Meet’n’Eat: Kombo Kitchen doesn’t deserve 5 stars

Kombo Kitchen is not a place I would go back to.

A shot of Kombo Kitchen, located on MacDill Ave, not far from Robinson.

Photo Sarai Cochran

A shot of Kombo Kitchen, located on MacDill Ave, not far from Robinson.

Sarai Cochran, Staff Writer

Despite a five star rating and 19 reviews on Yelp, Kombo Kitchen isn’t as good as people say it is. I didn’t expect Thai food to be so unsatisfactory. Looking at the pictures and the website online, it seemed to be a really good, authentic, popular place, but I was very wrong.

When you drive up to the place, there’s a big building and a food truck next to it. There’s not as many people I thought would be there, especially since I went on a Friday. It was pretty empty with only about three people parked there.

Because of COVID-19, the building itself wasn’t open, but you can order and pick up from the truck. There were some designs on a gate but the building and truck looked dull, nothing stood out.

They serve Thai and American food ,which was very different from places I’ve tried, but the inclusion of American food was nice. Their menu mostly has Thai food like soups, rice dishes and curry dishes, but have a mini American favorite section like sandwiches, hot dogs and wings if you want something other than Thai.

I personally like soups, noodle dishes, so I ordered their famous Beef Bowl Noodle Soup along with an egg roll. It’s a broth-based dish with rice noodles, sliced beef, balls of beef and bean sprouts. When I received my food, it came in a Styrofoam container and a big container of broth with beef balls soaked in it. The portions are a decent amount of food too.

I wasn’t sure if I had to pour the broth in the container or pour the food in the broth. It didn’t come with any bowls or silverware. I didn’t like that I had to put some work into eating my meal, I thought I would have received silverware and bowls.

The food was extremely bland. There was no flavor to the food at all, which comes with sauces including Sriracha. I added it to my food and it made it a little better, but there’s only so much Sriracha that it comes with. Not only that but the beef inside the broth was revolting. It’s something that I would never want to try ever again and the texture didn’t make it any better.

The thing I’d say that was decently good was the egg roll and the dough-like fried wonton chips. The chips came free with the meal in a plastic baggie. They are very sweet and crunchy. The egg roll was really good too, the only downside about that is that it was very stringy, with a weird texture.

The staff, on the other hand, are tremendously sweet and welcoming. They really want to get their business going, which seems like is going decently well. They seem to care for every single customer and welcome everyone with open arms.

With the future ahead of them and lots of learning to do, I’d definitely not get the Beef Bowl Noodle Soup ever again, or go back to Kombo Kitchen; I don’t recommend it. Overall, Kombo Kitchen deserves a strong 2/10.


Address: 5009 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33611

Hours: 11 A.M. -8 P.M. Tuesday – Saturday,

11 A.M. – 7:30 P.M. Sunday

Closed Mondays