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Truly Authentic Thai

  • k

I recently met someone in the process of moving here from Bangkok, Thailand. She said she's hoping to find a restaurant with real Thai cooking so she won't be so homesick. Recently she ate at one place that was recommended to her somewhere in the Wellesley/Framingham area (sorry, didn't get the name) that was so bad that she felt compelled to complain to the manager -- something that Thais just don't do, apparently. I would love to be able to tell her where she can go for the tastes of home. Anyone have any ideas? I'm not much help myself, having never been to Thailand I'm not familiar with what is "authentic" or not. Thanks..

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  1. I would think that Dok Bua in Brookline would fit the bill

    1. I immediately thought of Dok Bua also, though it would be worth asking for the separate 'authentic Thai menu' that other places have in addition to the regular menu (Montien, for example). I like Khao Sarn too.

      It's been years since we've been - I don't even know if it's still there - but we used to love Bangkok City's 'secret' Thai menu.

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      Dokbua Thai Restaurant
      411 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

      Montien Thai Restaurant
      63 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116

      6 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        Much of the staff at Montien on Stuart are from Thailand..and go home from time to time..fluent in the language..and I'm sure they'd go out of their way to make your friends comfortable..

        Dok Bua or Khao Sarn are also good choices.

        1. re: Rubee

          Khao Sarn:

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          Khao Sarn
          250 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

          1. re: Rubee

            I haven't been in a while either, but when I worked at Newbury and Mass Ave., I used to frequent Bangkok City.

            I always found their "Thai" menu items to be excellent.

            1. re: Rubee

              Any advice on how to ask for the "authentic Thai" menu when one is clearly not Thai? Are the "authentic" menus only printed in Thai or do they have English too, or maybe they're not printed at all? How to convince the staff that you really do want to order that.

              1. re: DavisSquare

                Just ask for the authentic Thai menu when the server comes over to your table (or even when you walk in and are seated).

                They always have English descriptions, sometimes accompanied by Thai.

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  And watch the translations! We once ordered the "chicken finger salad" at Montien off the Thai menu (and now I'm not really sure why we ordered this), but of course it was marinated chicken FEET covered in lots of chillis and cilantro. Not bad, if you like chicken feet.

                  I once witnessed a whole group of Thai teenagers pile into a table at Montien, and were handed the regular (English) menu. After looking at it with some perplexity for a few minutes -- no doubt they were trying to figure out what "mango chicken curry" is -- they got the authentic Thai menu and all looked a lot more at home.

            2. Yeah, the three mentioned here (Montien, Dok Bua, Khao Sarn) are all excellent choices for authentic Thai, IMO. I also hear that Suvarnabhumi Kiri in Allston might be worth checking out for both Thai and Cambodian cuisine.

              1. My Thai tenants say that Rod Dee - the one on Beacon in Coolidge Corner - is the most like home to them.

                5 Replies
                1. re: lergnom

                  I second Rod Dee for authenticness.

                  1. re: nasilemak

                    Yeah - like Rod Dee near Coolidge Corner for the basic noodle and rice plates too.

                    BTW, has anyone tried the chicken feet salad at Montien from their Thai menu? Used to eat a lot of that back home, but the only other place that seems to serve it is Rainbow Cafe (on their Asian snacks menu, iirc).

                    1. re: limster

                      I haven't tried Rainbow Cafe (you must mean the place on Beach St), but I thought it was primarily Vietnamese. Does this mean that chicken feet salad crosses a few borders, or is Rainbow more of a pan-Southeast Asian kind of place? Been meaning to try it, found it hard not to hit old reliable Xinh Xinh again the other day for lunch.

                      Count me as another fan of Rod Dee (Brandon Hall) Brookline: I used to live near there, and keenly miss having its nice-priced takeout rice plates so close by.

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        With the exception of the Asian street snacks section, the food at Rainbow is Cantonese, down to the HK renditions of westernized dishes such as steaks and baked spaghetti. The menu (at least in Chinese, not positive about the translation) describes the dish as Thai style chicken feet salad. I think the confusion arises because the owners used to own Ducky Wok (at least according to the Herald article in the window) which folks claim was Vietnamese, but that's before my time.

                        1. re: limster

                          Ducky Wok was a true rairty in that they did excellent, authentic Cantonese seafood, but also stellar Vietnamese. I never knew what they were supposed to be; it was the only place I ate off both menus.

                2. Thanks everyone! Seems like Coolidge Corner is the place to go. I had heard good things about Dok Bua and Khao Sarn, but wasn't sure if they were authentic or just tasty. (sounds like the answer is "both")

                  1. Chilli Duck on Boylston Street (Copley Sq area) has a separate "authentic" Thai menu as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: coookie

                      True, though the food there pales in comparison to the other places recommended here.

                      1. re: Sgt Snackers

                        agreed, but it's probably the best option in the back bay area. depends on where OP's friend lives.

                    2. the most authentic according to my thai friends and asian friends is rod dee
                      and dok bua. both really really good. i go to both all the time. i live in coolidge corner.

                      1. I don't want to stray off topic, but which dishes at Dok Bua are the authentic Thai ones? I have been several times and enjoyed my meal, but I'm not sure that what I was ordering was "authentic" and not just a good rendition of typical Americanized Thai dishes.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fbf242

                          i LOVE their:
                          *duck noodle soup
                          *moo yang (pork)
                          *green papaya salad

                          1. re: kweesee

                            I haven't eaten in Thailand so I don't know what "authentic" means. I presume only Thai people or travelers who have had the opportunity to compare food in Thailand would know what was "authentic." To my uneducated taste, Khao Sarn, Rod Dee and Duk Boa are good, with Bamboo perhaps a rung down.