Tip Top Thai, Teele Sq.
- Aromatherapy Mar 22, 2004 10:10 AM
I had 2 meals there recently and was favorably impressed. The menu is half Thai with a street food theme: noodles (dry and in soup), fried rice, a few salads, half a dozen curries, and a few pan-Asian touches. The other half is sushi and sashimi, with lots of fancy rolls.
Funky minimalist Somerville décor; friendly young Thai staff. No condiments on the tables but if you ask for chili they bring a 3-pot caddy with crushed red pepper, sliced jalapenos in vinegar, and sugar (?!).
Lunch #1 (ordered extra spicy but Im not sure what effect that had):
Tom yum soup. Two shrimp in a very spicy, sour, salty soup. Very much to my taste. Im assuming they did make it extra spicy because it was quite hot (the menu shows it with 1 out of 3 stars for heat). $3.50
Moody chef stir-fried noodles (2 stars): wide rice noodles, onion, green and jalapeno pepper, sweet basil, chili, spicy sauce and choice of ground pork, chicken or shrimp (I got pork). Very enjoyable, flavorful dish. Quite spicy but not blazing; this is when I asked for chili (really more to see what they had than from a need for extra heat). $6.25 (7.25 for shrimp)
Lunch #2: From the list of Super Famous Bangkok Street Style Noodles, ball ball noodle soup (choice of wide rice, egg, or vermicelli noodles). This came premixed with bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro. A mild clear, garlicky pork broth with slices of anise-tinged roast pork, bits of plain boiled pork, mild-flavored fish and fish-and-pork balls. Egg noodles were both a firm linguini shape and a tenderer angel hair. Quite tasty with a faintly sweet impression overall. Even better with a generous helping of dried chili. $6.25
Portions were sized for a light meal, i.e., I could finish off a dish without feeling piggy. Same menu for lunch and dinner. I seem to recall a fruit drinks list but I dont see one on my takeout menu.
Only in my dreams have I eaten Bangkok street food; Id be interested in comments from those who really have.
This is my favorite Thai restaurant. The owner/chef, nicknamed "Monk," has been very outgoing with me, standing at the table for long periods of time talking about food, his desire to make every meal memorable for every customer, his training (starting with his mom's cooking), and his outlook on maintaining a balance in life. I love talking to him because I get just as excited talking about food. Last night, the restaurant was nicely decorated for Valentine's. Monk was much busier and only made one appearance outside the kitchen.
Anyway, I had one of the best meals ever. I ordered the Salmon/Veggies/Sticky rice special for $12.95 and it was just beautiful and delicious. The sticky rice was presented in one of those small woven containers. In front of that my girlfriend and I shared Ginger Scallion Pie. The sauce that accompanies that appetizer is it's own thing. Very memorable. I also had a coconut bubble tea which seemed to have some ginger. I always ask them to bring my bubble tea with regular ice and not the shaved ice they normally service it with.
The candle at our table was cut and shaped like a little mini basket. After our meal, the waitress brought us a cute little stuffed animal on a key chain.
Monk told me he was at the restaurant at 7 that morning and had been preparing for Valentine's all day.
re: Joshua B
Glad you like it. But I have to rescind my rec for the noodle soups. They're perpetually out of all but the seafood ones, and the tom yum noodle soup I tried recently (never the same as standard hot/sour tom yum shrimp, a totally different critter) was a shadow of its former self. The only seafood was 2 large chunks of krab, filled out with minced chicken. No shrimp, fish cake, squid etc. Meh. So a downhill alert, but only for the noodle soups, no recent experience with anything else. Pity, guess they just didn't sell.
Does anyone know if the chef "Monk" ever opened another restaurant after closing this location a few years ago? I miss his cooking.