YUMMY, another success from Monsoon Siam Thai Restaurant in Charlottesville, VA. You can’t really find this unique dish anywhere else. The 10 other Thai restaurants in the tiny city has nothing on this invention. Monsoon Siam takes calamari to a whole new level, with a spicy Thai twist. Rather than the usual Pad Krapao dish prepared with minced pork or chicken, Monsoon takes the same flavors of the Krapao dish and adapts it to deep fried calamari (squid). The sauce comprises primarily of oyster sauce, chillis, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and other seasonings. The important ingredient is the Krapao leaf or basil. Tons and tons of leaves are flashed and added to the dish for presentation and an aromatic/herbaceous flavor. I give this dish a rating of 9. Try it for yourself!
Once again, I post another picture of papaya salad. It’s my favorite! Except this time, it’s a review on Monsoon Siam Thai Restaurant located in Downtown, Charllottesville, VA. This place was re-opened one year ago by new management. I am happily satisfied with their service and cuisine. Before we get into review of the Papaya Salad, I want to note that for the very affordable price, the atmosphere, and proximity to complete authenticity, you get what you pay for and maybe a little more.
This Papaya Salad was prepared very simple and garnished with grilled shrimp kabob. When it comes to Papaya Salad, many would say that the Laotians take the prize for mastering it. Except, this papaya salad was prepared by a Thai chef who mimics the style that Laotians do it. Depending of what region of Lao, some could go heavy on fermented fish while others can do without. I am a person who can do without. This Papaya Salad almost hit home whenever I get it, and I do get it often. The spicy flavors are just right. The fish sauce and the shrimp paste was in fair proportions. The the sour flavors from the limes rounded it out to perfection. Beautiful artwork on a plate for only $6.95. Enjoy with some sticky rice and make it an entree! I give the dish a rating of 8.5 and the restaurant a rating of 9. I am a little biased because this restaurant is very close to my heart, but I’m sure you’ll get the experience once you visit. My go-to Thai restaurant in Charlottesville!
A traditional oriental delight, moo deng is seasoned with oriental barbeque seasoning, also known as Chinese barbeque pork seasoning. In Southeast Asia, the seasoning is used on any cut of pork and grilled or barbequed. Simply served with rice and a hard boiled egg, it is considered a favorite for many kids. Today, my friend Neiw prepared this specialty and it was quite delicious.
PHO So 1!
Charlottesville, VA is home to the University of Virginia and partying students. However, when you wake up from a hangover and wish you had a nice bowl of hot Pho, the closest Pho restaurant cannot serve you that desire because the taste is not up to par. What to do? Drive to Richmond, VA approximately an hour away. Pho So 1 is quite delicious. As my first restaurant review, I’d give this place an 8.5 out of 10. For those of you who don’t know, my ratings go from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. 8.5 is outstanding in my rating. A 10 screams perfection, meaning that I have to absolutely love the dish and believe that I cannot make it better myself or get better service in any other restaurant. An 8.5 ranks high, meaning that Pho So 1 makes it absolutely up to par. Though not the best I’ve eaten, I can definitely find these flavors in my kitchen. The service is absolutely wonderful, but just typical of a Vietnamese Pho restaurant. The broth was the right balance and the right temperature. If I were to brew up a pot of Pho like this, I’d be satisfied in my kitchen. It was definitely worth the drive so if you’re a UVA student, you should consider making it out there.
Let’s give honor to Thailand’s national dish, Pad Thai! I made this back in October of 2011. I have to say, my recipe is quite unique and delicious. However, I’d have to show you how to make it because everyone has a different style. My very own photo, enjoy!
Ribs. Sticky rice. Thaam maak hoong (papaya salad). These are staple foods you find at a Laotian BBQ. And don’t get this wrong. Sticky rice is COMPLETELY different than what everyone else calls sticky rice. Only Laotians eat sticky rice. Everyone else eats the regular kind. Sticky rice is eaten with your hands.
I could go for some right now.
Kapoon, a very famous curry noodle soup dish from Laos. In Northeaster Thailand region, Isan, there’s a similar rendition called Khao Soi.
What I love about curry is that it is so versatile. From South Asia through Southeast Asia, curry has been incorporated into various dishes like Indian Chicken Tikka Masala, Thai Panang Curry, Indonesian Curried Fried Rice, and Lao Khao Poon.When it comes to curry, no need to be intimidated. At first thought, many people think that curry dishes are difficult to prepare. This may be true for some dishes, but for stir-fry, it’s fairly easy and quick! Today I just threw a few simple ingredients together to make a fantastic lunch in a matter of minutes.
-Chicken Curry Stir Fry (Kua Kai sai Karee)-
Ingredients are: chicken breast, brussel sprouts, carrots, red onion, Thai chilli peppers, garlic, red curry paste, green onion/scallions, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and black peppers.
Preparation: mince a clove of garlic with two chilli peppers. Slice carrots, red onion, scallions, and brussel sprouts. Julienne the chicken breasts.
Heat a wok on medium heat. Add oil and garlic and allow garlic to fuse for a few seconds.
Turn up the flame to high and add chicken pieces. Stir until seared on the outside.
Add teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of cracked black pepper to the chicken. Also, add onions, chilli peppers, and 2 tablespoons of red curry paste. Stir for about two-three minutes.
Add 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of fish sauce. Stir until completely mixed in.
Add carrots, scallions, and brussel sprouts and allow to cook until the chicken and vegetables are ready to eat.
Serve with a side or rice. Garnish with black sesame seeds and chives.
Many of you may have tried this in Thai Restaurants as lettuce wraps. This originally is a Laotian dish, eaten with sticky rice. The recipe includes minced grilled chicken mixed with fresh cilantro, scallions, kafir lime leaves, onions, lots of fresh hot chili peppers, and long green beans. It is flavored with lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and anchovies. I made this with my mom for the first time. Enjoying this with hot sticky rice and a nice glass of cold beer sounds magnificent!