Thep Phanom is a local restaurant specializing in Thai cuisine. I grew up eating their food. I remember my parents taking me here as a child and I always loved it. Walking in as an adult it was just like I remembered: fully decked out, no inch left undecorated. There were golden elephant statues, gorgeous tapestries, and cleverly-folded cloth napkins as you see above.
Tom Kha Gai
We ordered the Tom Kha Gai, or sliced chicken in coconut soup, to split. I had never tried coconut soup before, but I'm glad I did! The milky consistancy had a distinct lemon flavoring that almost made you pucker and made it a delight to eat. The flavor complemented the sliced chicken. Also, I really liked using the ladle. It's just fun!
Ped Sawan + Rice
I ordered the Ped Sawan, which is a marinated boneless duck in honey sauce that came with rice. Perhaps I should rephrase. It came with the cutest presentation of rice EVER! The handle sticking out the top of the rice belongs to a oar-like paddle, for you to ladle out the tiny carb packets onto your plate.
Lo and behold, my delicious Ped Sawan. That honey-colored sauce ring you see is just that - a layering of sweet honey sauce which was drizzled over the marinated duck. The duck itself came on a bed of broccoli and cherry tomatoes. I couldn't dream up a better combination of Thai ingredients. The hearty duck was complimented not only with sweet honey but also guilt-free, antioxidant-rich broccoli and juicy cherry tomatoes. Perfection.
Kaeng Karee Gai
Nick ordered the delicious Kaeng Karee Gai, or yellow curry chicken with onion and potato. This dish made us laugh because they really didn't skimp on the potatoes! The potato in this curry came in halves or quarters, not tiny little slices. The curry itself was full of flavor, and had a great kick to it without making you tear up.
Thep Phanom surprisingly rose to the high expectations often set by a warm childhood memory. The food was a delicious adventure, as was the ambiance. The friendly and prompt service complimented the meal to make for a great dining experience. The only thing that would make it better would be if they still handed out chocolate mints with the check at the end of the meal - specifically the flat little rectangles dressed in green foil. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a great neighborhood Thai experience, I highly recommend Thep Phanom!