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Thai Chilies in Eatontown

equal_Mark May 7, 2009 02:21 PM

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. bgut1 RE: equal_Mark May 7, 2009 07:03 PM

    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. r
      RGR RE: equal_Mark May 8, 2009 07:39 AM

      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: http://www.thai-chili.net

      7 Replies
      1. re: RGR
        bgut1 RE: RGR May 8, 2009 08:01 AM

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

        1. re: bgut1
          equal_Mark RE: bgut1 May 8, 2009 09:48 AM

          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
            bgut1 RE: equal_Mark May 8, 2009 11:52 AM

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

            1. re: equal_Mark
              JerzeyShore RE: equal_Mark May 9, 2009 06:02 PM

              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
                JerzeyShore RE: JerzeyShore May 10, 2009 04:39 PM

                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
                aklein RE: equal_Mark May 11, 2009 07:35 AM

                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
              shabbystorm RE: RGR May 11, 2009 02:51 PM

              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. j
              joonjoon RE: equal_Mark May 8, 2009 03:02 PM

              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
                equal_Mark RE: joonjoon May 9, 2009 11:21 AM

                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
                  equal_Mark RE: equal_Mark May 12, 2009 10:10 AM

                  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
                    HelenB RE: equal_Mark May 15, 2009 08:22 AM

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

                2. h
                  HelenB RE: equal_Mark May 15, 2009 08:19 AM

                  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
                    cantkick RE: HelenB May 15, 2009 05:23 PM

                    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.)

                  2. l
                    LBNJNY RE: equal_Mark May 18, 2009 04:00 PM

                    Is this spot BYOB?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: LBNJNY
                      equal_Mark RE: LBNJNY May 19, 2009 05:12 AM

                      Yes - BYOB

                      1. re: equal_Mark
                        seal RE: equal_Mark May 21, 2009 03:30 AM

                        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
                          equal_Mark RE: seal May 21, 2009 06:45 AM

                          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
                            JerzeyShore RE: seal May 21, 2009 10:00 AM

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

                      2. equal_Mark RE: equal_Mark May 23, 2009 09:53 PM

                        Went to dinner tonight. Was good but there were some issues. First of all they still are not serving pork. C'mon, anyone that thinks you can get swine flu from eating pork does not deserve to eat anyway. The Thai Tod Mun fish cakes were overcooked and the shrimp in the Tom Yum Kung soup had not been deveined.

                        Other than that, things were pretty good. Thai Chilis and Maanow Bistro in Lincroft might be in competition, but this can only bode well for Thai in Monmouth County...

                        1. a
                          amv RE: equal_Mark May 24, 2009 06:20 AM

                          Went last night. The menu is extensive, and the food was excellent. 4 apps- mixed meat dumplings, curry puffs, spring rolls, and summer rolls. All served with complementing sauces/condiments. Everything was flavorful, and not greasy. Curry puffs can tend to be dry, but the filling in these kept them the right consistency. Also had a Tom Ka Gai- curry coconut chicken soup- spicy, but with excellent flavor. Entrees were red curry/mixed seafood (got this one Thai spicy), and pineapple seafood fried rice. Total came to about $70 before tip. Best thai in the area.

                          23 Replies
                          1. re: amv
                            scarlet knight RE: amv May 28, 2011 07:47 PM

                            we drove past this restaurant on a saturday night at 6:45pm and no one was there. Still open or just closed for memorial day.

                            1. re: scarlet knight
                              seal RE: scarlet knight May 29, 2011 03:14 AM

                              Dinnertime I've been the only one in the place sometimes. They are much busier during weekday lunchtime. You should have stopped and grabbed a papaya salad to go ;o)

                              1. re: seal
                                scarlet knight RE: seal May 29, 2011 05:48 AM

                                no, I mean quite literally not one car was there and it looked closed. We are in the area for the weekend and i should get a chance to look at lunch time.
                                Oddly, we are noticing a lot of businesses closed for the memorial day holiday, especially in red bank.

                                1. re: scarlet knight
                                  seal RE: scarlet knight May 29, 2011 11:58 AM

                                  Hmmm. Going to Temple Chinese Gourmet tonight in Red Bank for dinner and I will check out the scene.

                                  1. re: scarlet knight
                                    Barbarella RE: scarlet knight May 31, 2011 10:40 AM

                                    Just drove by at lunch, no cars and dark inside, what's up?

                                    1. re: Barbarella
                                      hcentro RE: Barbarella May 31, 2011 07:02 PM

                                      I wouldn't be surprised if they were closed. I never saw many vehicles in the parking lot. When my wife and I tried them for the first time about a month ago it was the worst Thai food I'd ever had. The fish cake app had ok flavor, but chewy texture. The Tom Yung Kung just had an odd flavor. Not Terrible, just not good. The Pad Thai was flavorless. The duck was overcooked with chewy skin. The yellow Curry was the best entree but again was just ok and the meat was overcooked. We ordered medium, but everything was sweet with no spice. We didn't even bother saving the leftovers.

