Whether beneath the thatched roof of the tiki hut or at an intimate table surrounded by bamboo shoots, Papaya Thai and Asian BBQ’s tropical themes pervade the eatery’s confines. The barbecue bar grants diners a front-row seat to watch chefs expertly grill marinated meats and veggies on wooden skewers, wielding the power of fire like Prometheus to cook beef to its tender best state. A variety of Thai tasting plates and main dishes include classics such as pad thai, sizzling chicken in a thai barbecue sauce, and skewered chicken satay. From the tiki bar, bartenders pour tropical drinks such as papaya thai-ritas made with sweet mango and nutty monkeys, an almond-rum-banana concoction the staff delivers to tables by way of swinging through the rafters.
The New York Times praised Tengda's Milford location—one of eight in a small regional chain—as "perfect for young-at-heart couples and groups," with a high-energy atmosphere bubbling around cuisine it called "very good." The chefs draw gustatory inspiration from China, Japan, and Thailand as they create their expansive menus of Pan-Asian fare, which include fiery stir-fries, grilled meats, and sushi and provide reading material for shy diners throughout a full meal. Moody red and yellow lights dapple sleek black tables and booths, and might occasionally catch knife-flipping and drink-slinging theatrics behind the sushi and cocktail bars.
With its menu of authentic Thai tastes, Thai Basil keeps taste buds and their corresponding bodies thoroughly sated and comfortably seated. While culinary classics such as chicken pad thai help diners reminisce about delectable meals past with its stir-fried rice noodles, scallions, egg, and ground peanut ($10), various wok-stirred ($12–$16) and duck ($19) provide the ground work for new eating experiences. After catching a movie or scenic glimpses of a fast-approaching asteroid, diners can stop by for bites of crispy red snapper ($20), or refuel midday with slurps of grilled-beef pho ($8).
Geranium red walls and a seemingly endless supply of fresh Thai orchids contribute to the serene ambiance at Reka’s Thai Restaurant, where the kitchen staffers create classics of royal-style cuisine. With a focus on subtlety of flavors, they fuse both imported ingredients as well as those from local merchants when creating dishes like Escargot Thai Style, Green Papaya Salad, Crispy Duck with Crispy Kale, and Wild Boar Jungle Style, all of which are plated with an artful flair. To complement the leisurely dining style, chords from a classical guitarist permeate the dining room on every Friday and Saturday evening.
As its name suggests, two halves create Full Moon Asian Thai Restaurant. On one hand is a vibrant, bustling dining room that would not feel out of place in Manhattan. The sounds of lively chatter pervade the open space, hanging over rows of wooden tables where napkins stand upright on plates like swans engaged in staring contests. This electric atmosphere juxtaposes neatly with the quieter corners of the restaurant, where eyes are drawn to elaborate woodcarvings and ears perk up at the sound of water burbling across bricks and sandstones imported from Thailand.
This fusion between West and East—between fast-paced and meditative—carries over to the Zagat -rated restaurant's menu. Sweat-inducing spices strike a balance with the sweet flavors of papaya in colorful curries. Similarly, crushed peanuts and handpicked bean sprouts lend a pleasant crunch to the rice noodles of a traditional pad thai dish. Purple- and orange-tinged lamps dangle above guests as they sample the spread of Thai cuisine, giving them the appearance of tigers at a black-light rave.
Wild Ginger's woven lanterns drizzle light on a wall-spanning triptych of paintings that blends modern abstraction with traditional Asian styles. Cherry-red banquettes cushion patrons as they dine on dishes that blend the cuisines of China, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia. Sushi shares menu space with made-to-order entrees of chicken, duck, and scallops in curry and fruit-based sauces. While waiting on a wok entree to cool, patrons can try to down a frothy brew using only their chopsticks.
Galangal's kitchen decorates the tables in the refined dining room with an international menu of Asian flavors spanning japanese sushi, fragrant thai curries, and chinese dumplings. "Much of the food takes a cue from the stylish setting," wrote New York Times contributor Joanne Starkey, highlighting a neatly sculpted plate of pad thai ($7–$9 at lunch, $14–$18 at dinner) garnished with drizzled egg, orchids, and a shot glass full of mung-bean sprouts. Lunchtime diners can devour spicy basil eggplant ($7–$9) or throw out plastic pails emblazoned with Batman in favor of the neatly organized nutrition of a shrimp-tempura bento box ($14). At dinnertime, a charcoal-grilled half chicken ($17) bathed in sweet chili sauce gilds smoky notes with sweeter flavors, and sushi chefs expertly pack the salmon family roll ($15) with a quartet of fish preparations including king salmon, crispy salmon, and salmon roe.