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Apr 12, 2013 04:23 PM

Muang Thai Red Bank

Went for lunch and found they are in a soft opening until the big grand opening/Thai new year celebration this weekend. I enjoyed my bowl of Tom Kha Gai very much and am looking forward to trying a full meal this Sunday.
Since Red Bank is also having a street fair this Sunday, it sounds like a nice day to be there. The owner also told me that they have a garden in the back that they will open. I miss Bienvenue, but wish Muang Thai well in their old space.

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    Was looking at the menu online and was curious about the "Vegetarian Duck Entrees"

    Is this an aspect of Thai cuisine I had been unaware of? Do they have a tradition of raising ducks with a vegetarian lifestyle to be used as an ingredient in their cooking. Are these Vegan ducks or some looser understanding of their regular diet?

    5 Replies
    1. re: equal_Mark

      I've heard some of the Vegan ducks won't even wear clothes made from animal products. They don't mind paying some extra bills for faux leather etc.

      1. re: equal_Mark

        I almost forgot how funny you are =M! We need to hang out again soon.

        Vegetarian duck is just duck flavored textured vegetable protein, but I get the feeling you already know that ;o)

        1. re: seal

          Not gonna get in to Vegan duck head... Oops! Never mind. ;-)

        2. re: equal_Mark

          Pretty sure it's wheat gluten (similar to seitan) flavored with soy sauce/MSG. It's called vegetarian duck because the surface texture resembles a plucked duck. Popular in vegetarian Chinese cuisine.

          1. re: maditudinal

            Too funny about ducks with vegan lifestyles ;o)

            I've been back to eat here since my first post and I found the food decent, but not great. I still think the best thing they make is the Tom Kha Gai soup. We had a few curries last time and one dish with sweet chili sauce that we liked as well.

        3. I will definitely get over to check this place out. The pricing looks a little lower than Siam which is a plus.

          1 Reply
          1. re: corvette johnny

            I had lunch there yesterday. Not bad. They were willing to give me a spicy version of "drunken noodles". It was lip sweat spicy, not brow sweat or nose runnin' spicy. They appear to use only dried red chiles to add heat. Personally, I prefer incorporating fresh green and red bird chiles, as well as the dried, in my Thai dishes when I cook at home. That's the way they do it at Lers Ros in SF and I've never had Thai food that good, so I adopted the approach.

            The ten dollar lunch special is a good value. I'd give it a B to B-, at this point, but, in fairness one visit is not enough to properly judge. I do think it's better than the place in the Galleria.

          2. I ate there last night with my wife. It was pretty good. I definitely will be back to try a few more dishes.

            Tom Ka Gai and Tom Yum Gai were spot on. My wife had the yellow curry dish which had some great flavor but a little on the smaller side I would say. I had the "king" which came with 2 skewers each of beef, chicken and shrimp satay. Shrimp were real dry but the beef and chicken were very good. The side of peanut sauce was real tasty.

            Next time I think I will opt for some chicken satay as an appetizer. " The King" came with a load of fried rice too....quite a large helping.

            The pricing is fair for red bank, lower than Siam. Anyway, with such a huge menu, I would recommend stopping by to try a dish or two.

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. My family ate there last night....and it got a thumbs up from me. We had the Tom Kha Gai, Chicken Satay, Pad Thai, and a vegetarian red curry.

                The Tom Kha Gai was fairly mild (we got it mild, my wife is not thrilled with spicy), heavy on the coconut milk, but on the whole good. The flavors weren't as complex as they could be, but definitely acceptable. The pieces of lemon grass were on the large side, and I don't really like to chew on them, so that was a bit annoying, but sadly fairly common in newer thai restaurants.

                The Chicken Satay was decent. I'm not sure why, but since I lived in Australia, I have become addicted to places that quasi roast/bake the chicken in the satay sauce.....and this place the chicken was nice, and the satay sauce was also quite good. Light on the peanut and coconut, but decent texture and flavor. Definitely acceptable.

                The red curry was spicy, and I loved it. Took me a moment to adjust to it, but it hit the spot. I got the vegetarian/fried tofu, and was thrilled that they loaded up on the veggies. The sauce was good, had that familiar red curry flavor, but again not as complex a flavor as it could have had. Missing I think some of the balance of the oyster/fish sauce.

                My wife's pad thai, was very mild. Not overly complex, but she liked it. I like a bit more going on with the fish sauce in Pad Thai than she does, so it fit her palate, but for me it could have been better.

                They gave us some free fried banana spring rolls for dessert, and those were tasty...mostly cause I love bananas, fresh, fried, flambeed, whatever.

                Decor comes off a bit almost Indian in the place instead of Thai, but that is probably because it has vestages of Bienvenue in there.

                On the whole, I liked it. Definitely acceptable, and if they have delivery, which I think they are going to, it is going to be a no brainer for us. Compared to Siam Garden, Siam wins on presentation, but I like smaller more intimate and would choose Muang over Siam. I think that the Siam flavors are a bit too americanized....but still good.

                I thought portion sizes were decent....I didn't get the opinion that they were small....but compared to NYC, all portion sizes down here are huge.

                2 Replies
                1. re: legallink

                  "Decor comes off a bit almost Indian in the place instead of Thai, but that is probably because it has vestages of Bienvenue in there."

                  There are so many bad paint spots on the walls that it is actually funny to look at. I coulda painted the walls better if I was blindfolded. Nonetheless, I'm lookin' forward to going back at some point.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    I thought bad paint spots was a bit of the charm! :)