April 16, 1999 |
It sounded like a strange idea to me. But my restaurant partner had her reasons all worked out. Take pad thai, she said, and sample it at all levels, from the smallest take-out stand to the glitziest restaurant. Study the dish in all forms, and see how the versions vary. "One question," I said. "Why?" Because, she said, with Asian food invading American cuisine, it makes sense to get familiar with this most basic dish, a pan's breadth of fried noodles, crushed peanuts, vegetables and sometimes meat - the spaghetti and meatballs of the Orient.
April 16, 1999 |
Iam standing in the kitchen of Jow's Garden, on 47th Street in West Philly, watching chef Taveechai Vickyanont practice the performance art that results in pad thai. After washing the wok, he squirts in soy oil, then tosses in a handful of shrimp. Then come eggs (swish around), tofu (swish), scallions, a big cup of rice noodles size M (swish), a quarter-scoop of chicken broth, a handful of chopped peanuts. Vickyanont fences at this farrago with his long spoons, then adds the sauce, a mixture of Thai fruit paste, lemon juice, tamarind and fish sauce (swish swish swish swish)
November 6, 2008
Hold the papaya! The Main Line borough of Narberth is hardly a hotbed of ethnic diversity. But it boasts an authentic French patisserie and an Osaka-style Japanese lunch counter. Now comes a Thai cafe turning out very decent Pad Thai, hearty vegetarian stir fries with coconut milk, and a fresh take on the traditional Thai green papaya salad. In this version, crisp shreds of Granny Smith apple stand in for the papaya, and are added to threads of carrot, lemon juice ("som," means sour)
October 28, 2007
The term French Asian bistro piques the interest of the Discreet Diner because it combines my two favorite cuisines. I had not dined in Collingswood lately, so a friend and I headed over to Haddon Avenue to experience Water Lily. The long dining room has banquette booths on one side and square, wooden tables spaced nicely throughout the rest of the room. The decor is decidedly Asian and paprika is the dominant color. For starters, we selected the shrimp dumpling soup ($6)
June 20, 2004 |
Owning a Thai restaurant in Wayne is a lot like operating any small-town business. At least, the way Jumpoj Pinijavan, owner of the pint-size Mayuree Cafe, tells it, the customer comes first. Most are familiar with the Thai food, Pinijavan said, but tend to want it their way. On more than one occasion, Pinijavan has found himself writing down the same order - say, the famously spicy Thai red curry dish panang - and serving it three ways: mild, medium and hot. That's fine with Pinijavan, as long as the critical balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet - to name the key flavors of Thai food - doesn't get lost in translation, so to speak.
August 19, 1992 |
Right now, Thai food is - no pun intended - hot. And no wonder. It showcases healthful ingredients through vivid colors and assertive flavors while tackling our basic senses of hot, sweet, sour, salt and bitter at a single meal. Thailand the Beautiful Cookbook (Collins Publishers, $45) does an excellent job of capturing the essence of this multifaceted cuisine. This is the latest volume in the award-winning Beautiful Cookbook series. Though a bit pricey, it's one of those oversize books whose color photographs are almost worth the price of admission.
November 4, 2011
I'D RATHER talk pad thai, but iPad is on my menu, and I'm just asking for a digital middle digit. All those I asked about their iPads gave me three words: "I love it!" (That's how I feel about pad thai.) Micki Bjork, the Daily News' sweet high-tech Jill of All Trades, who keeps me from leaping from the tower - took five words: "I love it very much . " (But not as much as her goldendoodle dogs.) Unlike undeserving ex-wives, Micki doesn't lie to me, but let's start with my suicidal impulses.
December 9, 1990 |
Karate class upstairs? Sonic boom? Earthquake? No, said my gentle-voiced server, pointing to the window. The Thai Garden is just across from where the new Convention Center eventually will rise, and the location will be a real moneymaker when that facility is completed. But for the present, the location can be noisy, particularly when demolition is reducing thick stone walls to heaps of rubble. Philadelphia's Thai restaurants have a reputation for serene beauty, so it was no surprise when this one, just a few weeks old at my first visit, looked elegant enough to be expensive.
October 4, 1991 |
Lemon grass is a common ingredient in Thai cuisine, but Lemon Grass, the Thai restaurant, is anything but ordinary. Open only a month, this gem of a restaurant at 37th Street and Lancaster Avenue is already enjoying a brisk word-of-mouth business. It's attractive, has a diverse menu, and is reasonably priced. The owner and chef, Wansawang Reathong, spent a good deal of time in the Far East as a caterer. Before opening his own place, he worked in other Thai restaurants in the Philadelphia area.
May 22, 1992 |
If someone asked what the newest Asian-restaurant trend was, the answer would have to be Thai. But how many remember that there was a Thai restaurant in town long before there were any Korean and Vietnamese eateries? In 1973 Thai Royal Barge opened at 23d and Sansom Streets. Back then, diners - unaccustomed to fiery foods - were often taken aback by the intensity of the seasonings. The Royal Barge recently sailed away, but in its place there now stands its heir: Rum Thai. (Rum is Thai for dancing.