                                      1. re: hcentro
                                        Tapas52 RE: hcentro May 31, 2011 08:13 PM

                                        I passed this afternoon while in the area thinking about maybe lunch....it was closed and looked deserted at 2:30pm............

                                        1. re: Tapas52
                                          cantkick RE: Tapas52 Jun 1, 2011 04:45 AM

                                          I thought the food was ok, not remarkable. But the service was poor. Pleasant, but inadequate. One time they completely forgot the soup. Usually the entrees came out not together, separated by a few minutes.

                                          But the real kicker happened the last time I was there. My cc was charged $3020 for a $20 bill. They did credit the extra back three or four days later, and I didn't know about it until I saw the bill, so no harm, but such a thing should NEVER happen.

                                          But I think the real problem is the closing of the Fort. There goes the lunch crowd.

                                          1. re: cantkick
                                            equal_Mark RE: cantkick Jun 1, 2011 05:04 AM

                                            Don't think the fort closing is much of an issue. Personnel have been dwindling there for decades. There have been no military on post for the better part of 10 years. When Thai Chiles first opened there were maybe 2500 people there. Not a significant number given the total population of that area. More likely the spotty service, inconsistent preparation coupled with the economy combined to break the bottom line.

                                            1. re: equal_Mark
                                              cantkick RE: equal_Mark Jun 1, 2011 06:18 AM

                                              It's not the military, it's the civilians. Without the fort, a couple thousand people will no longer be employed in the Eatontown area, killing the lunch crowd. I expect that several other places will close as a result.

                                              1. re: cantkick
                                                equal_Mark RE: cantkick Jun 1, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                Yes, I know. I'm one of the civilians whose job is going away. All I am saying is that when Thai Chiles first opened, 60% or so of the Fort's original contingent of workers were already gone. Fort Monmouth ceased being a viable source of local commerce like 3 or 4 years ago. I started going to Thai Chiles when it first opened, and even then, as noted above, I was often dining with maybe one or two other tables, and sometimes was there solo. I'm not saying that the closing of Ft. Monmouth is having no effect on the local lunch trade, but that there were other issues involved as well. There are plenty of eateries local to the Eatontown/ Ocean/ Tinton Falls/ little Silver area that are still going strong.

                                                1. re: equal_Mark
                                                  joonjoon RE: equal_Mark Jun 1, 2011 09:52 AM

                                                  For me the real issue was that 90% of the time I would rather go to Far East Taste for that type of food. I know Thai Chillies had more "authentic" Thai on their menu, but if I want a Pad Thai or some kind of curry I can get that at FET.

                                                  Far East Taste
                                                  19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ 07724

                                                  1. re: joonjoon
                                                    equal_Mark RE: joonjoon Jun 1, 2011 10:04 AM

                                                    FET is OK now I suppose, but really can't compare to when Richard was running it. Looks like with the loss of Thai Chiles and Manow Bistro in Lincroft that the nearest Thai is Kunya Siam in Atlantic Highlands. Not a real possibility for lunch from the fort...

                                                    1. re: equal_Mark
                                                      cantkick RE: equal_Mark Jun 1, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                      Well, there's always Siam Garden at the Galleria. I never went but it has gotten mixed to poor reviews on here. Asahi and Aligado on 35 in Holmdel also have Thai, but again, I've never tried the Thai at them.

                                                      99 Taylor Ave, Manasquan, NJ 08736

                                                      Siam Garden
                                                      2 Bridge Ave Ste 612, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                                                      1. re: cantkick
                                                        Tapas52 RE: cantkick Jun 1, 2011 03:39 PM

                                                        Don't forget Siam Basil on Rt35 in Seagirt.....I really enjoyed dinner there last time we went.


                                                        1. re: Tapas52
                                                          bgut1 RE: Tapas52 Jun 1, 2011 04:25 PM

                                                          It might be a little bit of a drive, but to me the best Thai "in the area" is Siam Spice in Toms River.

                                                          Siam Spice
                                                          1174 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, NJ 08753

                                                          1. re: bgut1
                                                            MGZ RE: bgut1 Jun 2, 2011 08:20 AM

                                                            I have only been to Siam Spice once, but it's the only Thai place I've been to in NJ that I am interested in going to again.

                                                            Siam Spice
                                                            1174 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, NJ 08753

                                                    2. re: joonjoon
                                                      Barbarella RE: joonjoon Jun 2, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                      I like the food in FET but cannot stand the smell in there. What is it moth balls? YUCK ...Permeates the whole place.

                                                      1. re: Barbarella
                                                        equal_Mark RE: Barbarella Jun 2, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                        Might have been the Indian Market that used to be next door. Whole place was permeated with the aroma of curries and other spices. Don't recall mothballs...

                                      2. re: scarlet knight
                                        seal RE: scarlet knight Jun 1, 2011 03:41 PM

                                        I always liked their food, shame.

                                        Siam Smiles on Rt 34? Thai Thai or Thai Shangri La on 516?

