added some garlic chili sauce and suddenly it became quite good. Again, the portion size is huge, and the food is good, but it's not outstanding.

King and I does have great atmosphere. The main dining room is a bit staid, but properly formal, whereas the bar area where we sat was lively, yet comfortable and calm enough for a romantic dinner. The bar is cozy and chill and feels like a neighborhood joint; I'll definitely be coming back for a drink at some point.

The service was excellent. Our server, a young woman with glasses, was extremely friendly and attentive and kept checking with the kitchen to see what could be made vegan. Moreover, she told immediately that the curries were not vegan or vegetarian and could not be modified, which suggested to me that she's conscientious and thorough about ingredient issues. She also went out of her way to prepare an all-vegan spice rack for us, with three types of chili sauces, sans fish sauce.

All in all, King and I is a good place, though very expensive (but at least the portion sizes are enormous). They don't offer brown rice, which is a bummer, and they also will charge you $1 for extra white rice, which is a double bummer. That said, this is a good place to get a drink and maybe split a dish with two other people.

rating star

My husband and I went over a year ago, but still laugh about how bad that night was. Granted, we were preoccupied by an unpleasant situation at home, but this place did NOT cheer us up. It was super loud so that we couldn't talk. The food was way overpriced for the quality. I did not care for my spinach and peanut entree. Only at the end did we discover they no longer honored the MPR discount card, so we were stuck paying the whole price. We went home disappointed that we spent so much money on mediocre food, atmosphere and service.

rating star

Fancy atmosphere, expensive, and too bland for what Thai food usually is. The soups are really good and tasty, but their pad thai is pretty tasteless compared to most every other Thai restaurant in the Twin Cities. I'll go if I have a coupon, but wouldn't pay full price there as it is simply not worth it.

rating star

They are very willing to accommodate vegans by adjusting nearly anything on the menu - but as with many Thai places, I felt like my food was lacking in flavor. I suspect this has to do with the chef omitting certain ingredients to veganize a dish and not replacing those ingredients with any other flavors. The pad Thai I ordered was fine, but not worth $18. I've had better pad thai from a box, honestly. My husband's dish was better - his was already vegan and didn't require any adjusting. The atmosphere is very nice and it was great to go out and feel fancy, our server was friendly and the food came really fast even though they were busy.

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I helped someone organize a conference and she wanted to have a family style prepaid dinner at the King & I (she wanted to be sure that we only spend a certain amount per person). For large groups, they have set menus on their web site and none of them are vegan or even vegetarian. But when I called them to talk about changing these menus to meet our needs, they seemed very very willing to change any set menu to make it vegan-friendly. I was pretty impressed by how willing they were to accommodate me and I would recommend them to people who want a family style dinner that has a fixed price. I think you need to call in advance though to make arrangements.

rating star

Definitely not my favorite as far as local thai places go, but they do have quite a few dishes that can easily be made vegan. Half the appeal of this resturant is that it has a nice atmosphere. The majority of vegetarian entrees run $11-15, but the seafood & meat dishes are $14-25.

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