The skilled chefs at Thai Gourmet cook up a menu full of authentic curries, mouthwatering noodles, and piquant sauces representative of southeast Asian cuisine. Flavorful appetizers such as marinated chicken satay ($8.95) skewer pre-dinner stomach rumblings, and a dish of pad thai eases exotic pasta cravings with a mélange of roasted peanuts, sprouts, and tamarind sauce ($8.95+ for lunch, $13.95+ for dinner). Meals at Thai Gourmet run the gamut of flavors, colors, and textures from a simmering panang curry swimming in a milky coconut milk base ($8.95+ for lunch, $15.50+ for dinner) to a rich, twice-cooked curry duck served with mixed vegetables and red curry sauce ($28, dinner only). The eatery's spacious interior delights diners with cool blue tones and cushy booths while the inviting bar serves up signature drinks amid distinctive décor such as Thai sculptures and Yul Brynner bobbleheads.
Asian Bowl's menu is loaded with both iconic and unique dishes from Thailand and Japan. The roasted duck, a boneless slab of poultry slathered in homemade soy sauce and escorted by pineapples and steamed broccoli ($10.95), represents Thailand's cuisine more effectively than Ms. Thailand dressed in a gown of rice noodles. Patrons can taste the Land of the Rising Sun noodle by noodle with the Japanese tempura soba, which arrives at the table submerged in a seasoned fish broth and accompanied by shrimp and veggie tempura ($8.95), or let their uvulas high-five the seafood delight ($10.95), loaded with fresh shrimp, squid, crab, and scallops, then stir-fried to perfection with veggies and garlic sauce.
Thai and Indian influences act as the epicurean muses for chefs at Zaafaran, where fresh, healthy ingredients compose exotic entrees. The dinner menu invites guests to strap on their tongues' waders and discover seafood-fraught dishes such as the crab singapore, a stir-fried jumble of lump crab steeped in Singapore-style gravy ($20), or the saag tadka curry, where swells of tumeric yogurt and cream surge across sautéed spinach ($9).
The Allgauer’s menu offers a delicious twist on American comfort food. Courteous servers at the Milwaukee location cover tables in classic American fare such as an Angus NY strip steak layered in roasted portabella, blue-cheese gratin, Yukon mashed potatoes, and fresh spinach ($27) and potato-crusted salmon resting beside sautéed green beans and stone-ground mustard ($20). Press a jumbo button mushroom against your palate and savor its rich roasted-garlic, ham, and blue-cheese insides ($7 in Milwaukee), or crunch a jumbo crab cake with marinated peppers, arugula, bacon, and mustard ($12). A virgin shrimp cocktail ($10) spices up the evening without dampening driving abilities.
Before emigrating to the US, chef Aomjai Nueakaew perfected her brand of Thai cuisine in Bangkok’s Thai President Hotel. Now, at Jow Nai Fouquet, Nueakaew pays homage to her Southeast-Asian roots with a menu of stir-fries, noodle dishes, and a seafood green curry that Express Milwaukee heralds as “truly exceptional.” Another of the recipes on the menu—an "aromatic rice dish" with "slow-cooked pork and a garlicky secret sauce"—comes from Nueakaew's aunt, who runs a café south of Bangkok, according to [On Milwaukee] (http://www.onmilwaukee.com/dining/articles/jownaifouquet12.html?viewall=1).
Warm, natural-wood tones blend with contemporary design in the restaurant's interior. A bar painted with circuit-like designs serves up Thai beers and mai tais, and angular blue shapes bedeck a polished wood bench.