                                        1. re: seal
                                          RGR RE: seal Jun 1, 2011 04:52 PM

                                          We tried Thai Shangri-La once. The food was pretty awful.

                                          Thai Shangri-La photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                          Never tried Siam Smiles.

                                          Thai Chili in Spotswood is still around. We haven't been there or to Thai Thai in ages.


                                          1. re: RGR
                                            joonjoon RE: RGR Jun 2, 2011 07:39 AM

                                            I've eaten at Thai Shangri-La twice - the first time pretty good, second was very meh. Bamboo Leaf in Bradley is also pretty decent, but on the pricier side. It would make a good date spot.

                                            101 Springdale Ave, Trenton, NJ 08620

                                          2. re: seal
                                            hcentro RE: seal Jun 1, 2011 05:13 PM

                                            I thought Thai Thai was pretty bad. We used to live about a mile south of Siam Smiles and always enjoyed their food. It's probably been a year since we ate there so our review would be a little stale. Aligado in Hazlet was decent, but I stopped going when they started charging for every other Soda refill. If people are going to drive out of the Eatontown area for Thai then I would go Four Seasons in Piscataway/Edison(I can never remember which) which is probably the best Thai food I've had in Jersey.

                                            Siam Smiles
                                            1016 State Route 34, Matawan, NJ 07747

                                            Thai Thai Restaurant
                                            3843 Highway 516, Old Bridge, NJ 08857

                                  2. s
                                    scarlet knight RE: equal_Mark Jun 1, 2011 04:10 PM

                                    Do we know for sure TC is closed? I guess someone could give them a call. hate to write them off if they are on vacation.

                                    1. equal_Mark RE: equal_Mark Jun 2, 2011 05:33 AM

                                      I know it's not Monmouth County but my favorite relatively local Thai go-to place is Mie Thai in Woodbridge. I take the train from Little Silver; the restaurant is literally in the shadow of the Woodbridge train station.

                                      I particularly like the Mussels in Thai Basil & chile sauce, Larb, And crispy Duck in Garlic & Chilies. The only occasional issue is getting them to prepare the food spicy enough. I've witnessed idiot braggarts having to send food back after they had proclaimed that the restaurant "can't make it too hot for them." Now the help is reluctant to take folks up on really firing up the food.

                                      Mie Thai
                                      34 Main St, Woodbridge, NJ 07095

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: equal_Mark
                                        Tapas52 RE: equal_Mark Jun 2, 2011 06:49 AM

                                        And I find that many mistake "Extreme Heat " for Good Taste.. ;-)

                                        Good Taste
                                        , Trenton, NJ 08608

                                        1. re: equal_Mark
                                          joonjoon RE: equal_Mark Jun 2, 2011 07:40 AM

                                          You should never send back food for being too hot if you asked for it that way! They're ruining it for the other chile fiends. :)

                                          1. re: joonjoon
                                            equal_Mark RE: joonjoon Jun 2, 2011 07:50 AM

                                            The code phrase to prompt the staff to fire up the food is to say "Richard (the owner) says it's OK..."

                                          2. re: equal_Mark
                                            MGZ RE: equal_Mark Jun 2, 2011 08:23 AM

                                            Thanks for that one, Mark. I'm always looking for places within walking distance of Coastline train stations. (Someday, I'm going to plan my "tour." Though, I suppose I owe it to myself to try this one first.)

                                          3. h
                                            hcentro RE: equal_Mark Jul 9, 2011 08:11 PM

                                            Drove by today and noticed a new sign at this location. I believe it said Bangkok Thai. I couldn't tell if they were open yet.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: hcentro
                                              Tapas52 RE: hcentro Jul 9, 2011 09:29 PM

                                              thanx for the info ...I wonder if they are related to the previous owner or?

                                              1. re: hcentro
                                                pinksalt RE: hcentro Jul 12, 2011 04:08 PM

                                                Bangkok Thai is the new name on sign. Not sure if they are opened. No cars in the parking lot at lunch hour. A friend, who knows the owner when it was Thai Chilies, told me he's doing renovations. I'll see if I can get more info.

                                                1. re: pinksalt
                                                  pinksalt RE: pinksalt Jul 15, 2011 08:09 AM

                                                  Bangkok Thai opening sometime in August. After new owners return from their trip to Thailand.

                                                  1. re: pinksalt
                                                    mastermix RE: pinksalt Aug 3, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                    Been there a few times when Thai Chilies, always liked the food. The lack of a credit card machine near the closing was kind of a pain, but there is an ATM next door. Looking forward to checking out the new joint. That location has been through lots of changes since it was Fred's Diner when I was a kid!

                                                    1. re: mastermix
                                                      Tapas52 RE: mastermix Aug 3, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                      I'm a cash only man so CC & ATM's don't bother me.....but, .can't wait to see what goes in that space soon....been going there since Tokyo & Thai Chilies......btw thanx for the history lesson I didn't know about Fred's.. ;-) what year was that?

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