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  • Post #61 - February 21st, 2011, 11:53 am
    Post #61 - February 21st, 2011, 11:53 am Post #61 - February 21st, 2011, 11:53 am
    Thanks so much for the positive feedback about yesterday's dinner. We're glad that many folks got to try Aroy for the first time and enjoyed their food. I thought the kitchen did a particularly good job of pacing the dishes so that we were able to take a deep breath and recover before the food onslaught continued.

    I've had a few requests to list what we ate. Here are the dishes we ate that are on the Thai Classics menu (posted above by ronnie_suburban):

    > Fried wings
    > Isaan sausage
    > Larb khun
    > Grilled pork salad
    > Tom yum beef ball and tender soup
    > Thai bamboo with green chili paste
    > Chinese broccoli with salted fish
    > Chou-chi ground pork

    Aroy generously prepared a few off-menu items. I have no doubt that they can be requested in advance, but YMMV as to availability. Tee told us that his mother was up at 7am grinding catfish for our dinner. I don't know the Thai names for what we ate. Perhaps someone (BR?) can provide the Thai names so that others can order these dishes in the future. We had:

    > Chopped raw shrimp salad. This was a wonderful, fresh, spicy larb with typical larb components (red onion, cilantro, rice powder, lime, etc.) and diced raw shrimp. Folks loved this, some saying it was even better than the grilled pork larb.
    > Catfish two ways. These were custard and catfish dishes, steamed in leaves, with collard greens and basil. One version had whole chunks of fish and one had ground fish (almost a smooth custard).
    > Braised pork belly with ginger. The pork was braised for hours until it both absorbed the rich sauce and easily fell apart. I loved this, too, but some were sad it was the last dish delivered as they were too full to enjoy it.

    We also had a coconut milk dessert with green (gelatin?) squiggles. A nice, sweet bite at the end of the meal.

    Already looking forward to my next group meal at Aroy.

    Ronna
  • Post #62 - February 21st, 2011, 12:17 pm
    Post #62 - February 21st, 2011, 12:17 pm Post #62 - February 21st, 2011, 12:17 pm
    REB wrote:> Isaan sausage
    Image

    > Thai bamboo with green chili paste
    Image

    > Chinese broccoli with salted fish
    Image

    > Chou-chi ground pork
    Image

    > Chopped raw shrimp salad.
    Image

    > Catfish two ways.
    Image

    > Braised pork belly with ginger.
    Image

    >We also had a coconut milk dessert with green (gelatin?) squiggles.
    Image

    Just adding a few snaps from the meal.
    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #63 - February 21st, 2011, 12:35 pm
    Post #63 - February 21st, 2011, 12:35 pm Post #63 - February 21st, 2011, 12:35 pm
    RAB wrote:> Braised pork belly with ginger.
    Image


    Looks delicious, and a lot like the kaeng hangleh described by Eric M, called Gang Hung Lay at Sticky Rice, where it is also a wonderful dish.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #64 - February 21st, 2011, 12:46 pm
    Post #64 - February 21st, 2011, 12:46 pm Post #64 - February 21st, 2011, 12:46 pm
    You are correct Kenny
  • Post #65 - February 21st, 2011, 1:01 pm
    Post #65 - February 21st, 2011, 1:01 pm Post #65 - February 21st, 2011, 1:01 pm
    Happy to say we loved Aroy Thai quite a bit. The Tom Yam Beef Ball soup kicked my ass in all the right ways and I'm pretty sure cured my fiancee's cold, and the Chou Chi Ground Pork was comfort food at its finest. We also enjoyed the Sai Ua sausage, a nice change of pace from the Isaan. Aroy was not afraid to bring significant heat as well as satisfying diners around us who preferred milder flavors.

    We've been to the other Thai GNRs, but Aroy was probably our favorite of the bunch. I can't wait to explore more of the menu. Thanks LTH!
  • Post #66 - February 21st, 2011, 8:08 pm
    Post #66 - February 21st, 2011, 8:08 pm Post #66 - February 21st, 2011, 8:08 pm
    Last night's dinner at Aroy was really outstanding, perhaps even better than the previous group dinner I had there a few weeks ago. Thanks RAB and REB for bringing Aroy back into discussion - hard to say why it's been ignored for a while but I suspect that will no longer be the case. Last night's menu featured only a couple of dishes I had not yet tried. The fried chicken was as good a version as I've had in Chicago. The raw shrimp off-menu dish was also fantastic. And the pork belly curry was great too, the only problem being that it was so rich and came out when I had already eaten way too much food. I still loved it.

