The chefs at Chadaka Thai shower traditional spices over a bevy of fresh seafood, spicy curries, and refreshing vegetarian dishes. Tender steak and succulent lamb chops don flavors of lemongrass and hot peppers as egg and rice noodles take on a range of shapes beneath savory sauces. In the dining room, towering windows and pillar-like pendant lights illuminate dark-wood décor as stark geometric furnishings find a rustic complement with burl accents and a patchwork-quilt ceiling. Candlelit tables for two fan the flames of a romantic evening or passionate fire-eating contest, whereas an outdoor patio framed by pinewood-hued beams grants diners a glimpse of the bustling shoppers just beyond their savory sanctuary.
Sedthee welcomes diners with a warm atmosphere and gracious hospitality. The menu is packed with traditional Thai cuisine, including stir-fried dishes, hearty curries, and delicately flavored desserts. Start a gustatory voyage with the prosperous baby––baby back ribs in Thai herbs and flash fried for a texture bonus ($8.95)––before delving deeper into the dark heart of flavor with the Jungle Feast, which bathes crispy duck (or vegan soy duck) in a tub of sweet pineapple, grapes, and a spicy coconut-milk forest curry made with freshly-ground spices ($13.95). Sedthee's specialty spicy lamb chops come grass-fed from New Zealand to get a marinated coat of Thai spices ($15.95), and Devil's fried rice, which comes with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or tofu ($7.95), and the creamy medium spice of the Panang curry, made with fresh, hand-juiced coconut milk (starting at $7.95), can please traditionalist palates. A dessert order of taro custard cake à la mode ($5.95) places the sweet end cap on top of the dinner pipe.
Outside of Arunee House, two giant signs and a dark-green awning bear the eatery’s MO: to serve up a mix of more than 100 Thai and Chinese dishes. The kitchen staff tosses chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp into six different types of thai curry and mixes chantaboon noodles with chili powder and sprouts to create generous portions of pad thai. Servings of spicy squid prelude the house-special vegetable plate, a cornucopia of snow peas, chinese cabbage, bamboo shoots, black mushrooms, and freshly weaned baby corn. Eaters can augment their meals with glasses of thai iced tea or finish things off with a dessert of sweet sticky rice with mango.
Stylish and spacious, boraan offers a posh setting in which to enjoy its artfully prepared Thai dishes. The menu features the traditionally succulent suspects, flanked by a redolent lineup of fried rice, stir-fry, and red, green, and yellow curries. Meanwhile, the signature seafood rad nah adorns its noodles with flavorful shrimp, mussels, scallops, calamari, crab, and chinese broccoli in a garlic-bean gravy sauce ($17.99). A BYOB policy and no corkage fee, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options, ensure that boraan not only meets all culinary expectations but also extends them a handshake and a collectible business card.
Employing exotic spices, fresh vegetables, and sweet sauces, the culinary experts at Singapore Express craft a full menu of authentic Thai cuisine including full-flavored curry and noodle entrees. Groups of two or four jumpstart palates with one or two appetizers, choosing between lighter selections such as steamed chicken dumplings and heavier subjects including deep-fried tofu and the meaning of life. Main courses vary in consistency from the broth-based chicken-coconut soup—a blend of swimming Thai herbs clinging to straw-mushroom buoys in a sea of coconut broth—to duck red curry served with steamed white rice. Table denizens can also rev up a stolid maw by imbibing signature dishes such as the Indonesian nasi lemak—a bed of rice cooked in coconut milk and crowned with chicken wings, fried fish, and a fried egg—or a spicy mint pork leg, which can be used to hold up a wobbly table.
For the casual observer passing Tuk Tuk, it might seem as though there has been an accident. The front of a tuk tuk—the Thai term for rickshaw—juts from the front of the building above the awning, as though its wheel has just burst through the wall. But if that observer ventured inside, they would find neither debris nor an apologetic teleporter proclaiming that his calculations were off. Instead they would see diners seated beneath colorful wall art and hanging lamps whose shades resemble curving Möbius strips, or, according to one review from Gayot, snail shells. Then, once the adrenaline faded and reality set in, the investigating observer would be smacked by what was so obvious to everyone else: the aroma of mingling spices.
A compendium of noodle dishes, wok stir-fries, curries, and house specialties, the menu prioritizes the power of complementary ingredients. According to the same Gayot review, chef Aoi Rattanamanee has a particular knack for seasoning grilled dishes: "Chicken is marinated overnight in garlic, cilantro and black pepper, fostering deep flavor." The spicy basil fried rice mixes chili and thai basil within a vegetable medley, and the Crying Tiger beef derives its zest from garlic, galangal root, and soybean sauce. Those in search of proven staples can indulge in pad thai or one of three curry variants, whose ingredients have all simmered in a creamy coconut milk.