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Rave: Tom Yum Koong, Arlington branch

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As a western suburbs resident, I've lately been on the lookout for good Thai food and hadn't found anything I'd enjoyed until recently. My husband and I have been very much enjoying Tom Yum Koong in Arlington (there's also a Medford branch, methinks).

The service is wonderful. Cheerful, accommodating, helpful. We have ordered delivery several times (and they deliver quite far--we do not live nearby), and once we forgot to put in our customary rice dish order. Five minutes later, a perky woman called us to ask if we'd forgotten our "regular" order.

We tend to do delivery but have also dined in the restaurant, which is clean and bright, tended to by a very friendly host. Very much enjoyed steamed and fried dumplings, shumai (only had steamed, not fried), and delicious, light curry puffs. We've also tried the curry cake appetizer, but found it sort of soggy/chewy -- wouldn't recommend.

What I WOULD highly recommend are the soups: delicious, tantalizingly spicy/sweet tom yum and tom yum koong soups. Their "signature" entree soup is Tom Yum Noodle--a sinus-clearing, sweet hot n soup soup with noodles, crushed peanut, scallion and seafood. I would want to get a cold just to feel justified in ordering this soup! Absolutely wonderful, though I do recommend it more for dine-in as delivery is "assemble your own" and noodles can get dried out easily. The broth on its own is divine.

We have also sampled and enjoyed a very respectable "hot tangerine" chicken and wild boar basil in hot chili sauce--both excellent (though again, eat-in portions are recommended--this time because delivery portions seem smaller). Thai noodles in red curry and massaman curry are both very good, too. Crisp chicken basil is a house specialty comes with a really zingy green sauce that's great lapped up on its own.

Some menu items are lamely named--er, "tilapia fantasy"? "excited eggplant"--but this place is just like that--cute, friendly, warm. Great food. Highly recommend it.

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Tom Yum Koong Restaurant
11 Forest St, Medford, MA 02155

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  1. We order delivery regularly from Tom Yum Koong. Everything you say is spot on in our experience. I particularly like from their "Interesting Pan Fried" section the Basil Chicken. I think Devra First wrote about it once, which prompted me to try it. The Thai version of chicken Milanese! :)

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    Tom Yum Koong Restaurant
    11 Forest St, Medford, MA 02155

    1. Agreed! I was so glad they re-opened after the fire last summer. We got take out last week & it was so much better than we expected.

      Fresh rolls- shrimp cooked perfectly & very tender veggies & tofu.

      Pad Thai- ordered it spicy (not listed that way on the menu) & cooked just like our favorite Thai restaurant in Brooklyn NY made it (Thai Cafe in Greenpoint, if anyone wants to know). Shrimp & chicken cooked exactly right. Noodles with just the right amount of sauce- not wet, not too dry. Most places cook their pad Thai too long or make it too runny.

      Spicy Eggplant- I gobbled this up. The eggplant was so tender & delicious. The spicy sauce wasn't too hot (it could have been spicier for me).

      The menu has so many great options that I will enjoy going there & getting take out for months before I have exhausted all the choices! Yea!

      And yes, this is the 2nd location. Original location is in Medford & they even deliver to MGH, to the delight of some of the nursing staff I know :)

      1. ok this just popped up on buy with me, looking at the menu it looks unadventurous and 'burb' thai. I get worried when I see thai restaurants serving chinese dumplings and Vietnamese fresh rolls. Is this a place just for the pad thai, curry burb crew or is there anything for people who like real thai food.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Janeinma

          seems that the previous posts are speaking about more dishes than just the pad thai.

          1. re: Janeinma

            It's not super-adventurous, no, but it's got good-quality ingredients, and clean flavors that don't just dissolve into a mass of coconut-and-sugar calling itself red curry, etc.

            I wouldn't make a special trip there, but it *is* a good option for less-bland burb thai.

          2. I eat here ALL THE TIME! Love it. My co-workers and I order lunch once a week, and my boyfriend and I order probably every other week for dinner. The curries are all delicious. My go-to is the Panang, but I also love the green curry, which is extremely spicy and only available for dinner. The Tom Yum Koong soup is not to be missed--spicy, savory, perfectly cooked shrimp. Yum. The basil fried shrimp are great, the fresh rolls are great, the shrimp in a blanket are great...I love pretty much everything I've eaten here. To boot, the people who work here are super nice, they deliver a zillion miles away, and the food is consistently good--mistakes or bad dishes are super rare (actually I don't think I've ever had a bad dish...). Highly recommended!

            3 Replies
            1. re: shannaclark

              shanna, have you tried sweet chili and thai moon?

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                I have been to Tom Yum Koong a couple of times since they opened and, in my opinion, it beats Sweet Chili and Thai Moon. The taste is consistently cleaner and fresher than those other places. I especially liked the tilapia dish.

                1. re: dying_for_dosa

                  Having experienced a somewhat downhill trend at Sweet Chili (where I've eaten since they opened many years ago), my wife and I tried Tom Yum Koong for lunch today after reading this thread. People working there were friendly, place is pleasant and clean. To me, the food was underwhelming. I got yellow curry with duck and found the sauce to be quite watery and badly in need of salt. My wife's Panaang duck was a lesser version of the same problem. Ingredients were all fresh and properly cooked and the presentation of the plate was very nice, but flavor wise it left a lot to be desired. I'd give it another try or two before I give up on the place.