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Amphawa Thai Noodle (SF)

Thanks to the tip from somtam (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8515...), I gave this new spot a try via delivery. Reports say the owners are the same, with just a new chef.

I tried the Kra Prow Moo Krob, pork belly sauteed with basil which I always order at Lers Ros. Amphawa's version uses pork belly that is cooked down even further, almost too crispy, and the meat on the small pieces is a bit too dry. However, the flavor is good, cooked into the ingredients, without much sauce. I liked that it came with plenty of onions, carrots, bell peppers, and jalapenos.

I also tried their Koh Moo Yang, grilled pork "shoulder", but really pork neck. Their version is pretty standard, comes with a similar sauce as LR, but with some cabbage to munch on. Not much smoky flavor though, I think Sai Jai does this dish the best.

My favorite dish was Tom Luad Moo, pork entrails, blood, and housemade peppery meatballs, in a clear broth. It had intestines, spleen, cubes of pork blood along with lettuce, cilantro and a bit of scallion. The broth was perfect, not too salty, really garlicky, and picked up a bit of the entrail flavor.

They have quite a few other noodle soups that I'm curious about, as well as Kao Soi, which a yelper said was the best they've tried. Also, I've never heard of the dish somtam recommended, "Hoi Tod", which a friend told me was like a fried clam pancake. I would've ordered it, but forgot to refer to the post. Hope to hear more reports, this place has a lot of potential from what I tasted.

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  1. Thanks for this report...hadn't heard about this place, but I'm always on the lookout for great kao soi so will give it a try soon!

    Dave MP

    1. Great tip. This definitely goes on the list!

      1. Glad you tried it, I too was intrigued by somtam's post.

        Hoi Tod is made with mussels, sort of a mussel omelet or pancake.

        http://amphawathaionlineordering.com/

        5 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I actually tried the Hoi Tod at the restaurant over the weekend. It's pretty nice with beer and reminded me of Vietnamese Banh Xeo. The outer shell was nice and crispy and the inside had more batter, with the mussels and bean sprouts. It's served with a sweet chili sauce that's not as sweet as your average bottled version.

          Today I ordered delivery again and had Kao Soi and Guai Jubb. The latter is similar to Tom Luad Moo. Guai Jubb includes square rice noodles and crispy pork belly. If the pork belly is the same used in the Kra Prow Moo Krob, then my first try may have been an off day. Today it was perfectly crispy, with moist meat; and the pieces were a tad bigger. The broth is darker from the addition of soy, I believe, to the Tom Luad Moo soup base. I loved the textural contrast with the pork belly in this dish. I'll be ordering this soup from now on.

          The Kao Soi here is the dry yellow curry version, not the soupy fermented soybean paste version I had when I was in Chang Mai. cagliostro breaks down the differences here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4478...
          It's served with egg noodles, strips of chicken, pickled greens, crispy won ton strips, and raw red onion. The yellow curry is a bit on the heavy side and overwhelmed the dish for me. Some lime would have helped bring another element to the dish. Unfortunately I didn't have any at home. I think I prefer the Lao version myself.

          1. re: DezzerSF

            How dry was the curry in the kao soi? No broth at all? Or had it soaked into the noodles too much?

            1. re: Dave MP

              It kinda reminded me of the dry Burmese curry chicken noodle dish (well it pretty much is, right?). And there wasn't much of a broth, rather a thick sauce that covered the noodles. It came in a rectangular plastic takeout container, so I was a little puzzled myself at first when I didn't see a separate broth container. Not sure how it's served inside the restaurant.

              1. re: DezzerSF

                Huh, interesting! I've never seen Kao Soi like that. I feel like I'd want to add a bit of broth, especially if you found the yellow curry overpowering. Regardless, will try it soon and report back!

            2. re: DezzerSF

              The hoi tod sounds good. I've had some that were so heavy, soggy and oily, that all you could do was pick out the mussels and leave the detritus behind.

          2. ate here for the first time yesterday. Didn't get adventurous as I was craving Pad Thai. Very thin noodles made for an oddly moist and clumpy/mushy texture. Tofu was a bit off, being slight sour. The flavor was better than some places where pad thai tastes like ketchup. Pineapple fried rice was a fairly bland version with very little curry powder. Thai Ice Tea Lemonade was pretty great though... Going to give the place another try though. Always up for trying pork belly and shoulder dishes. I'd rather have an oyster pancake than a mussel pancake though.

            7 Replies
            1. re: kairo

              Question about the Thai ice tea lemonade, was that made without any milk (sweetened condensed or otherwise)? If so, I had that at a Lao restauarant in Fresno and the folks there called it Lao ice tea to differentiate it from the Thai version that has sweetened condensed milk in it.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                No milk of any kind. I assumed it would not, as that might be a bit gross... but using the words Thai Iced Tea definitely added some confusion and I felt I had to ask first. Definitely the best Arnold Palmer I've ever had. It should really be called a Thai Arnold Palmer.

                1. re: kairo

                  My vote is to call it a Chinnarat Phadungsil. Too much of a mouthful?

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinnara...

                  1. re: bigwheel042

                    Love you guys!

                    And now that drewski has reminded me, the version I had was made with limes, not lemons.

                2. re: Melanie Wong

                  I was turned onto something similar to this with lime by a Thai friend.

                  Thai iced tea w/ no milk and squeezing a few lime wedges in. He said this is how his family always drinks it at home.

                  I ask for it this way at restaurants and frequently get comments from the servers on how I learned of it and that it's a pretty common way of drinking it among Thai folks.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Melanie, would that have been B&K Kitchen?

                    Cheers,

                    Dave

                3. Here's pics of:
                  Tom Luad Moo, Hoi Tod, Guay Jubb toppings (takeout), Kao Soy (takeout)

                   
                   
                   
                   
                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DezzerSF

                    I got some takeout kao soy last night from Amphawa Thai, and it was very good. Mine looked pretty different from DezzerSF's though....much more broth (though it was still a thick and pretty potent soup). Nice spice level for me (not overly spicy, but not mild) and the crispy noodles were still crunchy even after a 15 minute drive. Generous serving for $8.50 and I'd definitely return to try it at the restaurant, where I think it might be better still

                     
                    1. re: Dave MP

                      Wow, yeah that looks way different than my order. Mine barely had any yellow curry to begin with, while yours is filled to the brim. And the color is different as well. I'll try it again in the restaurant too.