Tup Tim Thai Cuisine

It was noon again and time to decide what to do for lunch. The canned soup in the cupboard at my work didn’t look very tempting so I decided that it was time to try a new restaurant. I called up a friend and we decided to try the new Thai restaurant in town. Tup Tim Thai Cuisine is located on Commercial Street. If memory serves, I believe there was another Thai restaurant there years and years ago. That day they seemed to be repainting the entire strip mall the restaurant is located in. It went from a nice blue gray color to what is now an orange beige color.

The inside of the restaurant was immaculate and there were only about seven or eight tables. Everything looked brand new. We were seated by a lady who I assumed was the owner. I ordered the green curry with tofu and my lunch date ordered the garlic lover’s dish and a Thai iced tea. Lunch also came with a hot and sour type soup which was delicious.
After about twenty minutes, my lunch arrived but my date’s did not. I figured it was only minutes behind, but the waitress came and told us that they had put pork in it instead of tofu and it would be just a little while. She was very nice about it and seemed very apologetic. While I waited to eat, I asked for a rack of condiments and entertained myself by getting familiar with them. The other lunch arrived a while later and it was time to dig in.
The portions were just right for a lunch without having leftovers, and their prices for lunch are affordable at $6.50 for most options. My green curry was disappointingly bland. I added every single condiment in the tray of four…but to my dismay, it was still bland. The garlic lover’s dish surprisingly had no visible garlic in it. We assumed that they must have used a garlic sauce instead of putting any garlic cloves in. I’m pretty sure that Thai Beer has ruined me because every time I go anywhere else, it just doesn’t compare. Thai Beer is probably the closest to real Thai food I’ve enjoyed since I was in Thailand. Tim Tup has a nice interior, but the flavors just aren’t there. But perhaps I just went on an off day or ordered something that wasn’t one of their best menu items.

3860 Commercial St. SE

Salem, OR 97302



Anonymous said...

We ate there a month ago (my birthday lunch) and had a similarly disappointing experience. The service was fine but the portion size was just barely adequate and the calamari was so overcooked that I thought I was chewing on a piece of tire. I know I could have complained, but we really didn't have the time for them to get it right and I had already made up my mind that I liked Thai Beer infinitely more. I am a little sad to hear Tim Tup hasn't gotten their act together though.

Anonymous said...

I have eaten at Tup Tim several times and vehemently disagree.I've been to Thailand many times and the food at Tup Tim is more authenic than any of the other "Americanized" Thai restaurants here in Salem.Every dish I had was excellent.I feel that the reviewer who wrote this article was only looking for problems,instead of being objective.I've only had good meals there and encourage people to try it for themselves!

Chuck Bradley said...

I too had a very positive experience at Tup Tim. I had Drunken Noodles with Calamari. (They sure got the Calamari right for me.) The service was very good as was the food. The restaurant was bright and clean. I have to say it's head and shoulders above the other two Thai places in South Salem of which I'm aware. (My favorite is still the Red Ginger in Keizer.) These are nice people serving good food. Give 'em a chance.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, you were the sole reason why I went to this place and you let me down for the first time ever, as every other review you've done I've agreed with. I hope you got a free meal for this advertisement since it clearly did not live up to the rest of the places you gave glowing reviews to. Could you please list the 2 other Thai places in South Salem since I can only come up with Lanxang which is clearly heads and tales above this place??

Anonymous said...

I expect it's Thai Fusion next to Bigfoot

Jia said...

Anonymous: Did you go for lunch or dinner? I actually wanted to like the place. I thought the staff was very pleasant, but getting food at different times is definitely a problem when you are trying to have lunch during a work day. It took 90 minutes to get in and out, which is fine for dinner, but not for lunch.

The food was not delicious, I mentioned in my review that maybe we had not picked items that they knew how to make well, or maybe it was just an "off" day for them. I think people should definitely go see/taste for themselves, but what I wrote was based on my experience there, and there were definitely issues with my visit. I don't know what else to tell you, I'm glad you like their food. :)

Chuck Bradley said...

To anon (5:33AM), It's unfortunate that my good experience led you into a bad one. Please be assured that any opinion I ever express about a restaurant is honestly held. No free lunch, discount or bribe will ever induce me to post a false one. It will, however, be, as are all posts here, largely subjective. From what I'm reading, I infer this place may have some consistency issues. Be that as it may, I stand by my comments based on my own observations, for now. If my next visit engenders a different opinion, I’ll let you know. I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em!

The other S. Salem places to which I referred are Lanxang and Thai Fusion.

Anonymous said...

The first time we went to Tup Tim, it was so good! (although I hate the interior, and I feel like the entrance is really awkward) The service was great, food was hot and delicious, much better than any other Thai we've had in town.. We went the first week that they opened. The second time, however, was just a week ago and it was B-A-D. The food was lukewarm, noodles were overcooked, it was bland. What's up with that? The only other spot we like in the area is Thai Lotus in Keizer. We live in South Salem and were so excited to have a nice option for Thai in our hood, but our second visit makes me a little reluctant to return.


Anonymous said...

