WILD ROSE THAI
150 NW Oregon Ave, Bend, Oregon, USA

We arrived …

around 7pm, just after our friends who had already secured a table. The restaurant was buzzing, with most tables already full and there was a fun, lively atmosphere. Bend, in Central Oregon's high desert, was below freezing on this early November evening, but inside was warm and cosy.

We chose here because … the other three members of the group had dined here before and recommended it as one of Bend's best restaurants. After my first visit, I was quick to agree.

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After being recommended as one of Bend’s best restaurants, on first impression, it's easy to see why. Photo / Supplied
After being recommended as one of Bend’s best restaurants, on first impression, it's easy to see why. Photo / Supplied

Our first impression was …

the smells coming from the kitchen were tantalising, and the decor had some lovely, thoughtful touches - like a multitude of bunches of dried roses in reds, pinks, peach and white, hanging upside down from the ceiling.

Wild rose is perfect if you need something to warm you up after a day on the slopes of nearby Mt Bachelor. Photo / Supplied
Wild rose is perfect if you need something to warm you up after a day on the slopes of nearby Mt Bachelor. Photo / Supplied

We started with …

cocktails, recommended by the maitre d', Ben. They all had ingredients complementing the Northern Thai menu, such as basil, lemongrass and chilli, and were absolutely delicious.

The highlight was … the hot basil pork - stir-fried ground pork with aromatic basil and chillis, topped with a fried egg. It was super spicy but the flavours were complex and satisfying.

You won't find … pad thai, or any toned-down tourist versions of Thai food. This is menu is inspired by the owners' roots in Prae and their own family recipes.

Dessert was … too much for us to manage.

Come here if … you want a fresh, flavourful meal in a lively atmosphere, or need something to warm you up after a day on the slopes of nearby Mt Bachelor.

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The bill …

around US$100 (NZ$148) for four people, which covered five dishes, sides of sticky rice, two rounds of drinks, with some food left over to take home in a doggy bag.

The decor had some thoughtful touches - like a multitude of bunches of dried roses hanging upside down from the ceiling. Photo / Supplied
The decor had some thoughtful touches - like a multitude of bunches of dried roses hanging upside down from the ceiling. Photo / Supplied