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Pandan Room, Hacketstown

j
jodell Mar 13, 2011 09:25 AM

Pandan Room
100 East Moore Street, Hacketstown NJ
(they have a website...)

OK, bonafides: I am a (retired) chef, dine out a lot, from a food family (my son chefs at Nobu, nyc. At the table, I generally know what time it is. PANDAN ROOM, a friendly, beautifully appointed, hugely comfortable room is putting out some of the most interesting food in New Jersey. Take Notice: Chef Jay is an extraordinary Asian Fusionist-- accent on Malay and Thai-- but he does one thing you do not see in every kitchen-- he cooks with LOVE. It pops out of each succulent dish that leaves the passe.

Walk in on a cold evening-- a piping hot cup of caramel-ginger soup will let you know where you are. The atmosphere in the room is always warm People here are having fun, not spending a great deal of money, and just enjoying. Starters that are extarordinary: Roti Canai will float you away on a curry boat, one you can take right into main course. Also stellar: Corn Fritters, spiced by a master. In fact, don't fool around aith starters. Table of 2: get the SAMPLER (about $11) where Chef Jai begins to show you his variety and his subtle hand with spice. Salads are uniformly good, I would say excellent. The only one I didn't take to was the Papaya salad-- but then I am used to an incendiary Thai version. Drunken Shrimp will, sim0ly amaze you..

Chef has some signature entrees, ones he has refined & is able to repeat with excellent consistency (I have eaten here across 3 years). Among these are among his Ponti Pork and, when available, his sumptuous, virtuous, succulent Rack of Pork ribs, with a totally unique sweet, spicy tang that makes you forget, for a while, anout Texas, Kansas City, or Memphis. Chef Jai serves a world class rack of rib.Massaman Curry, rich in coconut cream, tamarind... you will like this. ANY of his masterful noodle dishes cannot miss.

I could go on and on; this is a GREAT place to eat. It's well worth the hike to Hacketstown, there's not too many other spots (well, one-- but more on that later...) around and--- just go...

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Pandan Room
100 E Moore St, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

  1. n
    nycgenki Aug 6, 2011 01:11 PM

    I agree. Pandan room is excellent. The food is a Thai, Malay mix and is always beautifully cooked and fresh, bursting with flavor. Another amazing place in HTown is across the street Stella Gs which has amazing baked good like scones. http://stellags.com/

    In my opinion Pandan Room is streets ahead of places like Origin Thai in Morristown and most places in the city.

    One more place to recommend - Pub 199 for cheap fresh delicious lobster !!

    Cheer

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    Origin Thai
    25 Division St, Somerville, NJ 08876

    Stella G's
    186 Main St, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

    Pub 199
    199 Howard Blvd, Mount Arlington, NJ 07856

    Pandan Room
    100 E Moore St, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

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