Sripraphai - need help with veggie and non-spicy dishes
I've been going to Sripraphai regularly for a while now, and
have had a lot that the menu offers, but
I am bringing a group there soon and among them will be some
kids. The parents have told me that the kids would eat noodles
that are fairly plain. These kids will eat the ubiquitous
cold sesame noodles in chinese places, but I know of no Thai
equivalent. I'm thinking pad thai, but I am wondering
if anyone has suggestions for other noodle dishes that might
qualify. I see from the menu that there is one called "Egg noodles with roast pork or spare ribs". Anyone familiar with this?
Or maybe "Soy Sauce noodles with meat and broccoli?
Also, there will be some vegetarians. Anyone have experience
with ordering meat dishes from the menu and substituting
tofu for the meat?
Lastly, are there any soups that are relatively bland, sort
of like a clear chicken broth soup? Tom Ka Gai is the closest
I could think of.
Get a babysitter!
But seriously, even the most bland versions of what they sell will still have a lot of flavor. Tom Kha Gai is ussually made with coconut milk. Tom Yum is not...But I have had their Tom Yum and it was the best version I have ever had, really full of flavor.
I know I am not really answering your question, I just think it might be very hard to find "bland" food at Sri.
Don't know about kids' stuff, but one of my favorite dishes that I always order there is Stewed beef tendon soup. It's relatively simple tasting. It used to come just plain (not spicy), but lately they have been making it with spices and lemon grass (some days it's less acidic, some days is more). If you order it mild, and you're lucky enough to get not very acidic version, it could probably pass for "relatively bland". I always dark broth option, light broth maybe even blander, not sure how it tastes though.
For the vegetarians, be careful, if they will not eat fish products. Many Thai dishes that do not have meat/fish in their basic ingredients are made with fish sauce. It is a pretty ubiquitous ingredient. While almost all servers speak English well enough, they may not be totally aware of how all of the dishes are made.
You wouldn't know about it unless you've asked the servers at Sri, but there is a HUGE, totally separate VEGETARIAN MENU there. I didn't know about it until I brought a vegetarian there once, and she asked the servers.
From that menu, she ordered a veggie glass noodle casserole dish and really liked it. I tasted it and thought it was a smidgen bland, but then I like spicy while she doesn't.
Of course, who knows if the shrimp paste, fish sauce, etc., is actually omitted from those vegetarian menu dishes, but those noodles def. did NOT taste like they had any shrimp paste, etc. in them.
In fact, I know a VEGAN guy who thinks Sripraphai is spectacularly good, and goes there as often as possible. He swears by the veg. menu. (He's Ecuadorian. I asked him, "Are there any other vegans in Ecuador?!" He said, "Nope, I really don't think so!" Heh.)
The soy sauce noodles you mention are a good bet. That is what in most restaurants is called pad see you. It is basically a tasty brown sauce. Most kids like it, I think. ALso, there is always sate. They don't have to eat the peanut sauce. And plain rice. In geheral, the food is not that exotic. You should not have a problem, re. the kids.
Here are some non-spicy dishes:
A-18 BBQ Pork tenders
A-19 BBQ Pork
A-27 Fried Shrimp Cake
A-28 Shrimp wrapped in egg roll skin
A-30 Fried egg roll
A-33 Steamed chicken & shrimp dumplings
N-1 Pad Thai noodles (can substitute tofu for shrimp)
N-2 Saute noodles topped with choice of meat & chinese broccoli
N-3 Soy sauce noodles with meat & broccoli
N-4 Saute noodles with chicken & yellow squid (one of my favorite noodle dishes)
N-14 Egg noodles with roast pork or spare ribs
N-15 Crispy egg noodle toped with shrimp, chicken & bamboo shoots
N-17 Preserved bean curd soup with vegetables, bean thread, pork, chicken & seafood
N-18 Fish maw soup
N-19 Noodle soup with sliced duck or stewed duck
S-4 Bean curd soup with ground pork or chicken
S-5 Vegetable soup with ground pork, squid, & chicken
S-6 Bean thread soup with ground chicken
S-7 Pork with mustard green soup
S-9 Stewed beef tendon choice light or dark soup
O-1 Pork leg with mustard greens over rice
O-3 Roasted pork with special house sauce over rice
O-4 Roasted duck with chinese watercress over rice
O-5 Stewed beef over rice
O-8 Shrimp paste fried rice with chicken & dry shrimp
O-11 Shrimp fried rice
O-14 Pan fried mussels
C-2 Saute bean thread with shrimp & chicken
C-3 Saute pork stomach with mustard greens
C-4 Pan fried egg with ground pork or chicken
C-5 Fried chicken or BBQ chicken
C-6 Saute chicken with ginger, onion & scallion
C-7 Bean thread with shrimp & pork in casserole
C-8 Saute vegetable with oyster sauce
C-9 Saute chinese broccoli with salted fish
C-10 Saute chinese broccoli with crispy pork
sri is my seven-year-old son's favorite restaurant, but he likes very spicy food. however, friends of his we bring like the sate, the pad see ew (noodles with meat, egg, and chinese broccoli--not spicy) and the fried rice. Thai fried rice tends to be rather plain and not spicy. also, kids I've brought love the plain sticky rice and/or the coconut rice. also on the menu, I think, is a chicken coconut noodle soup that you could ask to be made mild.
Sri is a great restaurant for kids--servers bring their water in paper cups with straws and lids and often bring special plastic animal plates for them.
dang, vegetarian to sri? not a good idea; I bought a friend there once and we picked a bunch of items, but she came away with a not-so-great impression since sri kicks ass at so many of the pork and seasfood dishes. thank goodness she converted later on and we went back for round 2; she was properly introduced at that time. granted; we didn't think of the ol' tofu swapperoo . . . . hmmm . . . .
KIDS LOVE the CHICKEN SATE or BEEF SATE--ORDER COCONUT RICE--ORDER BBQ CHICKEN---For VEGETARIANS, the sauteed vegetables there are great--If the kids love garlic, get the garlic and pepper shrimp--it's VERY GARLICKY and not particulary spicy.
The chicken with ginger is very mild, not special in any way, but good if the kids are into that sort of thing...
I always order shrimp, chicken or beef dishes in general, so can't speak about other veg options other than sauteed veggies---but, I would imagine they could make veg curries to your liking...
If you want ultra-plain noodles for ultra-picky kids, get khanom jeen, which are completely undressed angel hair rice noodles (you can't taste the fermentation). The sauce comes on the side so you can leave it out for picky ones. I forget what they call this on the menu--it's near the bottom of the "over rice" section--maybe "Thai spaghetti"? The sauce choices (not translated) are either a green curry sauce or nam ya, a fish sauce. The specials menu also sometimes has this with nam ngiaw sauce (called something like "northern style noodles"), but I don't think that one is very good at all.
They do have a bland, clear soup called tom jood, which should have bean curd and pork or chicken and maybe bean threads. It is probably S-4 (going from the post above), but I don't have a menu in front of me to check. I've never had it there, but it's what I eat at home when I want "clean" tasting food.
Raat na is also usually a good "bland" noodle dish--noodles with "gravy" and chinese broccoli and meat--and can be a better choice (for picky kids) than pad see ew since the sauce is less embedded in the noodles (I may be biased, though, since I don't like Sripraphai's pad see ew). Don't know where it is on the menu, my guess is maybe N-2.