Using what friends tell me are my considerable sleuthing skills, I decided to dine inconspicuously at another one of Tempe’s award-winning restaurants, Yupha’s Thai Kitchen.
Tucked away behind Windy City Café on the southeast corner of McClintock and Elliot, Yupha’s came to my attention after a number of friends dined there and rated it definitely worth a visit.
Seems that Yupha Dequenne, the owner, was determined to bring her vision of quality Thai food to Tempe.
After being in a different spot on west Elliot for a while, the restaurant was relocated several years ago to its current location, which sets the scene for an atmosphere and cuisine that to me felt seamlessly harmonious. Comfortable seating and a relaxing color scheme left me with a sense of tranquility that Yupha must have had in mind from the beginning.
Yupha’s menu is complete, comparable in terms of selection to what you’d find at most authentic Thai restaurants. A list of 10-plus appetizers includes some worthy choices, including the “Little Mermaid” appetizer, a fun twist to Thai-style food: shrimp and bacon wrapped inside a delicate spring roll.
Next up on the menu are the traditional chicken, pork and beef or tofu entrees, as well as an abundance of curry, seafood and noodle options. It should be noted that Yupha’s lunch and dinner menus are slightly different. Lunch items represent slightly smaller portions; all are priced equally and include a light and flavorful broth plus garden salad with traditional hot peanut dressing.
During my excursion to Yupha’s I started out with the spring rolls. What I really liked about these is that they reminded me of spring: fresh and simple. It was a great way to start the meal.
This was followed by the Tom yum gai, a spicy Thai chicken soup, which I also enjoyed. My main course was a green curry tofu dish.
At Yupha’s you can choose just the amount of chili that’s right for you: mild, medium, hot or Thai hot. Be forewarned: At Yupha’s, when they say hot, they definitely mean it.
The presentation was very nice, and the portions were indeed plentiful. All in all I was extremely pleased with my meal, and it didn’t hurt that it was quite affordable.
Yupha’s has received several awards for being among the best Thai restaurants in the Valley.
Based on the quality of food I experienced and overall good service, I can’t argue with such recognition. Both I and those I’ve spoken with who have dined here have had very good things to say. I would highly recommend this for a casual lunch or for a nice dinner close to home.
Yupha’s Thai Kitchen is located at 1805 E. Elliot Road, Suite 115, Tempe.
Reach them by phone at 480-839-0576 or check out their menu at http://www.yuphasthaikitchen.com/ .