    But I don't wish to debate which of the Thai restaurants in Chicago is the best - I doubt I could. Suffice to say we are so damn lucky to have them all here (that and the work Erik M. did translating the menus): Spoon Thai, Sticky Rice, TAC Quick, Rosded, Aroy . . . and I know that there are a couple I haven't even tried (I'm talking about you for one GNR Elephant, where I hope to land soon). On any night, any one of them might serve the very best Thai food you've ever eaten, and the vast majority of people in the United States will never taste Thai food anywhere near as good as any of these spots.

    But I look forward to many return visits to all of them and promise not to neglect Aroy any longer. Without question, it is a GNR. Now the owners of Aroy are from Northern Thailand and the dishes on the Thai language menu seem to be largely (if not exclusively) dishes you'd find in Northern Thailand. Yet I enjoyed an outstanding red curry there recently, a dish not typically found in the north, so don't assume that dishes on the regular menu are not worth ordering.

    As for last night's specials:

    The steamed fish in curry custard is typically listed as hor Mok pla or haw mok pla, depending upon the particular menu, and I've typically seen it made with catfish, although I know there are variations. Flavors you'll typically notice in this dish are red curry, thai basil, kaffir lime and fish sauce, all mixed in a custard with fish and cabbage and served in a beautiful banana leaf cup. I enjoyed a few versions in Thailand (all in Bangkok IIRC), and I wrote about a couple such versions in this post. Here are pictures of ones I tried in Thailand:

    Image
    Image


    G Wiv included a picture of Spoon Thai's version of the dish in this post. Although I thought Aroy nailed the texture of the dish, I prefer the versions I've had at Spoon Thai, where I think they do a better job with the balance of flavors (I thought Aroy's needed just a little more red curry and a little more nam pla). I thought it was interesting that they prepared this dish because I don't recall ever seeing it in Chiang Mai.

    I'm not sure about the name of the raw shrimp salad dish - he told me and I even practiced my pronunciation - but it was gone when I woke up. I don't believe it was goong chae nam pla, but I suspect you can walk in any night and ask for the raw shrimp salad/larb dish and they'll be able to make it for you. Apparently, they simply removed it from the menu one day due to a lack of demand. Too bad because it's outstanding. But good news: by reading this thread, you'll know you can always walk into Aroy and order it -they always have raw shrimp on hand.

    Finally, as Kenny mentioned, the curry with pork belly is Kang Hang Lae, although as you'll see, the English spelling is often a little different. It's found almost everywhere in Chiang Mai, and Aroy's version was just as good as the versions I enjoyed in Chiang Mai, except for the one pictured below which was my favorite. It's a thick, coconut-free curry that was brought to Northern Thailand by the Burmese and while there's a sweetness and richness to the dish, it's really hard to miss the sourness and spice from the pickled garlic, ginger, galangal and hot peppers. My understanding is that this dish is not on the menu, and you might be well advised to order it in advance (not sure they routinely prepare this curry paste, and the pork belly cooks for a long time).

    Here's a picture of my favorite version in Chiang Mai (detailed in this post), which version strangely contained peanuts (unlike other versions I tried) but it really hit all of the right flavor notes and sticks out in my mind as one of the best tastes of Thailand we enjoyed:

    Image


    I'm getting really hungry as I reflect upon last night's meal and as I write this post so I'll sum it up by saying that in my opinion, Aroy is as deserving of a GNR as much as any restaurant in Chicago. In Thai, Aroy (or Aroi) means "delicious,"* and I'm fairly certain that you'll find yourself repeatedly uttering that word as you make your way through their menu.


