Thai

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2 11/98 Moderate 3936 Chestnut St.
215-382-8001
Pad Thai, Chicken Salad Soups, basic curries

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I tried this restaurant many years ago when it first opened, and again a few years ago. I don't know why we haven't made it back, it's pretty good, I promise to try! I had the same impression each time, that it was good, nothing to complain about, but nothing that excited me very much either. To be fair, on both visits I tried fairly routine Thai favorites, like green curry chicken or Pad Thai, and this kitchen does feature some unique specialties, like spicy basil venison, country style wild boar, or rack of lamb in cognac red curry cream sauce. I hope to try some of these more complex dishes and report back. For now, I would say if you are in West Philly, and in the mood for Thai food, this is a good place, but I'm not sure I'd make a special trip.

Chicken Lemongrass and Chicken Coconut soups (Tom Yum and Tom Kar Khai) were both very good, if perhaps a little mild. We tried a special of fried leek dumplings which were odd. They had a nice fried crust, but were a bit gummy on the inside, with lots of mild onion-y shredded leek. Paired with the intense, vinegary soy-ginger dipping sauce, they were tasty, but slightly off-putting in the texture department.

Chicken salad was very good, featuring warm ground chicken over cold greens, with lots of fresh mint and a lime dressing. It was very spicy, and had a wonderful contrast between the warm chicken and cool salad. (And I'm thinking of patenting the culinary creation that resulted from the leftovers: the cold salad was excellent loaded into a hoagie-roll!)

Their Pad Thai was among the best I've had. Lots of rice noodles with a nicely sour dressing, chunks of Tofu, chicken and peanuts, fresh beansprouts and ground peanuts to garnish, and wedges of lime to squeeze over. It usually comes with shrimp, but they happily substituted chicken.

I regret not trying the "Siamese Taco" an appetizer that features a taco shell filled with shredded chicken, cucumber, tomato and cilantro, with ginger-mango salsa. I'll rectify that someday soon, along with trying some of the chef's specials when I'm in West Philly and in the mood for Thai.

Entrees are very large, and are a very good value. Prices are about average, about 8-10 dollars for the basic entrees, with some of the more elaborate "Specialties" as high as $16.




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