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Jun 25, 2006 12:13 PM

Thai food in Central Jersey

Good Thai food is scarce in central Jersey--we have an overabundance of good Indian and Korean--but not Thai. Pad Thai in my home town is overly spiced and the fresh flavors of the food are, in my opinion, covered up.

So, much was the joy in my household when we discovered Bangkok Cuisine this weekend in the Shoprite shopping center at Route 1 and Old Post Rd in Edison. The owner comes every day from Queens and gives a lot of attention to the food.

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  1. Far East Taste in Eatontown is the best I've had. Don't expect much ambiance, but they make some fantastic food. Richard, the owner/chef, will let you chose the level of heat that you prefer for your selected dish. You can go for a wimpy "1 chile" all the way up to a super hot "5 chile" mouth burner. Either way, you'll love the fresh and distinctive tastes of his entrees and soups.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Anco

      I, too, really like Far East Taste. If you go, don't expect a typical range of Thai dishes. Richard does his own interpretations of Thai food. The food is hearty and comforting. He also has a standard Chinese menu.
      The fish is good because Richard catches it himself. It's one of the few places where you can get real locally-caught ocean fish in season -- like blackfish and ling. You can get whole fish prepared various ways. For real comfort food I like basil fish -- chunks of fried filet in basil sauce. I also like the tom yam bean curd soup.

      Far East Taste, 19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ (732) 389-9866

      1. re: val ann c

        I also agree that the food at Far East Taste is some of the best around. There are actually dishes from 3 cuisines on the menu: Chinese, Thai and Malaysian.

        Our favorite Thai restaurant is Thai Chili, in Spotswood. It's in a small strip mall (Romeo Plaza) on Summerton Road, and from the outside, one would expect a take-out joint. However, while they do do take-out, the interior space has about a dozen or so tables, and the decor is charmingly attractive. Service personal are very pleasant and efficient. Most important, the food is well-prepared and delicious. We recently had a deep-fried whole fish (striped bass?) with mango and vegetables that was superb!

    2. We went back with friends a couple of weeks ago just to see what it is that I am missing about this place. I think that Val sums it up nicely when she says that the dishes are Richard's "interpretations" of Thai food. And I agree that the food is hearty and comforting; we found the ingredients to be fresh and tasty.

      But for me, all the dishes taste about the same. And, sure, you can ask for the heat level to be from 1 chili up to 5 chilies--but there will be no perceivable difference in that range. There is no heat to be had here. We brought our own bottle of Sriracha as a precaution, and it helped. But it didn't help enough. I really wish that I liked the place more.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Deb Van D

        wondering if anyone has tried the malaysian food?

      2. Try Thailand in Clark, on Central Avenue. It's in a renovated diner, it's very easy to pass by. Great food, frequently so crowded you have to wait for a table unless you get there on the earlier side. Heat level way up there, every time I say medium, I regret not saying mild :-) Extensive, varied menu, and the service is good. I always hate to recommend this place because it's too popular as it is and we find ourselves having to eat earlier and earlier in order to get a meal there, but I also feel guilty not passing on the info to those who seek out good food.


        1. Sorry to disagree Gabbeh, but I find Bangkok cuisine not to have good thai (greasy, tasteless. I also do not enjoy Sawadee <sp?> in my hometown of metuchen, again, greasy and salty. I will try Thailand in Clark and possibly Far East Taste as suggested above. I am still searchng for very good-excellent thai in the central jersey area, but none have come close to my earlier experiences at the queens NY restaurants :-(.

          1. Shows you how sad the situation is in central Jersey. Can't blame me for grabbing at straws. What do you think of Mie Thai in Woodbridge.

            It is sad that central Jersey is such a wasteland for Thai.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Gabbeh

              I'm going to dissent here and say (as someone who grew up in NJ and then moved to Los Angeles) that Mie Thai is about as good as Thai food gets in Central NJ. You do need to be careful what to order, though -- the pad thai there is terrible, but the pad kee mao is very tasty (and not on the menu); the tom yum goong is terrific. The curries were passable. Pad prik king was great. Don't order anything deep-fried, it'll lead you to heartache.

              Also, it's the only Thai place I've been to in NJ that will actually accommodate my requests for "Thai spicy"; most places still dumb it down.

              I haven't been to Pad Thai since I was taking summer classes at Rutgers and working in Edison, many years ago; but I remember it being terribly greasy and if you ordered things spicy all they did was jack up the chilies without adding any flavour.

              1. re: Gabbeh

                Ok, my, it has been sometime since I returned to read all the replies.

                these psts are becoming way too much and I need to write all of these places down and try and couple. Westfiled may be the closest, so I will try that one. I am not sure Gabeh, Mei thai has received several not so good reports, not certain I will try.
                Somerville: I WIL write that I thoroughly enjoy Origin in Somerville for their lunch specials, however, I went for dinner one saturday evening and was not as impressed (maybe psychological...wonderful ambience, but then a not so wonderful dinner)...thai kitchens are great for lunch, never been for dinner. Been to the thai chef in Somerville for lunch and did enjoy it....oh well....

                1. re: dragonguy

                  If you're going to Westfield, Clark is literally right there and Thailand is authentic while Splash of Thai is not. I'm not discouraging you from trying that one - just pointing out the difference. The recent issue of NJ Monthly (I think that was the one) had quite a good review of Splash and again, even tho I had issues with it - they have nothing to do with the quality - we did have a very good meal there. But if it's real thai you're looking for, seek out Thailand in Clark instead - no glitz, just good food.

                2. re: Gabbeh

                  Mie Thai is my favorite restaurant bar none. NYC is even a wasteland for thai. I've tried a bunch of Thai places and nothing has compared to the quality of Mie Thai. The food is delicious, portions are pretty big and service is decent. It has a very serene atmosphere also. They also have another restaurant in North Brunswick, NJ on Rt 27. My recommendation would be the veggie spring rolls for an appetizer, Moo Tod Rod Prig for an entree (crispy pork in a chili sauce, order extra mild if you want normal spice) and the chocolate saucey cake for dessert!!!

                  1. re: Gabbeh

                    Thai Thai Cuisine in Old Bridge has really good food. I wouldn't know if it's authentic, though. Has anyone here eaten there that can tell if it's authentic?