    or "aroy mak mak" if you want to add emphasis
  • Post #67 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:26 pm
    Post #67 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:26 pm Post #67 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:26 pm
    Late to chime in, but Cabbagehead and I loved our Aroy Thai meal and are in complete support of the GNR nomination. I can't add too much to the eloquent posts of other attendees, except to add my thanks to RAB and REB for arranging a very enjoyable dinner. I know we'll be back and definitely ordering some of the dishes, especially the Tum Yum Beef Ball and Tender Soup--wow, what a soup. I also especially enjoyed the larb khun, while my husband loved the bamboo with green chili paste. A gigantic and fantastic meal!
  • Post #68 - February 22nd, 2011, 2:33 pm
    Post #68 - February 22nd, 2011, 2:33 pm Post #68 - February 22nd, 2011, 2:33 pm
    Thanks to Kennyz and BR for providing great info about the off-menu Aroy dishes at Sunday's dinner. Much appreciated.

    Ronna
  • Post #69 - February 22nd, 2011, 3:22 pm
    Post #69 - February 22nd, 2011, 3:22 pm Post #69 - February 22nd, 2011, 3:22 pm
    As if.

    Need something new to try here? The current special, written in Thai, is strips of deep fried pork served kinda like sausage is served, with bits of ginger, thai chile, peanuts and sticky rice. While the meat is fried, it is not battered or breaded or such, so there is no coating to it. There is a marinade sour from tamarind powder. The sourness played well against the sweet-spice of the chou-chi ground pork.

    As if.

    It needs any more support for its GNR, but add my vote.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #70 - February 23rd, 2011, 8:12 am
    Post #70 - February 23rd, 2011, 8:12 am Post #70 - February 23rd, 2011, 8:12 am
    BR wrote:I'm not sure about the name of the raw shrimp salad dish - he told me and I even practiced my pronunciation - but it was gone when I woke up. I don't believe it was goong chae nam pla, but I suspect you can walk in any night and ask for the raw shrimp salad/larb dish and they'll be able to make it for you.
    I've had Koong Chae Nam Pa (raw shrimp w/garlic) at TAC, picture ->here and while both contain raw shrimp they are quite different preparations. If pressed I prefer Aroy's larb like dish, which, next to the Tom Yam Beef Ball and Tender Soup, was my favorite dish of the evening.

    Many thanks to REB and RAB, both they and the restaurant put a lot of effort into our meal. Ho Moak two ways and pork belly with ginger are time consuming, especially when off menu and not made every day.

    I find myself thinking this morning about Chou-chi ground pork, but I wonder if its not mostly about the lacy crisp egg white edge for me, I love the way Thai's fry eggs.

    Chou-Chi Ground Pork

    Image

    The only dish I would not order again in our well rounded and delicious meal is Salted Fish with Chinese Broccoli. The nuggets of salted fish were so concentrated with salt I actually felt a burning sensation in my mouth. That plus I am a little sensitive to salt, makes me sleepy and brain dead, the thumbnail size piece I had put me out. I've had salted fish in Thai restaurants before, but that was way over the top.

    I realize Aroy's Salted Fish was an authentic preparation, and the R's asked them not to hold back, but just because it authentic Thai doesn't mean I have to like the dish. :)

    Terrific dinner, great company, wonderful conversation. Can't wait to go back to Aroy.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #71 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:33 pm
    Post #71 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:33 pm Post #71 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:33 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    The only dish I would not order again in our well rounded and delicious meal is Salted Fish with Chinese Broccoli. The nuggets of salted fish were so concentrated with salt I actually felt a burning sensation in my mouth. That plus I am a little sensitive to salt, makes me sleepy and brain dead, the thumbnail size piece I had put me out. I've had salted fish in Thai restaurants before, but that was way over the top.

