Red Chili is a Thai and Vietnamese restaurant in Hayward. Though that might suggest a fusion of the two types of food, it was more like a restaurant that served both types of cuisine in separate dishes. It also seemed to focus more heavily on the Thai side rather than the Vietnamese, though it definitely serves both. I'm not convinced it's particularly authentic Thai or Vietnamese food, as it was fairly Americanized, but it was good food nonetheless.
We ended up coming to Red Chili after striking out at two other Hayward eateries, which happen to be closed on Sundays. (What gives, Hayward?) While I had my heart set on other food before settling for this, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise with some tasty dishes and pleasant service.
Restaurant Review of Red Chili Restaurant
The inside of Red Chili is far more inviting than the outside. The large, spacious dining area is warm and clean, though sparsely decorated, with plenty of seating. We entered through the rear entrance, which had us pass by the restrooms, the kitchen, and some storage shelving, which felt a little strange. The front entrance was much more normal, but only a fraction of the visitors enter through that door. The atmosphere is casual.
There were many servers at Red Chili for dinner service on a Sunday night. The restaurant was not very busy when we first arrived (though it was early for dinner), but it filled up quickly as we ate. We were helped by several different people, who were all extremely friendly and polite. The food came out quickly and the empty dishes were cleared in a timely fashion. We were bid a good evening by at least 5 kind employees on the way out.
I started with a Thai iced tea, which was very tasty, and just the right amount of sweet. They offered to add pearls to it, although I passed (too filling). We ordered the roti canai for an appetizer and the yellow chicken curry with a side of rice. The roti canai, which is roti bread served with a cup of yellow curry and a side of cucumber salad, was very delicious. The roti was light and just a little bit crunchy, and went perfectly with the curry. The salad was light and refreshing, and a good counterpart to the rest of the meal – pickled cucumber and onions.
The yellow curry had tender chicken, onions, and potatoes. The curry was really good – a little bit sweet and very flavorful. They didn't ask us how spicy we wanted it, though they may have assumed we did not want it spicy at all since we didn't ask. I wish it had a bit of a kick to it (especially from a restaurant called Red Chili). The potatoes actually seemed a little undercooked to me, but my dining companions disagreed, saying it was just a different variety of potato. Whatever. Not a deal-breaker either way.
There were several other items on the menu that I wanted to try, but I just couldn't eat that much and still save room for dessert. The spicy fried rice and lettuce wraps caught my eye in particular. Next time.
For dessert, I had to go with the mango sticky rice, and I got to try the fried banana and ice cream as well. The mango sticky rice had a perfect flavor and the mango was perfectly ripe. What was not perfect, however, was the texture of the rice, which was a bit hard and difficult to even break apart with the spoon. Even though I was incredibly full by this point, I had to try the fried banana ice cream. The available options for ice cream included vanilla, green tea, and mango – we went with the classic vanilla. The plate was nicely decorated with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, topped with a cherry, and the banana was battered and crispy – a decadent dessert and a great ending to a great meal.
Not bad at all. Curries and a la carte items are about $9-10 each, specials run up to $15, and lunch meals are $7.50 across the board. Appetizers, soups, and salads average about $7 each.
Red Chili is located directly on Mission Boulevard in Hayward, between Overhill Drive and Industrial Parkway. It's situated right next to California Gyro and Pizza, which shares its parking lot, with a few spaces in front, and many more in the rear. The restaurant doesn't look like much from the outside, and the area, while there is a shopping center nearby, is not very built up.
Address: 29583 Mission Blvd, Hayward CA 94544
- Monday through Friday: 11 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 9:30 pm
- Saturday: 11 am – 9:30 pm
- Sunday: 11 am – 9 pm