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May 7, 2009 02:21 PM

Thai Chilies in Eatontown

At the previous site of Tokyo Japanese restaurant seems to have opened:

Hmm, I see they've temporarily stopped serving pork dishes, I assume to assuage the fears of knuckleheads that think you can get swine flu by eating pork (If you ask me, swine flu seems pretty difficult to catch under any circumstances, but that's another thread...


Might have to check it out...

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  1. Not a bad idea for that spot and the menu looks pretty good. Anyone want to take one for the team and report back?

    1. Judging by the website design, it appears this is a sister restaurant to the Thai Chili in Spotswood. We've been to that one quite a few times though not recently. The food was always nicely prepared and tasty.

      Thai Chili - Spotswood:

      7 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks R. On that basis, I intend to give them a try.

        1. re: bgut1

          Went last night. Small but nicely appointed. Servers and hostess were friendly, though not very conversant in English.

          I started out with the steamed mussels. Usually in other Thai restaurants they are served on the half shell topped with chili sauce, basil and other spices. These were served in a deep pot covered with the cooking liquid. They were large and were cooked just right. Firm and not mushy or "crumbly" (What happens when they are overcooked and break apart when you try to get them out of the shell and they fall apart).

          One quibble: most Thai places and some Vietnamese there are often trays of condiments available (Roasted ground chiles, ground cashew, siracha, pickled chiles, etc.) when I asked if they had these, they sort of looked confused. The food was nicely spiced, but I often like to add a little extra zing. That said, I have to say that the spicy dipping sauce that came with the mussels was fiery with nice flavor too ( they call it "spicy honey sauce" but I did not find it overly sweet).

          As an entree I ordered the basil chicken, sort of a Thai standard that I used to compare Thai places. It was well prepared, the portion was pretty large and the veggies were fresh and not overcooked. It was nicely spiced though I would like it hotter (I often have to go to Thai places a few times before they learn that I actually do like it hot). As it was, I asked for an extra helping of the dipping sauce that came with the mussels to season the chicken. This brought out the desired chile buzz...

          All in all the place is pretty good, and is a welcome addition to the Thai starved dining scene in Monmouth Co. Will likely give Manow Asian Bistro a run, especially given the location. Hopefully, given economic conditions, they will both do well...

          1. re: equal_Mark

            Mark - Excellent review. Thanks for taking one for the team.

            1. re: equal_Mark

              Always on the hunt for new Thai places we gave this place a try this evening and were pleased with the results. Me the basil chicken and the wife a beef and noodle dish, both served as requested Bangkok hot. To start the mussels in broth were excellent. As you indicated no pork to be found in the restaurant at all.
              We think that this sister to the Spotswood establishment will do well and gets two thumbs up. Overall a very good Thai dining experience with decent pricing.

              1. re: JerzeyShore

                Second thoughts - as the Thai spices must have went to my head last night.
                Not serving pork at all because of the swine flu was not very cool. And, to boot they had no summer rolls and as Mark said above did not offer any condiments. I would give this place just a passing grade...

              2. re: equal_Mark

                thai basil in Sea Girt is excellent, a good thai fix... and they happily bring over condiments including three different kinds of chiles

            2. re: RGR

              Thai Chili has been my default take out Thai restaurant for years since it is so close to home.
              No complaints, still very good food.

            3. Just hit this place up for lunch today. It was pretty full and it seemed like the wait and kitchen staff were not prepared for the volume, so things came out a little slow but I'm sure they'll get this figured out soon.

              The lunch special is a great deal: 9 bucks gets you an entree, salad, soup AND a thai iced tea.

              The salad came with a sweet peanut-y sauce that was pretty decent - sort of a thai version of the ginger dressing salad that's ubiquitous at japanese joints. Soup was chicken tom young goong that was also pretty good.

              For entree my friend and I got Pad Thai and Penang Curry. Both were very good. I guess the standard for comparison would be Far East Taste here - the Curry was a little more 'authentic' tasting to me than FETs, and the Pad Thai was equally good. The Thai tea they serve is delicious and goes wonderfully with the food.

              They have a big menu with lots of choices so I'll definitely be back to check out some of the other dishes. I think the place is definitely worth a chow visit.

              And regarding Mark's comment about hot sauces - they do have a bowl of chili flake available if you want to spice things up - which seems to be standard at Thai places. But the food I got today was surprisingly pretty spicy straight out of the kitchen.

              3 Replies
              1. re: joonjoon

                Might have been a language issue. I asked both the hostess and the server for the hot stuff and they just looked confused...

                1. re: equal_Mark

                  Amendment of Review. Went for lunch today, it came with soup, salad and a complimentary Thai iced tea. Place was fairly full, and they did have small tray available that had siracha, pickled chiles and roasted chili powder. As it was, the food was pretty spicy even without the added firepower...

                  1. re: equal_Mark

                    Try "SPICY" instead of "HOT" because in some Asian languages, "hot" only refers to the temperature.

                2. A friend of mine cancelled our lunch appointment and I ended up eating alone. The place was quite packed during lunch(I was there after 1:00pm) but there were still tables available. After standing there for about 5 minutes, I was led to a table where another customer was eating alone. The server was friendly but definitely busy, my order was not taken until I had to “wave” at her for a few times. I ordered the lunch special with Pad Thai, it came with salad with peanut dressing, soup(chicken, vegetables with coconut favor) and a thai ice tea. The lunch deal special was $8.95. Despite the soup was included, I ordered the Tom Yum Kung since I really craved for that. The other customer sitting across me was waiting for her ice tea(she ordered an ice tea and not the complimentary thai ice tea), she told me that she had been waiting for a long time. The waitress brought her the salad and the soup but not the ice tea. The waitress apologized and got her the ice tea finally when she was half way through her meal. I believe she had calamari and she told me that it was too spicy for her taste, but she enjoyed it. The complementary soup was quite decent but I just had two spoonful since I was waiting for my Tom Yum Kung, which was kind of a disappointment. The soup ingredients were not what I expected! I traveled frequently to Thailand before and I am not expecting the exact replication of the Tom Yum Kung there, but straw mushrooms, lemon grass, thai coriander are not too much to ask. Instead, I got the button mushrooms, green pepper….to me, that is just not Tom Yum Kung even the soup base was there and there were a few prawns and chilies! The Pad Thai was not bad, not too greasy and the ingredients were what I expected from a Pad Thai. The Thai ice tea was a bit too sweet for my taste but it was complementary!

                  This first time experience with the restaurant was mixed. The service was friendly but the server was overwhelmed by the crowd. I think that there were two of them but one was responsible for the takeout while the other seemed to be struggling among all the demands from the dining crowd. As mentioned above, the Tom Yum Kung was terrible but the Pad Thai was ok. The place is rather new(opened for 2 weeks?), and I think that they may need some time to settle down and make their improvement. I will not mind to try it again but maybe in a few months.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: HelenB

                    Was talking to some friends yesterday. They went there for lunch recently and enjoyed it. (Coincidentally, we were speaking as we enjoyed a lunch at Koo, which gets better every time I go.)

                      1. re: equal_Mark

                        Did we ever establish if this place is owned by the same folks as the one in Spotswood? I eat there now and then and like their food a lot so that would push me out to Eatontown to try them.

                        1. re: seal

                          I've not specifically asked them, but if you compare their websites you'll find it hard to conclude that they are not related. Same format, same images and site design by the same company...

                          1. re: seal

                            I asked this question on our recent visit and the reply was yes they are owned by the same person.