Ruuthai - Real Thai in Bridgeport
Fairfield County, CT has never really had authentic Thai in my humble opinion. Yes, I have been to all the standard haunts that many here get excited about. I have usually come away unimpressed. My wife and I used to drive to SriPraPhai in Queens from Stamford to get our fix. This was in the old days before SriPraPhai expanded and was still the "Holiest Hole in the Wall" we had ever been to. It was then, and perhaps still is, one of the top Thai spots on the East coast. With that shrine as our perpetual yardstick, we headed out to Bridgeport on Thursday 4/3/14 to try a new Thai hole in the wall which has had some buzz lately, albeit not here on Chowhound.
Ruuthai (648 Beechwood Ave) apparently opened about 6 months ago. It is a small, brightly painted storefront in a somewhat sketchy, but not too bad, residential neighborhood on the edge of the Black Rock section of Fairfield just over the Bridgeport line. It was a quiet night when we went, Only a few other diners and what looked like a brisk takeout/delivery business. But the look and feel and smell of the place made me hopeful. My Thai spidy-senses were tingling. We were not disappointed.
We started with one of our usual favs, Som Tum (Thai Papaya Salad). It was incredibly fresh, just hot enough and tasty. We had never had Papaya so fresh. It was excellent.
We then went for another old stand-by .. Green Curry Shrimp. The shrimps were nice and fresh. The curry was spicy and delicious without having too much coconut milk or sugar. It was perhaps the best version we had ever had.
We wanted to try something out of the ordinary and there were many options outside of the norm. We ordered the Hor Mok Pla Grai, a curry fish mouse served in banana leaf cups. I have never seen this dish on any other menu. It was warm, soft and mildly spiced. It was very very tasty. We agreed to order it again next time.
Finally, we had another salad .. called Yum Woonsen .. it was 5 jumbo shrimp with ground chicken, glass noodles, onions, carrots
and thai chilli peppers. It too was fresh spicy and delicious. Watch out for the red Thai peppers!
It has been a long time since I have been excited to return to a Thai place. We are already planning our next trip to RuuThai. We look forward to exploring their interesting menu and good assortment of unusual specials.
If your idea of Thai is Pad Thai noodles and sweet/mild pan-Asian food then this might not be for you. If you are interested in fresh, authentic, fantastic Thai then I highly recommend you that you try this great little gem.
RuuThai reminds of SriPraPhai before it was discovered by the masses. Its that good.
Thanks for the comprehensive review. My wife and I have been dismayed at the Thai options in FFC - the best are merely mediocre IMO - so I am looking forward to trying this as soon as I can.
@ruuthai, we are a small humble place with 26 seats. During the week, the dine in are no need for reservation under a party of 4. However, on weekend the reservation are kindly advice.
Never been to SriPraPhai, but appreciated your review and recommendation. This was a fun day trip--nice call, LTSomma!
Having "window shopped" on Ruuthai's FB page, we had to try the chicken curry puff as an appetizer. Think of a Thai empanada--what a delicious idea! It's great with or without the sauce on the side and generously filled.
I chose the chicken larb. People often suck the joy right out of this dish for me personally by killing it with fish sauce. Nope, not here. Plus, it was nice to have something minty on a sunny, spring day. We also shared pork pad ka praw (onion, basil, string bean, bell pepper and Thai chilis).
The portions are generous, service is friendly. Though it's not a fancy sit-down place, it was comfy and clean. I'd love a similar little Thai hole-in-the-wall in our neck of the woods. Thai food's generally not a real strong suit for Middlesex County, either. I would always drive to New London for my favorite. Now I can go in the opposite direction if I like. :) Plus there's Del Prete's for dessert! More on that in a separate thread.
Glad you enjoyed it kattyeyes! We went back for a 2nd time and it was just as good as the first. We also tried the chicken curry puff. Yummy.
We also tried the drunken noodle (with veggies) and it too was wonderful.
I hope the hounds will get out and support this place. Its a Thai oasis here in Fairfield County and I really want it to thrive.
Have been meaning to post about this place, too. Amazing food, lovely people. Order at least twice a week since we discovered it. Blows all prior local Thai out of the water