    I realize Aroy's Salted Fish was an authentic preparation, and the R's asked them not to hold back, but just because it authentic Thai doesn't mean I have to like the dish. :)



    Funny, this was probably my favorite dish of a recent lunch/ maiden voyage to Aroy. I am a salt nut for sure, but I found the fish chunks in the dish to be a notch below your garden variety anchovy. I loved this dish in all its brazen funky saltiness. I also loved the pork salad, preparation reminiscent of TAC's Nam Tok (another favorite), but with a smoky note to the meat taking it to a higher level. I really liked the Tom Yam Beef Ball and Tender Soup but it could have used a few adjustments to suit my taste. It lacked in heat both temperature and spice that day. Actually none of the dishes we ate was particularly that spicy except for a few stray bird's eyes in the Chinese broc. Back to the soup, it was actually also a step too acidic for my taste. There was a rich umami thing going on but I felt that the dish was too up front sour, which masked some of the other flavors. All said, I enjoyed it for the most part.
  • Post #72 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:38 pm
    Post #72 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:38 pm Post #72 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:38 pm
    Oh yeah, and I definitely support this nomination. We are truly blessed to have so much solid Thai here in town and its great to expand the palette with a new-to-me spot to add into the rotation.
  • Post #73 - February 23rd, 2011, 9:30 pm
    Post #73 - February 23rd, 2011, 9:30 pm Post #73 - February 23rd, 2011, 9:30 pm
    REB and RAB - Thank you for organizing the dinner. Everything was excellent.

    My star of the meal, to me, has to be the tom yum beef ball and tendon soup.

    Other personal favorites were: grilled pork salad, chinese broccoli with salted fish, Thai bamboo shoot with green chili paste, and fried wings.

    As Gary mentioned above, those lacy fried eggs in the chou-chi ground pork makes the dish. This was a favorite for employee meals when I worked at a Thai restaurant. Lacy fried eggs on a rice plate drizzled with tart chili fish sauce vinaigrette.

    Really enjoyed and appreciate the catfish custard, hor mok? Custard steamed in banana leaves. I prefer the smooth version, but it's just a matter of preference, because both were good with sprinkles of shredded kaffir lime leaves.

    The green in the dessert signifies use of pandan, as you know are very fragrant leaves used in dessert, SE Asian version of vanilla. Of course, food coloring is used for enhanced visuals. Googling yields"Lod Chong Nam Ka Ti"?

    There wasn't anything that I didn't like. This is the epitome of what a GNR is.

    Thanks again for putting this on my radar.
    “Nothing is more agreeable to look at than a gourmande in full battle dress.”
    Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
  • Post #74 - February 26th, 2011, 3:47 pm
    Post #74 - February 26th, 2011, 3:47 pm Post #74 - February 26th, 2011, 3:47 pm
    I know, I know, my opinion only counts once, but I had to post again and say how enamored I am with Aroy. I've been traveling like crazy recently and was going to be back in Chicago for about 11 hours. I could think of nothing else I wanted for dinner during my brief stay than Aroy, and hopped off the Blue Line from O'hare for a long bus ride down Montrose.

    Som tam with dried shrimp brought the heat and funk, grilled pork salad struck that perfect balance of flavors and textures (just the right amount of crunchy roasted rice powder), and the tom yam soup with beef ball and tender beef kept me warm and happy while I watched wintery mix fall from the sky.

    The next morning at 4am I was headed back to O'hare for yet another trip. When I got home last night, reheated Aroy leftovers was just the trick to welcome me back home (well, that and seeing my beagle for the first time in two weeks).

    -Dan
  • Post #75 - February 27th, 2011, 8:01 pm
    Post #75 - February 27th, 2011, 8:01 pm Post #75 - February 27th, 2011, 8:01 pm
    Mrs. Trpt and I had an early dinner tonight at Aroy Thai. Pork salad, (a knockout) Tom yum shrimp soup (excellent, rich), wings (sort of plain but boosted by the dipping sauce), tiger cry, the only disappointment, dry, relatively flavorless, curiously not grilled. Generous portions, plenty left over for tomorrow. We were the only people in the place between 5:30 and 6:30, though there were five or six takeout orders during that time. Nice clean understated space, very friendly staff. Pacing wasn't that great, everything came out all at once, but the wings needed to cool off a little anyway. I can't wait to return and try a ton of other stuff, it really hit the spot. GNR? Absolutely.
    trpt2345
  • Post #76 - February 27th, 2011, 8:51 pm
    Post #76 - February 27th, 2011, 8:51 pm Post #76 - February 27th, 2011, 8:51 pm
    Add Aroy into my LTH supplied terrific Thai joints. I got more and more familiar with Thai food soon after I found LTH. I find that 9 times out of 10 anything Thai rec'd on this site by one of it's regulars to be valuable tips. I tried Aroy for the first time shortly after it's nomination and have been back twice since then. The first time was for pick up and I had the Sai Ua fried sausage and ground beef noodles. The sausage is great, I've got it again on each return visit and the noodles were perfect for the cold winter night I had them, the gravy was just right which is not the case with most places. I've dined in on dates a couple times too and always ordered off the Thai classic menu and loved everything ordered that came highly rec'd thru contributors to this thread. Count me as a fan and backer, this is a GNR to me.

