Veggie goes to Thailand

In addition to the many made-for-vegetarian dishes, almost every meat dish at the Thai House (Bayit Thailandi) is available with tofu instead of flesh.

January 15, 2009 17:12
2 minute read.
Veggie goes to Thailand

asian noodles 88 248. (photo credit: China Lee restaurant)


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The first time I had Thai food was in the now (almost) defunct chain Apropo. There I tasted the noodle dish Koh-Phangan - named for the beautiful Thai island. At the time, with my limited geographical knowledge, I mispronounced the name as "kopangen" and wrongly guessed its meaning as "broad noodles in a lot of soy sauce." Only years later, when I actually visited that heavenly island (before the tourists turned it into a second Eilat), I realized how far that dish was from actual, delicious Thai noodles. And ever since, nary a dish has neared the taste and quality of that authentic Thai cuisine. Until I visited the Thai House (Bayit Thailandi), that is. My ex-girlfriend - the last time I'll mention her, I swear (except for when I wake up weeping at night) - is a successful food critic. She has tried all the best chef restaurants around and still considers the Thai House among the top five restaurants in Tel Aviv. So after a great date to a great movie (Wall-E), we went there. She's right. In addition to the many made-for-vegetarian dishes, almost every meat dish is available with tofu instead of flesh. We started off with the amazing papaya salad (NIS 28) - a dish that is now among my top five favorites in Israel. Strips of green papaya with cherry tomatoes, black-eyed beans, peanuts and lemon, all combined for an amazing dish. The flavor was just what I had been aching for since those days spent along Koh-Phangan's clear blue water. Please also do try the Tom-Yum soup (NIS 58). Sour and spicy with mushrooms, onions and tomatoes, we made the false assumption that this tub of soup is just a starter. But that did not stop us from trying two main courses. The vegetarian coconut milk dish with sweet potatoes (NIS 66) was nice but not as good as the rest. On the other hand, the dish of Pak Boong, a Thai vegetable grown in the restaurant's own Thai vegetable garden (NIS 64), was terrific, introducing my palate to some totally new flavors. At the meal's end, we left the place satiated, happy and content to enjoy our love life. Man, I miss that girl. I mean the restaurant. I miss that restaurant. 5 veggie stars. The Thai House is located at 6 Bograshov St., Tel Aviv, (03) 517-8568 and is open daily from noon to 11 p.m.; not kosher. The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

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