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Feb 6, 2008 03:50 PM

Sripraphai First Timer

I'm taking my parents to dinner at Sripraphai (Dad's BDay) on Saturday afternoon. We are open to all dishes and foods. Additionally, are we not afraid of spice (heat). Can somebody recommend a few dishes that they love at Sripraphai for us to order?

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  1. Do a search for favorite dishes at Sripraphai and you'll find lots of recommendations. For first timers I would go with:
    A5 Crispy Chinese watercress salad
    A37 Mango salad
    N5 Drunken noodles
    O6 Ground pork with chili and basil
    C13 Whole red snapper with ginger sauce
    C25 Panang Curry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ow77

      Thank you so much! This stuff looks awesome. And thanks for the item numbering. Either your holding a menu or your a serious regular!

    2. My absolute favorite dish there is the drunken noodles with beef. I order it "very very spicy". And then they smile and nod and confirm, "spicy?" and I say "yes! THAI spicy, please." And it's perfect. Another tip: if you really like your food hot, ignore the picture menu. I am always afraid that if I pay it any attention at all, they will take me for a "chili amateur", so I am careful to pick up the written menu and order from that. They will probably place both on your table when they seat you.
      I have never tried anything there that I didn't like. That said, I have a hard time not ordering the crispy pork with chili and basil. It's just too good. As is the crispy catfish salad (though I only recommend it if you love cilantro- there's plenty of it). The pad thai is good (but I rarely get it there). I'd rather have the green curry with eggplant.
      Don't forget to get yourself a little treat from the fridge on your way out. I once purchased some sweet rice cakes on a lark, and they were fantastic.
      Definitely search these boards for more info, though- there are a ton of recs, and you might want to go in prepared. The menu is quite extensive.

      17 Replies
      1. re: vvvindaloo

        I had my first meal at Srip today and it was excellent. Some issues though. The papaya salad with seafood was incredibly delicious with a great level of spice. A seafood oriented special was delicious and more salty than spicy which seemed intentional, but my drunken noodles were not spicy. I specifically said "very very spicy" and "Thai spicy" and then repeated it in Thai. My food was not spicy. Maybe my taste buds were dead from having very very very spicy (quote on quote to the waitress) jungle curry with prawns from Chao Thai earlier in the day. It was delicious and had good flavor, but it lacked the heat that make drunken noodles drunken noodles.

        1. re: JFores

          wow, chao and srip on the same day!
          i wonder why? i have never had this problem with the drunken noodles- i always emphasize that i want this dish really hot and they always deliver. OTOH, i do find the noodles, beef (my favorite) and sauce so incredibly tasty that even the lack of heat couldn't ruin it.

          1. re: vvvindaloo

            Yeah the flavor was still excellent!

          2. re: JFores

            "but my drunken noodles were not spicy. I specifically said "very very spicy" and "Thai spicy" and then repeated it in Thai. My food was not spicy."

            The dish isn't supposed to be spicy. They never serve it that way.

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              Sorry Bob, got to disagree with you. Drunken noodles are meant to be spicy and we always order ours extra spicy. See link to sri's menu, below. The menu is old but the drunken noodles, N-5, are starred, meaning hot and spicy.

              That said, tho i love the drunken noodles, i wouldn't compare their spiciness to that of the southern curry or even the green mango sauce, say. It's definitely gentler. If you want it spicy spicy, do what i've seen countless thai people do and dump in about a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes.


              1. re: missmasala

                I guess my point is that the spicing level on most of their dishes is usually pretty consistent. Some dishes are fiery hot while others like the drunken noodles just have a pleasant buzz. I sort of like the variation otherwise it's like a Ramones concert - every song is 2 1/2 minutes long and and played fast. The different spicing levels make for a nice contrast.

              2. re: Bob Martinez

                They're called drunken noodles because they're supposed to cause you to drink so much to keep the heat down.

                1. re: JFores

                  JFores: I have had this problem there for some time. I run the risk of just being annoying when I repeat "spicy, please, Thia spicy, and oh yes...please make it very very spicy". They look at me like I am an idiot when I do this, and rightly so. A customer should simply say what they they want once. But then they should deliver it! What to do? I think that the best way to handle this is speak with the nice older woman who runs the place or her son. They understand. However I haven't seen them around recently. Maybe this is what happens when they try to streamline things to enlarge their buisness. I think that when it is left up to waitstaff and cooks you just get what they make on the line.

              3. re: JFores

                how does sri compare to chao thai? been meaning to make it to chao thai for a while but haven't gotten there. any compare and contrast would be appreciated.

