Anything But Serene to One's Taste Buds - Explosion of Deliciousness!
Wished we lived closer to Toms River, NJ so that we can return frequently for meals at The Serenity Cafe (TSC)! "Who'd a thunk" ??!! Went to TSC this past Thursday with 7 other people and we all had different selections, from seafood to beef to vegan dishes. There was nothing left on the plates, and let me confirm, there was enough to take home but we all consciously devoured our respective lunches. Oh wait, we also found room to order dessert, too! And not just any dessert, but incredible creations that just played with one's taste buds. I am salivating remembering that lunch. The service was friendly and informative. They did not try to rush the patrons through the meal, but appeared to encourage one to sit back and enjoy the gourmet experience. I ordered the Coconut Shrimp in Tropical Mango Sauce. Subconsciously, I was expecting heavily breaded small fried shrimp that would be smothered in a sweet sauce. HELLO! My taste buds were awakened to lightly breaded shrimp with that wonderful fusion of the tropics (coconut and mango) taste. Wow, the shrimp to bread crumb ratio was definitely in favor of the shrimp. I even shared half with my husband who devoured his Thai seared tuna. Is it possible to dine out while on diets??!! Well, if one goes to The Serenity Cafe, one can. Unique selections, incredible combinations, and reasonable prices for gastronomical creations...what a terrific find in Toms River!!! Something good from the Jersey Shore!
The Serenity Cafe is located in a strip mall, but don't let that throw you. Walk through the door you enter a warm and inviting dining room. We were there for lunch and it was light and inviting. I imagine dinner would be just as warm and inviting...maybe even romantic. Reservations would be a wise thing for lunch and dinner or prepare to wait. But worth it!
The Serenity Cafe
2008 Route 37 East, Toms River, NJ 08753
Sorry for misleading, The Serenity Cafe (TSC) is not Thai. I would say it is basically American fusion. After all, America is the incorporation of many cultures, so is the offering at TSC. Gary is the owner-chef. It is my understanding that he was the sous chef for Jeffries (now closed, was also located in Toms RIver). I never had the opportunity to dine at Jeffries, but friends claim it was another great spot. TSC serves lunch and dinner and does catering. One can order complete dinner packages or platters for Christmas with pick up on Dec 24th. Again, wish I lived closer. May have to have my husband do a "run" one day for a special occasion.
The menu serves up selections of roasted tenderloin or prime ribs of beef, crab cakes, salmon, shrimp dishes, vegans, etc. The sauces add to the offering. It was my first time but wanted to bring it to Chowhounders' attention.
Six of us dined at Serenity Cafe about a month ago and happy to report the food was good. The menu changes often and has something for everyone.
The food is along the lines of Bistro 44, new American mostly. Worth a try if your in the neighborhood. Prices are very fair. BYO. Here is a link to the latest menu.