These days I have been on a BIG Thai kick. I just can’t get enough. It seems like every week I am trying a new Thai or Thai fusion restaurant or cooking up some Thai inspired recipe. In further celebration for my continued love for this international cuisine I am bringing you a review of a recent dining experience.
Last week I set up a girl’s night with a friend. I typically choose the restaurant but, she said she knew of a great Thai restaurant to try. As we pulled into the restaurant I realized that I had ironically been there before. I remembered my last encounter to be a positive one so I had high hopes for another great meal.
The restaurant, Thai Nam Phet, is a small, quaint, restaurant but it was buzzing on this particular Wednesday night. Almost every table was occupied and conversation filled the room. As I looked over the menu I noticed that while the restaurant had all the classics that most people associate with Thai food (Pad Thai, Thai Basil, Satay etc…) they also had a handful of dishes I have not seen before.
Both of us girls ordered the Tom Yum soup to start off. They have a chicken or shrimp selection for this so we got one of each. I love the spicy, acidic, and citrus flavors of the Tom Yum soup. I am a sucker for this dish and tend to get it often when dining in Thai restaurants. But I have to admit, Thai Nam Phet gives every other restaurant I have been to a run for their money. I got 5 medium shrimp, fresh mushrooms, and a punch of flavor packed into my bowl. I would come back just for that soup.
If the soup was fantastic my meal was “knock it out of the park” good. I went with one of the selections I had not seen or tried before. I am so happy I did. The Beef Rock and Roll (I laughed at this name because the whole menu had traditional Thai food names except for this one…and of course I picked it) was composed of thin sliced meat, spicy curry paste, string beans, bamboo shoots, peppers, and Thai basil. The beef was perfectly cooked which was a pleasant surprise. Typically, when the meat is sliced thin like that it is overcooked however, this meat was very tender. The sauce in the dish brought a lot of heat but, it was silky and had a hint of creaminess; which most likely derived from some form of coconut. I was in love with that sauce.
My friend got the Thai basil shrimp (Pad Kra Prow). It also had great flavor. It had a kick but was not a spicy as my dish. I picked at hers but, I will admit I had a hard time taking my attention away from the Beef Rock and Roll.
The service during our dinner was also notable. The wait staff was pleasant and accommodating. They asked 2 different times about the level of spiciness we would like for our dishes and said if they were too mellow (Which they most certainly were not…they really like their spices there!) they could add more chili paste. The also did tableside service to scoop your side of rice onto your dish for you which I thought was a nice touch.
Overall, Thai Nam Phet was a great success of a meal. It will be a spot I need to visit again very soon!
One restaurant side note is that they are a BYOB restaurant (I love BYOBs). My friends at Cambridge Wines in Morristown selected a crisp, not too sweet Riesling, Poet’s Leap, which paired perfectly with our meal.
The restaurant is located in Rockaway, NJ but they also have another location in Newton, NJ.
If you want to check out Thai Nam Phet there menu you can look here: http://www.thainamphet.com/
Or follow them on Twitter @thainamphet and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thai-Nam-PhetAuthentic-Thai-Cuisine-Rockaway-NJ/385005708488