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Jun 12, 2009 05:11 AM

MANOW in Lincroft- EAT HERE

Have now been to Manow five times in the last five weeks.

In a less than desireable location, Manow is making some of the best Thai food around. Forget the other "Thai" restauarants in the area. There may be prettier restaurants around, but the FOOD, which is why we all eat out, is simply amazing. They are not very busy but deserve to be packed. Last night we had three new dishes- Green curry with shimp, fantastic flavor, huge shrimp, and fresh was the Manow version of pad thai- this is not my favorite dish, and yet Manow's was tasty and interesting. Lastly, and the table favorite, was Basil DUCK- I go on record here to say this is ONE OF THE BEST duck dishes being served in the country!!

This restaurant deserves each and every Chowhound's attention. Get here before it's too late and they have to close. Food this good, deserves matter where they are located.

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  1. Manow has become our "go to" spot in this area when we're in the mood for Thai because the food is so excellent. Other Hounds agree:

    2 Replies
      1. re: Tapas52

        I wouldn't write off Thai Chilis in Eatontown either. Competition is a good thing...

        I do enjoy talking to Rebecca at Manow. The food is good at Thai Chilies, but English is definitely a second or third language...

    1. I hope more folks discover Manow. We went there with two other couples on Friday night and other than another table for two the place was empty. Which I do not understand because the food was WONDERFUL. We all agreed we'd discovered a new favorite, and we'll be back again...soon.

      We started with a few appetizers. I would highly recommend the spring rolls, thin fingers that are crispy without being overfried, and served with a wonderful sauce. Next time we'll order two portions. The gyoza and chicken sate were also good.

      For entrees we shared Red Curry Chicken ( wonderful sauce), Pad Kee Maow with Beef (we ordered it mild and it was pleasantly tingly), Hudson Valley Duck Breast (nicely prepared and paired with sweet potatoes) and their version of Grand Marnier Shrimp which was among the best we'd tasted.

      We're eager to return and try some of the other dishes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: donnalzs

        Great review...just today I put Manow on my must go list of restaurants as per CH recommendations.


      2. The Spicy Mussel appetizer at Manow is also excellent. The only thing I can figure as to why the place isn't more popular is that the location is not exactly prime. It seems a good example of something hiding in plain sight...

        11 Replies
        1. re: equal_Mark

          I so wanted to give them a try for a late lunch this weekend. Regrettably they close between 3 and 4:30 (I assume to get ready for dinner service) and was therefore unable to make it. I hope to re-schedule very soon.

          1. re: equal_Mark

            Maybe they are counting on the college scene up the road for many does this place seat?

            1. re: Tapas52

              There are about a dozen or so tables.

              1. re: Tapas52

                One assumes they're hoping for the college crowd, because the traditional Lincroft lunchtime crowd of people from AT&T, Prudential, Lucent, etc., have mostly been downsized, and the remainder don't have time to go out to eat. :-(

                (I suspect that the Holmdel Macaroni Grill may have been a casualty of this, as it was a popular lunch placewhen I was working at Lucent.)

                1. re: eleeper

                  I hope they do well to stay around a long while............

                  1. re: eleeper

                    Manow did have a steady stream of customers in house and take out orders during lunch the day I was there a few weeks back.

                    Random Side Note: In General So many restaurants do not understand the power of a robust website.

                    Especially at lunch, they would increase sales if only for enhanced Internet capabilities, and competent delivery people with good communication skills. The number of potential customers held hostage in corporate cubes, in need of good food is astounding.

                    1. re: shabbystorm

                      Agreed! Their web site needs ALOT of work and should be interactive. BUT, the DUCK is to DIE AND GO TO HEAVEN!!!!!

                      1. re: sockster

                        To each his own. I tasted the tamarind duck on Saturday night and it was fine but hardly life-altering. I liked the mussels with basi well enough. There was a mushroom starter that was perfectly uninteresting, an order of satay, that was, well, satay. One of our party was thrilled to see roti canai on the menu and the curry dipping sauce was very good, but the portion of roti was rather mean. The pad kra prow was good but I found the pad kee maow disappointing, not as spicy as I'd hoped and rather carelessly made. Our server was pleasant and efficient and we liked the food well enough to return, but it didn’t drive me to hyperbole.

                        1. re: Deb Van D

                          On my visit the waitress asked us individually what level of spicing we wanted - one, two, or three stars. I thought this was a nice touch. Better still, they actually served the food at the required spicing levels. The room was nicely appointed and the service was pleasant and efficient.

                          The food was fine, a solid B.

                          My mushroom app., billed as "Fresh shitake and button mushroom sautéed with Thai basil bamboo shoots and carrots" was one just OK. Ordered at a spicing level of 2 stars, the only heat I could detect was from black pepper. The shitake mushrooms were slivers and not particularly substantial. Overall the dish was one dimensional.

                          My Pad Gra Prow, ordered with chicken, was somewhat better. The spicing level was appropriately high but the dish lacked the complexity that you find at better Thai restaurants. It was pleasant and I'd order it again but next time I'll adjust my expectations accordingly. (BTW, I found the almost complete absence of pork on the menu surprising and disappointing. It's a staple in Thai cooking.)

                          I think Manow is a solid neighborhood restaurant in an area where the competition is pretty bad on the Asian front. They deserve support for raising the bar on Asian dining but I hope they raise it a bit higher in the coming months.

                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                            Oh, I forgot to mention that when we arrived at 1PM the place was almost empty, yet the waitress directed us to a small two-person table up against a divider, instead of a larger table with room on both sides. (In fact, we had started to sit at a larger table, and she asked us to move.)

                      2. re: shabbystorm

                        Does anyone know if they do any advertising? Although I don't live too far from Manow, I'm not in that immediate area. So I have no idea whether they advertise in any of the myriad mailers that show up regularly in everyone's mailboxes. Coupons can bring in business. Actually, now that I think about it, it would be a good idea for them to advertise in the mailers we get since we're only a 10-minute ride away.

                2. I agree. I have been there, and its great. Its a full entree price less than Siam Garden, AND its a BYO, which, lets face it, is a great thing when the place has great food.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: metalrat

                    Went AGAIN last night...had the ginger duck, which honestly was not my favorite of the duck dishes...the tamarand and the basil leaf were much better, (crispy skin rather than duck breast,) to my taste, but we had the Thai noodles with shrimp which was totally amazing. Don't wait for coupons. It's reasonable.....and wonderful....

                    1. re: sockster

                      We went at lunchtime a couple of days ago. The crispy noodle curry was good, but on the whole the lunch menu is nothing special.

                  2. Went for FD dinner. Food was excellent as expected. But the service was exceedingly slow and haphazard. I will continue to go as the food is great, but maybe only for lunch.

                    I hope they fix the service problems, as that is possibly contributing to the small house many have observed.