Tup Tim (not Tim Tup as it was listed!) Thai Restaurant is truly a gem for our town! I have lived in Thailand for 24 years, and now moved to Oregon, I have found this place is serving an "authentic" Thai food! My two cents here, if any Pad Thai is served in super red color (mixed with ketchup), you are eating "pretending" Thai food. In Thailand, Pad Thai would be cooked with tamarind sauce and I think Tup Tim is doing such a good job! I also love the "Tom Yum" soup. I think it's called "Floating Market" here. "Tod man" and "Won Ton" is a must to try. Personally, this place is serving food that is filled with compassion to make Thai food "Thai". I would say if you want to try what Thai people are eating in their country, come to this place. So far, I have been to this place four times,and definitely will keep going back.

Jia said...

Sorry about the mistake in spelling of the name. I'll change it.

Anonymous said...

What one has to consider,in reading these reviews is #1.Taste is a pretty subjective thing and #2.I know for a fact(through information I got from another Thai restaurant in Salem),that people who work for rival restaurants will sometimes load up these negative reviews to try and discredit a restaurant.People have different motivations for writing these reviews....So bottom line is....Try it for yourself and see. I,personally, have eaten at Tup Tim twice,and had what I thought were very delicious meals both times.One meal was with calamari,which was tender and easy to chew.I've also heard positive comments from the other diners,as I ate.....Bon Appetite!......P.S. Their pumpkin curry and mango curry are something special!

KandN said...

Anonymous #7,
You're right, taste is different for everyone. Consistency of product also makes a difference--not to mention service, which is important when you need to get back to work after lunch.
I know what you mean about reviewers on the national sites having their own motivations for writing reviews. You won't find that here at eatsalem.com. Our contributors review because they enjoy sharing their experiences.

Tup Tim is still new and hopefully reading this blog to find out what needs tweaking.

Anonymous said...

I go there about once a week and usually order the garlic chicken and in looking at the picture that is posted and from what I usually get, I'd say that the reason there isn't any garlic in it is because I think it's the cashew dish they have since your picture seems to have cashews. The garlic also doesn't have red peppers (or at least not in it the few times I've gotten it). So I think maybe she misheard you or the chef made the wrong thing but Im guessing the main reason it didn't taste like garlic is because the dish pictured isn't a garlic dish. I have a menu somewhere around the house and I'll try to post a pic of the 2 menu items. Overall I like the food and plan on going to it in the future since it is close to home.

Anonymous said...

I went to Tub Tim (meaning Ruby in Thai) yesterday, asking the owner (Nui) for her recommendations. They recommended "Pad Kaprow" and "Red Curry". Then, 10 minutes later, here comes the festivity of my meal. I ordered "basil calamari and "red curry with beef". The basil dish is colorful with cooked to perfect vegetables. The balance of spiciness and basil aroma is right on! The calamari is cooked the way I like, well done but not rubber band style. The red curry with beef is also good. The beef is tender and I love the good collaboration of spices and coconut milk. My experience with Tub Tim is pretty good. They serve me quite delicious food with a cozy and clean environment!

Anonymous said...

I like this place. (also really like East Salem Thai Beer) We ate at Tup Tim tonight on a whim. My kids loved the sticky rice (much easier to eat for them!) My wife and I ordered the appetizer combo with mixed results. The salad rolls were good, with the peanut dipping sauce being adequate, but I should have asked to see if they had some hoisin, since I am partial to that, but I am not sure it is Thai. The pot stickers were good, but were fried, not steamed. The wontons were fried and had just a touch of filling. The chicken skewers were tasty but truly petrified. We also ordered the green curry with broccoli to replace the eggplant, It was GREAT! The rice was fresh and tasty, and the seasoning in the curry was better than most that I have had in town. I made sure to grab their take out menu, since I will for sure be getting food here in the future. R and DT

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of Thai food. When moving to Salem, we went to the closest Thai place right out of the gate, Thai Fusion. The service was was bad/slow, but the food was on par with other places I've been. Better if you ordered togo and waited 30 minutes. They recently closed, getting us to look around. We found Tup Tim, just a few blocks south.

This week, the Fusion place reopened, without the Fusion (ie, no burgers). It was time to check it out, only now its called Thai E San. The service was much better (fast, friendly, etc), but the food was so bland that I don't think we'll be returning.

Tup Tim has real Thai tea (hot or iced) with what can only be real cream. E San has some kind of red colored black tea (and only iced).

Tup Tim makes their curry with coconut milk and curry. E San has some kind of paprika colored water based something going on.

Tup Tim has real peanut sause, not the oil based dressing at E San.

We got an identical favorite to make sure it wasn't just a menu variation, Basil Fried Rice. It was fried well enough, but there's a flavor missing from the E San version. Really makes the Tup Tim version something to try.

Perplexed how something could get so successful with such bland flavors, we inquired about them and were assured that this was not only the same chef as the Portland location, but was the actual owner of the Porland E San preparing our dinner, using his own recipes.

We've gotten used to Tup Tim prices too. For the 3 dinners we often order, the bill was 3 something, vs 2 something.

Tup Tim has simply spoiled us. And I'm just fine with that.

sheepdogmom said...

Anonymous 2/15
You gotta go try Thai Beer on Lancaster Dr .. think you'll love it.

Anonymous said...

I just had Pad Beef Ga Prow(basil)there for lunch. It was good!!!!!!! Nice place there!