The back of a plush, red banquette meanders along Coconut Bay Fusion Cuisine's bright-orange wall, which is adorned with Asian-style artwork in bas-relief and a trickling waterfall. Designed to follow the guidelines of feng shui, the dining room provides an elegant and relaxing space in which to indulge in upscale cuisine from the East. World Chinese Culinary Olympics gold-medal-winning chef Man Wong, who has received accolades from many internationally renowned culinary associations, puts a modern twist on dishes from all over the continent. His collection of signature dishes nod to Thailand's pad thai noodles and China's sesame chicken, but his innovation shines on his list of star entrees. Chef Wong fuses flavors to create Malay pineapple shrimp and Thai cashew chicken. In addition to hot entrees, he also serves a variety of sushi, showing off his flair for impeccable presentation and the flavor combinations in his signature rolls.
Penang's menu stamps tongue passports with authentic, spicy Malaysian dishes. Start with the customer-favorite roti-canai appetizer, hot indian pancakes in curry-chicken sauce ($3.95). The Penang satay serves four skewers of tender, marinated chicken or beef with peanut sauce ($7.50), and the mango chicken ignites mouths with a spicy sauce prepared by chefs raised from infancy on a strict diet of only mangos ($13.95). The curry dishes at Penang offer a refreshing take on this standard Asian spice—more subtle than Indian curries, heartier than Thai versions, and more existent than German recipes. Try the kari ayam, dark-meat chicken and potatoes with red curry in coconut-milk gravy ($12.95).
Erawan Thai Cuisine's dishes nourish bellies and eyes with a visually stunning blend of fresh veggies, vibrant sauces, and tender meats. Morsels of chicken pork, fish, and shrimp mingle with piquant chili and ginger, and 11 meatless entrees appease vegetarian palates with seasoned tofu and veggie blends. Thanks to the restaurant's liberal BYOB policy, guests can pair zesty papaya salads or mango-sauced duck meat with their favorite beverage, free from the oppressive limitations of corkage fees or taxes levied by King George. Customers can also work hand-in-hand with chefs to fashion catering packages for any occasion.
While scanning the pages of Nooddi Thai Chef's eclectic and lengthy menu amid the eatery's oceanic murals, eyes are forced to stop at words that stand out against the traditional "dumpling," "curry," and "satay." The kitchen staff's specialties cause these double takes on a daily basis, as they introduce eccentric proteins such as wild boar in a garlic red curry sauce or saut?ed alligator in an aromatic herb sauce. In addition to their Thai classics, the cooks assemble flavors from across Asia, including those in Vietnamese pho, Japanese yakisoba, and Indonesian mee goreng.
Thai 2 Go’s chefs draw on traditional and modern influences to concoct their own recipes for noodle dishes, curries, and sizzling stir-fries. Aromatic basil leaves, spicy chilis, and coconut milk season dishes such as pad thai and panang curry. No matter what you order, expect leftovers—even sturdy chopsticks begin to resemble toothpicks when considered beside the huge, family-size portions.
Chestnut Hill’s Thai Kuu is where to head for traditional Thai cooking with a modern twist in Philadelphia. The sleek atmosphere sets the stage; walls and leather chairs are cream colored and subtle, while vibrant lights and stand-out orange napkins make the room pop. A sheer drapery separates the smallish space, converting the large room into several smaller sections. Pad Thai and curries are favorites, as well as the spicy pad kee mao, consisting of stir-fried rice noodles, spicy sweet basil sauce, vegetables and your choice of meat. Chef’s recommendations include pad pong karee seafood, a mild yellow curry packed with seafood (crab meat, scallops, shrimp, calamari and mussels) or garlic soft-shell crabs.