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Nov 26, 2008 05:19 AM

Manow Asian Bistro - Thai in Lincroft

Recently heard about this place, and given it is only a few miles from my house and the curious lack of Thai restaurants on the Monmouth County Shore I figured it was worth checking out.

Located in the former location of the eminently forgettable King Wok Chinese Restaurant, this establishment has been open for about 5 months and has no connection to King Wok. It is a small well appointed dining room that seats about 50 patrons with semi-fancy wicher-ish place mats and linen napkins. The hostess was friendly, knowledgeable and seemed truly interested in what the place was doing.

I decided to start with the Spicy Mussels, Sautéed and served on the half shell with Thai basil and chili sauce. They were quite good. The only minor quibble I had was that the adductor muscle had not been separated from the shells, which resulted in a bit of wrestling. On the positive side the plate of condiments including chile pepper flakes, pickled chiles and Siracha chili sauce was brought to the table without having to ask for it. As an aside, one of the diners at the next table had noted that his Tom Yum Gai soup was excellent.

I then moved on to the Kra Prow with chicken, Sautéed with bell pepper, chili, onion, and Thai basil. It was also good, though it could have been spiced a little more aggressively (This is a common occurrence with my dining in Thai places. I usually have to go a few times to convince them to make it as hot as I like). The condiments solved this issue in the short run... The portions were good and I've got enough leftover for lunch today.

One other minor quibble, they didn't have any unsweetened iced tea, but this is not unusual in many Asian places. They seemed to be doing a steady take-out business and offer delivery of orders over $25.

All in all it seems like a good deal, and combined with Saigon II seems to be the beginning of a small focus of good Asian dining spots in Lincroft.

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  1. Mark - Thanks for the report. I will definitely have to give this place a try.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bgut1

      Mark thanx for the great review of Monoasian...I also will give it a shot next time I'm in the area for sure. I see its not to far off exit 109 GSP thats good also.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Went to Manow for lunch. The food was very tasty and fresh. And a good value. For a nearby place, I like it very much. However, it's not the level of place that I would travel for.

        Also tried lunch at Royal Thai in Atlantic Highlands. The food was OK, nothing special. We don't plan to return.

        Both places have nice casual dining rooms and pleasant service.

        1 Reply
        1. re: val ann c

          Went back for dinner with a few friends last night. For apps we shared the Avocado Salad, Pra Koong (Grilled shrimp with lemongrass, onion, chili paste and lemon juice) and the Golden Curry Puff.

          For entrees we had Tamarind Duck, Grilled Salmon, Pha Ram (peanut sauce and broccoli.
          with shrimp) and chicken sautéed with bell pepper, chili, onion, and Thai basil.

          Everything was good and the portions were large. A couple of the guys had lived in NYC for a number of years and toured southeast Asia pretty extensively. They felt that it was good, though not spectacular. They still felt that it was the best Thai so far in Monmouth county so far (OK, that's not saying much). Better than Bamboo Leaf, Siam Garden and Royal Thai in Atlantic Highlands. It was agreed that Far East Taste in Eatontown when run by Richard was not so much a Thai place as it was Richards place.

          All in all, given it's only been open 4 or 5 months there is room for growth and improvement, but they seem off to a good start...

        2. Another visit, and the place still holds up!

          Had one of the best Thai dishes I've had in a long time. I'm not sure how authentically Thai it is, but the Peking Duck Salad was a genuine hit. I believe it is actually their version of Larb (go on, Google it...) using crispy minced duck along with red onion, ginger, chilis, roasted rice and peanut with lime juice.

          OK, so I hate a mystery. I just called and talked to Jessica, the owner, and that dish is based on a Thai/Laotian version of Larb, also spelled Larp or Laab.

          Whatever. It was great. Combine it with an order of Tom Ka Gai soup and I've got the perfect take-out dinner!

          2 Replies
          1. re: equal_Mark

            yes. i know what you are talking about lab ped (duck salad) .That you mean if you add roasted rice powder and wild lime leaves slice fine .The test absolutly authentically. we call ISAN LAB PED. IT 's NO_ 1 in Thailand. If you call lab They will add roasted rice powder . But if you call salad they don't.

            1. re: equal_Mark

              >>>OK, so I hate a mystery. I just called and talked to Jessica, the owner, and that dish is based on a Thai/Laotian version of Larb, also spelled Larp or Laab.

              Yeah, that sounds like a variant of a Lao dish called Larb Ped. Make sure you eat it with sticky rice, which is the traditional Lao way (i.e. larb + sticky rice).

            2. Armed with Mark's high praise, I enjoyed a late dinner @ Manow Asian Bistro last night. I started with a Thai Iced Tea while waiting for my dinner companion; super smokey and refreshing. Gal pal arrived and we shared the Manow Sampler appetizer consisting of two vegetable spring rolls (very tasty just the right amount of crunch, not greasy), a few shrimp dumplings moist and flavorful, chicken sate with a green curry glaze (which I took home). Moving onto the soup I asked the friendly hostess for a recommendation and was served Tom Ka Gai a blend of coconut milk, white meat chicken, lots of mushrooms and lime leaves in a red chili base. It was delicious and mildly hot. The Peking Duck cold salad did not disappoint but I only took two forkfuls with the intent of having it wrapped to enjoy today (which I did big time). For our entrees we shared an order of Kaeng Massaman  which was enough for two people and wound up being a delicious wok item with coconut milk, onion, potato, peanut, avocado and chicken. Very unique flavors and the addition of avocado was unexpected. With no room to move, I was determined to move onto the dessert menu with a pot of Jasmine tea and sticky rice with mango. At this point the dining room was empty. My friend and I took our time talking over hot tea and dessert. All total $60.00 (including tip) and we both left very satisfied with our first experience. I wouldn't hesitate to return and plan to next week with hubby and friends visiting from MA.