    Image
    Ground beef noodle
  • Post #77 - March 2nd, 2011, 12:33 pm
    Post #77 - March 2nd, 2011, 12:33 pm Post #77 - March 2nd, 2011, 12:33 pm
    Thank you Ronnie and Gary and everyone else for doing this post justice! Aroy Thai is one of my favorite places and felt it was overlooked. We go there at least once a week for lunch and the food is always excellent!
  • Post #78 - March 17th, 2011, 3:48 pm
    Post #78 - March 17th, 2011, 3:48 pm Post #78 - March 17th, 2011, 3:48 pm
    Just wanted to make sure that this wonderful place never drifts out of site and off our collective radar ever again :D

    My first deliver experience with Aroy Thai. Had a nice sized group over to talk "garden" and consume delicious thai food. Of the 5 of us, 2 were new to Aroy and maybe a bit less enthused about some of the funkier dishes--I can't help it--the pickled bamboo or whatever it's called and the Larb Khun are nirvana for me--I can't get enough of them. I had some leftovers last week for breakfast over rice with a soft egg--mmmmmmmmmmmm.

    But I digress. In addition to those, we had a couple of the beef tom yum soup, the issan sausages, chou chi pork and the raw shrimp larb. All traveled perfectly. Heat level was mighty :evil: A bit much for our less adventurous diners, one of whom asked if we'd requested "extra spicy"--which we did not. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, right? The best part was the large cup of additional thai chili peppers and 5 (!!) containers of chili sauce that accompanied the order. Thai spicy indeed!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #79 - April 19th, 2011, 5:04 pm
    Post #79 - April 19th, 2011, 5:04 pm Post #79 - April 19th, 2011, 5:04 pm
    I've been slowly working my way through the thai classics menu and don't have much to add that hasn't been said, but of all the versions i've had, I can't get enough of Aroy's Isaan sausage. It's pretty much the perfect beer drinking snack in my book.
  • Post #80 - May 14th, 2011, 5:46 pm
    Post #80 - May 14th, 2011, 5:46 pm Post #80 - May 14th, 2011, 5:46 pm
    Rene G wrote:
    stagger wrote:I should mention that the sausage I spoke of in that thread has not yet made it into the translated menu. I learned about it only due to the fact that I had ErikM., visiting from LA at our dinner. Of course, the staff was very gracious and interested in our feed back as not many non-Thai folks have had the dish. The point is that they knew we were coming and don't be upset with them if they don't instantly know what you are requesting. Just be patient and friendly. My understanding is that it is on the Thai language menu and the staff will be very happy to serve it if you can communicate what you want.

    The way the sausage translates is actually: mild pork-based sausage with rice and chopped bean thread noodles. (from Erik).

    I liked this sausage a lot and would urge people to give it a try. It would be a perfect gateway sausage for those put off by the tangier Issan version but should hold the interest of more experienced sausage eaters.

    Rather late to the game here, but I just wanted to say how delighted I was with the concept of a "gateway sausage." Here's a loosely adapted wiki-definition:

    >The gateway sausage theory, also called gateway theory, gateway hypothesis and gateway effect, is the hypothesis that the use of less deleterious sausages may lead to a future risk of using more dangerous spicy sausages and/or crime.

    Now I want to go try some of that gateway sausage, see if I get myself addicted.
  • Post #81 - May 25th, 2011, 9:36 pm
    Post #81 - May 25th, 2011, 9:36 pm Post #81 - May 25th, 2011, 9:36 pm
    Played culinary sherpa to a group of 12 visiting chefs during the nra show this wk. One was my old sous chef, now a regional chef w/15 restaurants under his supervision. When he called me to say he was coming in for the show he asked me to check their itinerary set up by corporate. I did, commented sarcastically thus ending up w/the above mission. Among our many stops, dinner here was the most memorable.

