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Better than average Thai in the TenderNob

Better than average Thai in the TenderNob

Review of: Ar Roi Restaurant
By: Avery Glasser
Rating: 4
Read review on Judy’s Book.

Invariably, I end up having Thai food at least three times a month. Usually, I’m going to Koh Samui and the Monkey for lunch or Osha for pre-drinking Thai noodle goodness. Occasionally, I make the trek out to the Lower Haight for the excellent dishes at Thep Phanom. As you can see, I take my Thai food seriously.

So, when faced with trying to put together a last minute meal for four yesterday (Saturday) in a location close to Rye for after dinner drinks, I immediately thought about choosing a Thai restaurant, and the location that came to mind was Ar Roi.

I’ve been to Ar Roi at various points throughout the past decade, most recently with a large group of coworkers in 2004. Back then, it was a solid Thai restaurant, and I wondered how it stood the test of time.

The answer is that they stood the test of time very well.

The restaurant interior has been updated since my last trip – deep copper tones accented by dark greens and purples. It was warm and definitely felt Thai without being kitschy. Since it was a larger group, we went with two appetizers, a soup, and three entrees.

We started with the Goong Hoompa (aka Goong Gaborg) – shrimp wrapped in wonton wrappers and deep fried as well as an order of Pork Sate. The shrimp were larger than most, extremely fresh, and very well prepared. The pork sate was good, but there was nothing special or distinctive about it.The soup – Tom Kha Goong – or spicy coconut soup with shrimp was better than average – full of flavor and without the typical sheen of oil on top.

For the main courses, we ordered Gangaree Gai (yellow curry chicken with potatos), Gai Grapao (chicken with chili and basil) and a seafood talay (mixed spicy seafood). The curry was mild but richly flavored and for a non-spicy option, it was fantastic. The talay was fine – but the calamari, mussels and scallops were overcooked (the shrimp were fine). The outstanding dish was the grapao – instead of the typical sliced chicken, it was minced and sauteed in a fantastic spicy basil sauce. It’s been 24 hours and I am still thinking about that dish.

All of this and three Thai iced teas came to $75 without tip.

They’re certainly on the list for good Thai in the city. It’s not as good as Thep Phanom, but for the price and location, they’re certainly going to be part of my regular restaurant rotation.

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