Thai cuisine depends upon the balance of five flavor groups, just as boy bands require five distinct personalities. Taste all five flavors with today's Groupon: for $44, you get a three-course tasting menu for two at Laut (up to a $92 value).
Laut has garnered a Michelin star and praise in the New York Times for its dressed up interpretations of authentic Thai and Malaysian street fare. Order from a special three-course menu for Groupon customers, which combines some of Laut's favorite entrees with exclusive dishes. The three courses for two include:
- Two appetizers (up to an $18 value)
- Two chicken, beef, shrimp and squid, or veggie entrees (up to a $60 value)
- Two desserts (up to a $14 value)
Meals begin with a choice of six appetizers, including grilled skewers of chicken satay and a piquant papaya salad tossed with sweet basil, mint, cilantro, and spicy peanut vinaigrette. Nuanced flavors and spices mingle in an array of main courses such as the Groupon-exclusive asam lemak udang, a colorful presentation of lemongrass, garlic, and sour-spicy coconut milk with shrimp and vegetables. In the clay pot noodle, another select Groupon offering, snow peas and napa carrots tightrope walk across thin egg noodles suspended over a pot of egg sauce gravy. Bellies can achieve peace of mind with a final dessert course of sweets such as mango sticky rice and green tea-flavored flan.
Laut's exposed brick walls and pressed-tin ceiling frame an elegant interior, where small painted flowers wind around eclectic lanterns and soft track lighting casts a dusky glow upon the dining room. Long banquettes face sleek stone-topped tables flanked by flowers and plants, which convert diners' exhaled carbon monoxide into fresh, curry-scented oxygen.
“Some New York restaurants hide behind unmarked entrances and velvet ropes. Laut hides behind its menu: a pan-Asian thicket of sushi, Thai soups and Chinese noodles,” said Julia Moskin of the New York Times. While the menu might be robust enough to provide shelter during hide-and-seek, the restaurant doesn't sacrifice quality for quantity, as the Asian fusion cuisine has garnered a Michelin star.
The food owes its authentic flavor to the owners, Malaysian natives Kathy Wong and Michael Bong, whose generations-old Malaysian recipes sing a culinary siren song to both city natives and tourists. The couple's kitchen staff only works with fresh ingredients, which go into the restaurant's signature sauces and flavor-infusions, including sweet chili sauce, tamarind dressing, and coconut rice. The eatery also houses a sushi bar, where the chefs do more rolling than an inner tube dropped from the top of Mount Everest. Its ample options and welcoming dining room make Laut “well worth a visit,” says Moskin. Laut is the parent restaurant to Pasar Malam in Williamsburg, Brooklyn also featured on Groupon.