Emerald Thai Restaurant is Leaving Mt. Moriah for Lakeland

The owners of Emerald Thai will take about two months to open their new location in Lakeland.

Here’s sad news for Thai food lovers in East Memphis: Emerald Thai Restaurant is moving to Lakeland from its longtime location on Mt. Moriah. The restaurant’s last day of business at its current home will be August 17.

Located on Mt. Moriah for more than 15 years, Emerald Thai was once part of a diversified retail thoroughfare in Fox Meadows with other successful restaurants, including a now shuttered Neely’s Bar-B-Que across the street. But neighborhoods change, said owner Manila Praseuth. “It's not the same,” she said. “It’s time to move.”

The family tried to find a new location nearby and closer to Poplar Avenue, but couldn’t afford the rent, Praseuth said. So they settled on suburban Lakeland at 8950 Highway 64, Suite 107. The owners hope to have the new Emerald Thai open in October.

Last Saturday, Tony and I had a farewell dinner of sorts, ordering some of our favorite dishes such as Tom Kha Kai, a chicken soup flavored with kaffir leaves, coconut milk and galanga (a relative of ginger); perfectly steamed dumplings stuffed with pork and topped with oversized cilantro leaves; and spicy yum, a cold salad of steamed shrimp, squid, baby scallops and julienned vegetables mixed with a spine-tingling dressing of chili, lime and garlic. Our friends added some new (to us) dishes to the table, including a very large bowl of home-made chicken noodle soup (It was outstanding) and more squid, this time lightly battered, deep-fried and served with plum sauce.

Emerald Thai is operating normal hours until August 17, serving lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and dinner Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. The restaurant also is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., but is closed on Sunday.

To download the restaurant’s menu for a closer look, click here.

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