Friday, April 22, 2011
Eating out in Chester: Thai Kitchen
(Image taken from: thewanderingpalate.com)
If Thai Kitchen in Chester were “just” a Thai place, then that in itself would actually be a pretty good reason to come here as you don’t exactly see Chester’s streets lined with good Thai restaurants.
“There's no Thai restaurant in this location — Mendham, Chester, Long Valley," says manager, Oscar Chia, "There's only one: us."
But here’s the beauty of it. Thai Kitchen isn’t just a Thai restaurant, but actually a sort of marriage between Thai food and French cuisine. It’s an experience that has to be tasted to be believed.
“We’re fusion,” Chia says, “We’re [actually] getting more customers now.”
It wasn’t always this way, though, as the location isn’t exactly out in the open .
Nestled into the Streets of Chester mall on Route 206, Thai Kitchen might be passed over if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
“There's a lot of people around here, but they don't realize there's a restaurant here in this mall," Chia says.
And that’s a shame, because the menu here is to die for.
On their lunch menu, they have such items as the classic Thai dish, Pad Thai, which is stir fried rice noodle, crushed peanut, scallions, tofu, bean sprouts and egg, as well as a choice chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or squid. Or how about their Gang Kiew Wan, which has green curry with coconut milk, Thai basil, eggplants, bamboo shoots, onions and bell peppers. Quite different from burgers, pizza, or Chinese food, wouldn’t you say?
They also have exquisite dinners, such as wild boar, which is sautéed boar with onions, bell peppers, green pepper corn, lime leave, and Thai basil in spicy sauce. Their Sear Tuna is also quite popular. It’s Pan seared tuna served with yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant with creamy green curry. It’s a favorite here.
To add to their already diverse menu, they also have specials.
“We do have a dish called Volcano fish,” Chia says, “It is a white meat fish with fresh cabbage in special curry sauce. It’s very good. A lot of people love it.”
The biggest challenge with the restaurant though was to integrate French and Thai food in a way that melds many of the cultures' greatest features together.
"Many people order the lamb chops or the tuna,” Chia says. "But the tuna is a little different. It comes with a creamy green curry sauce, so it's a mix of French and Thai."
Sounds good to me. So what are you waiting for? Thai Kitchen offers an experience like nothing else in the area.
THAI KITCHEN CHESTER
WHERE: 320 State Route 206 South
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 908-879-9800
HOURS: Lunch hours: Mon-Sat 11:AM-3:00PM, Dinner hours, Mon-Thu 5:00PM-9:30PM, Fri & Sat: 5:00PM-10:30PM, Sun 4:00PM-9:30PM
CUISINE: Thai Cuisine
PAYMENT: Cash, checks, and all major credit cards except Discover
THE SCENE: Though it might be hard to find, this eclectic restaurant has a wide assortment to eat once you get here
ATMOSPHERE: A beautiful restaurant with sculptures of elephants all around the place
PARKING: In the lot