    Pre arranged a meal with the ever gracious "T" (mama chef's son I believe) most of which has been previously documented in the RAB/REB chronicles above. Again, thanks to RAB/REB for reminding me how good this place is with unique food unto its own. Even told them to bring some sour Belgian ales, apparently the drink of choice.

    Two new off menu dishes were worth noting. A sticky rice noodle dumpling filled w/dried shrimp for starters was sweet and funky @ the same time. A Thai amuse bouche of sorts, two bites. Fantastic. The chefs were primed. The other new dish was a an eggplant dish w/shrimp. Soft roasted meat of the eggplant played against sauteed shrimp. Sorry, no name and barely remember the taste profile (outside of it being yet another home run) because of the sensory overload of 15 courses, but the texture contrast was amazing. Other standouts for the chefs were the much praised Tom Yum w/Beef and the northern larb.

    I was proud to note that there are many other wonderful Thai restaurants in Chicago w/equally unique and delicious uncompromising food. They'd had Thai, but most had not had this type of Thai, outside of a few that had worked in the Orient.

    They couldn't stop telling me how lucky I am to live in a city like this and left duly impressed and better yet, inspired, which was why I brought them here in the first place.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #82 - June 19th, 2011, 4:10 pm
    Post #82 - June 19th, 2011, 4:10 pm Post #82 - June 19th, 2011, 4:10 pm
    Finally made it to Aroy Thai. Everything was great. Make sure you get the "Classics" menu, not the normal one.

    I'm putting just one picture here, the only thing we had which is not already pictured in this thread. It may have been the best thing of the 6-7 dishes we tried. The dipping sauce was amazing. Pork was fatty, juicy, with crispy charred bits...just terrific.

    Grilled Pork

    Image
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #83 - June 26th, 2011, 12:56 pm
    Post #83 - June 26th, 2011, 12:56 pm Post #83 - June 26th, 2011, 12:56 pm
    I wanted to document a couple of meals I've had at Aroy over the past few weeks. In a city with some amazing Thai options, Aroy's become my current favorite. Their food is delicious and remarkably consistent. The service is as warm and friendly as anywhere.

    Aroy Thai - 11.0605 - Sour Beer Dinner

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    Array of BYO sour beers
    In addition to being fans of Aroy, REB and RAB are also big fans of sour beers, which pair extremely well with Thai food. They set this dinner up for a few like-minded friends.


    Image
    Dumplings
    I think these were made from glutinous rice. Inside was a combination of shrimp paste, peanut and other ingredients. They were topped with a sliver of bell pepper but were served with rings of Thai bird chile. The idea here is to pick up the piece of lettuce and eat the dumpling like a wrap. These are not on the regular menu and because they're somewhat labor-intensive, need to be ordered in advance.


    Image
    Dumpling Interior
    Thanks, to Rene G, for 'styling' this shot. :)


    Image
    Smoked Fish Larb (single serving)
    This was a special dish that was created for this dinner. T, who runs Aroy, had been hearing from his friend in Thailand that smoked fish larb was a dish that was gaining popularity over there. He was so inspired by learning that, he created a version for this dinner and even smoked his own fish (I cannot remember what type of fish it was). It was an excellent dish, in which the lush, smokey fish was showcased very well by the other ingredients.


    Image
    Cucumber Salad
    Similar to Som Tum and quite delicious.


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    Roasted Eggplant with Shrimp and Mint
    This is another dish that's not on Aroy's menu. Again, since the eggplant needs to be roasted ahead of time, the dish must be ordered in advance. I really loved this one. The eggplant is roasted until soft and smokey and then removed from husk to become the base of the salad. The 'dressing' was tart and funky, and the richness of the hard-cooked egg yolk unified all the components. This is a dish that doesn't seem like it's going to work but then does so wonderfully...way more than the sum of it's awesome parts.


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    Thai Fried Chicken
    Stunningly delicious and served with an intensely funky and spicy sauce that's not shown in this picture.


