‘hot’ new Thai restaurant opens in Chippewa Falls
When Mahli Thai owner Terri Wilson first discovered the former Bridge Street Station in downtown Chippewa Falls was an empty lot for sale, inspiration and possibility burst from her curious mind. It was early 2011 and she and her husband Tom were having friends over for dinner. “I put an offer down the next day,” said Terri.
Then, on May 20, the Chippewa Valley’s newest destination for Thai cuisine opened. Mahli Thai Asian Cuisine features a comfy café dining atmosphere met with fantastic Thai food in a comprehensive and diverse menu.
When I visited, Terri exhibited grilled pork satay skewers served with an original peanut sauce and a sweet vinaigrette dressing with diced red onion garnished with a bed of purple and white cabbage shreds and cherry tomato. Then came the Pad Kee Maow with chicken, featuring soft pan fried noodles and tons of veggies in a light, spicy and savory sauce of chili pesto, lemongrass, kaffir lime, and the ginger-like galangal root. And then the red curry with chicken arrived, whose creamy coconut milk, vegetables, spicy curry paste, and bowl of jasmine rice provided a familiar and satisfying fire inside; or, as I call it, the good hurt.
The restaurant’s décor suggests impressions of calm and pleasing Zen reservation. Green plants grow in long planters along the dining room’s white sides. A small brass Buddha shrine sits high in a corner. Panes of glass lining the kitchen wall feature bamboo stalks, and a bamboo forest mural graces the hallway leading to the back in shades of light green. The mural and glass panes were personally designed by Terri. Soon the walls will feature elephants and Buddhas in teak reliefs (detailed, ethnic wood art carvings) from Thailand. She prefers simplified décor to Asian restaurants with distracting or gaudy interior design. “No souvenirs, you know. Trinket things on the wall. Can’t stand that,” said Terri.