I've had Thai food on the brain
for the past week or so - thanks to the posts on this board
. Finally decided to do something about it on Saturday. My wife and I went in to TAC Quick around 1:30 pm. I realize there are numerous posts and threads already, but thought that the perspective of one who hasn't tried Thai food in a long time* may be of some relevance. (Also I'm trying my hand at describing food and using a newly acquired digital doohicky.)
We were quickly seated by the sole waitstaff and given the menu. We looked at this menu for maybe 27 milliseconds (and I quickly realized why I had been disinclined towards restauants - the usual seemingly ordinary 'farang-ified' fare*. I did note the less than ordinary Wild Boar Pad Ped on the specials board). But no fear, we already knew what we wanted - had known even a day before we stepped into the place. Although I had a printout of Eriks translated menu, I asked for the 'non-farang' menu. Some items were spelt slightly differently (like daed - spelt 'taet' on the pdf) and described in less detail than on the pdf.
We ordered (spellings and descriptions from Eriks pdf)
Appetizer - néua tàet dìaw : dried “jerky” beef served with a sweet and salty dipping sauce.
One bite of the strip of beef and we were glad we made the trip. The dark, slightly oily strip was slightly hard and chewy but juicy and succullent, with a pleasant sweetness. A perfect appetizer: it made us look forward to the rest of our order. The dipping sauce seemed little more than sriracha diluted with lime juice, but did pair well in small doses with the beef.
Two main dishes
krà-phrao kràwp khài yiaw mûa : deep-fried holy basil with minced chicken, stir-fried and served over preserved eggs
Having picked up a half-dozen of 'preserved eggs' a couple of years ago just because they looked cool, I simply wasn't able to eat more than one (including my wife's nibbled half). So I picked this dish to see how the preserved egg was incorporated. The fried minced chicken was sweet and slightly sour, with the hint of fish sauce and eaten with the preserved egg was magnificent. The crisp fried holy basil created a burst of sweet freshness that was a bridge between the other textures and flavours. I decided to buy preserved egg again, if I can find out what is a good brand.
khâo khlûk kà-pì nãa “RAM” : shrimp paste-seasoned rice, served with sweet pork, shredded
green mango, sliced omelette, dried shrimp, and slivered red onions
(described on the restaurant's menu simply as shrimp past seasoned rice with an assortment of items (or something like that))
This was the highlight of the meal. The salty shrimp rice with each of the other items on the plate, slightly tart green mango, fried egg, sweet pork, hot chillis (you've got to mix that with the rice and mango) - created a range of tastes that really transformed every spoonful into morsels of delight. Closing my eyes, I could almost feel a gentle breeze, with the aroma of the sea, salt and beach that comes from blowing across fishing nets hung out to dry. This dish opened my eyes to - what! most of it was gone! I've got to stop daydreaming.
We invoked a small blessing for the hands that made such a fantastic meal before we left.
And a thank you to Erik and also to this forum for leading us to TAC Quick.
* Couple of years ago we had been to Sweet Tamarind and were very dissapointed. It was lunch and we were the only ones there. We chatted a bit with the person who cooked our food, and specifically asked for 'authentic' Thai style preparations - my wife and I cannot really be mistaken farangs. Yet the food we found bland and uninspired. Sweet Tamarind is a "four-forker" (I have since learnt to heavily disregard the forking reviews). Curiously TAC quick displays its "three fork" review in the restaurant - yet this experience was a thousand tines better.
edited to correct sp and add link