    Image
    Bean Thread Larb
    A great combination of flavors and textures. The minced pork and shrimp were fantastic here.


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    Grilled Pork (Neck) Salad
    One of my very favorite dishes at Aroy. The flavors are larb-like but the tender-yet-slightly-chewy texture of the pork neck takes it to another level.


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    Chinese Broccoli with Crispy Pork
    Rene G predicted that the Liefmans Goudenband would go especially well with the pork and he was correct.


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    Thai Bamboo with Green Chili Paste
    This ultra-funky dish is very out there. It's really pungent. I do enjoy it but for me, a little goes a long way.


    Image
    Larb Khun
    I just love this offal-filled larb. It's spicy, juicy, aromatic and rich as hell.


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    Catfish with Green Beans and Thai Eggplant
    I can't remember if this is on the menu or not but it was a very tasty dish. I especially loved the perfectly-cooked wedges of green eggplant.


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    Chou-Chi Ground Pork
    So much has been said and written about this dish and rightly so. I just love it and don't even know what else I can say about it.


    Aroy Thai - 11.0624 - 'Friends Visiting from Cleveland' Dinner

    All of the dishes from this meal have already been posted upthread, so I've just posted some pics and some names here. The main thing I want to mention about this meal, aside from the fact that everything we ate was stellar, is that my friends from Cleveland really like Thai food and don't have great options there. For that reason, I knew I wanted to take them out for a Thai dinner. One night, one meal and the choice was Aroy. No slight to any of the other top-tier Thai places in town but when I thought about the one place we were most likely to get a great, representative meal -- someone "throwing down" on every level -- the choice was Aroy. It turned out to be a fantastic choice, as the food was as great as ever and my friends were simply blown away by it . . .

    Image
    Dumplings


    Image


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    Isaan Sausage (northeastern style, lightly fermented rice and pork sausage)


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    Sai Ua Sausage (fried Northen Thai-style homemade red spicy sausage)


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    Thai Fried Chicken


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    Tom Yam Beef Ball and Tender Soup


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    Grilled Pork (Neck) Salad


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    Larb Khun


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    Chou-Chi Ground Pork


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    Mango and Sweet Sticky Rice

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #84 - August 21st, 2011, 8:24 pm
    Post #84 - August 21st, 2011, 8:24 pm Post #84 - August 21st, 2011, 8:24 pm
    Another terrific meal at Aroy tonight . . . I mean . . . mind blowing how good it was. And I shouldn't be surprised. Papaya salad (on the regular menu), ordered to appease a less fish-friendly guest of mine. It was outstanding and delivered spicy as requested.

    Tom yam beef ball and tender soup might be intended for a cold Chicago evening - the problem is that this soup is so f'ing good I can't wait for winter. Best of all, there's some left right now in my refrigerator.

    Phat Ki Mao (or pad kee mao) - drunken noodles - I just love this dish. It might seem out of the usual repertoire at Aroy, but they do this dish proud and it was outstanding tonight. Not as good as the best version found on the streets of Bangkok's Chinatown, but still so impressive.

    Phat Phet fish ball (see page 2 of this thread for a description) - another great dish. This is a dish that will appeal to your non-fish-funk-loving friends, and it worked for my friends tonight. It's loaded with flavor though and won't disappoint.

    Finally, for dessert we opted for the lawt chong . . . or is it lod chong? I love it. I don't know that they flavor the noodles with pandan leaves as petite_gourmande suggests, although that is common. I'll have to ask next time. It might simply be green food coloring as I didn't notice any of that pandan flavor. What I did notice, and love, is the salty-sweet mixture, with warm liquid and ice crystals, and great coconut flavor. It's just the right amount of salt that really transforms this otherwise simple dessert into something that beautifully caps a meal at Aroy.
  • Post #85 - August 21st, 2011, 10:52 pm
    Post #85 - August 21st, 2011, 10:52 pm Post #85 - August 21st, 2011, 10:52 pm
    BR wrote:Another terrific meal at Aroy tonight . . . I mean . . . mind blowing how good it was. And I shouldn't be surprised. Papaya salad (on the regular menu), ordered to appease a less fish-friendly guest of mine. It was outstanding and delivered spicy as requested.