                1. re: missmasala

                  I loves me some chao thai! the food is quite pungent there (good heat on the larb, good sour), their crispy pork belly is good (pad prik king), their salads are very good (the bamboo is esp. sour and funky and the others are quite generous). had good isaan sour sausage served w/ various condiments, an excellent soup there (the glass noodle soup), light and delicious. can't remember what else I've had but I've been there a bunch of times and I really like the fresh flavors of the food. the only thing that sri has going for me (and I've been going for years and years) is their sour curry, some of their soft-shell crab stuff, and the mussel pancake.

                  1. re: bigjeff

                    sour and pungent works for me. guess i'll have to try it. is it better than zabb? (zabb on a good night, that is. on a good night i think zabb has it all over sri in the yums/salads/apps dept.)

                    1. re: missmasala

                      I can't speak to the salads, but Chao makes my favorite pad kraphao moo in NYC. That with a fried egg and rice is my Thai comfort food if I can truly have one as a farang. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Definitely worth a visit IMHO. You may experience a wait at prime dinner time. It is not a very big place at all.

                  2. re: missmasala

                    I didn't try any dishes that I order at Chao Thai at Srip (I did eat lunch at Chao Thai after all) but Srip was delicious. I would say they're very close. The papaya salad with seafood at Srip was astoundingly delicious and the drunken noodles were very very solid. Chao Thai has the best Thai curries I've ever had (by a long shot), my favorite laarb, etc. On other hand, I would only order noodles at Srip (aside from some of Chao's noodle soups. They have some very Thai ones with blood cake and such.) Overall they're two different restaurants and I think they have two different strengths. Srip seems more street food/issarn, but then again some of Chao Thai's salads are excellent. I need to try more at Srip.

                    1. re: JFores

                      That's interesting, b/c a lot of posts that I've read in the past suggest that Sri's noodle dishes are its weaker dishes. I'm no expert though.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Srip has pretty boring pad thai, but the drunken noodles are so good that I have dreamt about them. If anything, I'd say that Chao has better curries than Srip does. But that's just MO :)

                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                          Thanks - I'll try the drunken noodles next time!

                      2. re: JFores

                        Sripraphai isn't Issan at all. They are more representative of southern Thai than northern Thai.

                2. I really liked the Panang Curry. And the food as Sripraphai is excellent. But, in terms of just heat, I don't think they make it all that hot. I always ask for it Thai Hot and while it is somewhat hot, it is nothing that crazy. Very good though.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Taylor.Watson

                    I agree. In general, they do not make their dishes all that spicy. For some dishes, it's probably more appropriate to apply heat in moderation, while in other dishes (like my beloved drunken noodles) I really want to feel it! Have you ever noticed that they only give those small kits of chili sauces to certain guests? I have not been able to figure out why. Does it have to do with what they order, or do they request it?

                    1. re: Taylor.Watson

                      People tend to downgrade the panang. I absolutely love it. It has the bite and the consistency, and is super rich and deep in flavor. Maybe it can be a bit oily, but I like that when the spices are right. If they are having an 'on' day, it can be my favorite dish there. Believe or not chowhounders.

                      1. re: NYJewboy

                        I'm with you on that one, I love the Panang curry. My family gets it almost everytime, then we fight about the meat choice, chicken or pork..

                    2. My favorites have become:
                      Roasted Duck Salad
                      Chinese Broccoli with Crispy Pork
                      String Bean and Pork Curry
                      All the whole fish are delicious....
                      In general though, it's hard to go wrong. Also, don't forget to order Coconut Rice with your entrees, it's a little sweet and a little coconutty and goes so well with curries and spicy dishes! Hope you have a fabulous meal!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jdream

                        Count me in for Chinese Broccoli and Crispy Pork ... mmm mmm good. I've only been to Sripraphai once and that was my favorite dish.

                      2. 1. The chinese watercress salad
                        2. Green papaya salad (I ask for it extra spicy)
                        3. Sauteed Pork Leg with Chili and Basil (eat this with the coconut rice and you might just die and go to heaven)
                        4. The sauteed chinese broccoli (I usually get it without the pork because it is sooooo good by itself, lots of garlic!)
                        5. The pad thai although it can be hit or miss. I have had it and it has been ethereal and then I have laso had it be a bit greasy other times.

                        If they don't know you they are always skeptical when you tell them that you like it spicy. You have to really convince them that you can deal with spicy for them to kick up the heat.