    Tom yam beef ball and tender soup might be intended for a cold Chicago evening - the problem is that this soup is so f'ing good I can't wait for winter. Best of all, there's some left right now in my refrigerator...

    We were there on Friday evening and had a similarly phenomenal meal with REB & RAB + another couple who'd never been there before. The tom yam beef ball and tender soup -- to which RAB requested that tendon be added -- was the best version of this soup that I've ever enjoyed at Aroy (and Aroy's version is the best I've ever had). The addition of the tender but still slightly chewy tendon added an immensely satisfying textural element to this tart, rich and funky soup.

    We also enjoyed a version of papaya salad, which featured raw blue crab that had been marinated for about 10 minutes in fish sauce . . .

    Image
    Green Papaya and Blue Crab Salad

    This salad was made extra special via the addition of the tomatoes from REB & RAB's garden, which were happily added to it when they were presented to the restaurant. The crab still contained the roe sacks, which were another nice treat.

    The rest of our meal was equally stunning . . . grilled pork neck salad, chou-chi curry pork, Thai-fried wings, roasted eggplant & raw shrimp salad, a combo plate of Issan & Sai Ua Sausage, and everything else we ate was exemplary. Aroy is amazingly consistent and to have them 'throw down' like that on our friends' first visit was so satisfying. At the end of our meal, I told our friends that if they didn't like this meal, they didn't like Aroy . . . because it was never going to be any better than this. Of course, they loved it, as we all did. Chatting about the meal the next day, RAB and I both came to the same conclusion that having not been to Aroy for a few weeks really made us both miss it a lot. Eating there doesn't satisfy one's craving, it actually increases it. The place is just that wonderful.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #86 - August 22nd, 2011, 1:27 am
    Post #86 - August 22nd, 2011, 1:27 am Post #86 - August 22nd, 2011, 1:27 am
    Aroy always rules.
  • Post #87 - October 8th, 2011, 11:57 am
    Post #87 - October 8th, 2011, 11:57 am Post #87 - October 8th, 2011, 11:57 am
    Simply adding my voice to the chorus: I almost share a birthday with my Mom (4 days apart), so we often do a joint celebration dinner. This past year, mostly on the basis of LTH reviews, we (Mom, Dad, the wife, and I) ate at Aroy. The only new piece of praise I can add is that Mom spent over a year in Thailand right out of college (I won't divulge the year, but let's just say the Peace Corps didn't exist yet, so she and her college friends did it on their own), and she said that some of the flavors and spice combinations (it's been months, but I think particularly in the Phat Phrik Khing Muu Krawp) were ones she had not encountered since that long-ago trip---and we have eaten in many, many Thai restaurants around the U.S. in the past 30 years or so.

    Go Aroy.
  • Post #88 - October 8th, 2011, 6:19 pm
    Post #88 - October 8th, 2011, 6:19 pm Post #88 - October 8th, 2011, 6:19 pm
    Had some aroy takeout this weekend, I think their thai sausages are the best in town, love the texture, agressive seasoning and great portions as a bonus.

    The northern larb with offal is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, such a deep dish that I can't get enough of.
  • Post #89 - October 8th, 2011, 8:38 pm
    Post #89 - October 8th, 2011, 8:38 pm Post #89 - October 8th, 2011, 8:38 pm
    Ok that does it. Made a trip here tonight. I'm craving it.
  • Post #90 - October 9th, 2011, 5:49 am
    Post #90 - October 9th, 2011, 5:49 am Post #90 - October 9th, 2011, 5:49 am
    With Sticky Rice packed with patrons, and servers bustling about, our stomachs couldn't bear the 30+ minute wait. Happy to see such great business, we waved goodbye and cut up and over to Aroy. Fourteen minutes later we were enjoying our first courses of chou-chi, som tum, and grilled pork salad.

    Everything we ordered has already been photo-doc'd and discussed, so I don't have much to add.

    If you haven't been, or don't plan on going soon, you either have no interest in Thai food or you don't trust the collective wisdom of LTH. Blasphemy any way you slice it!
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF

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