Cheap date, for one meal anyway

August 20, 2010


In sort of the same spirit as my recent foray to Himalayan Restaurant, tonight I visited Chai’s Thai Restaurant, which is the restaurant nearest to my home that I have never been to. The goal this time was to order the least expensive thing on the menu. I had two choices, edamame and fried tofu.

I think it’s safe to say that recently I have been on a bent to sample new and weird foods. And when I say weird, I only mean stuff that you won’t find at Applebee’s. I certainly do not mean that I think the various ethnicities that inspire the dishes are weird. On the contrary. It’s very interesting to experience new things and it’s a little bit of an adrenaline rush if you feel a little uncomfortable in the process.

I have had edamame before which is why I ordered the fried tofu. And I have had tofu many times before as well, but not in a form that was fried, or at least not the way I was imagining this would be fried tonight. Now that I think about it, I guess I was making certain assumptions because it was in the Appetizers part of the menu. 

With entree items in the past, the tofu has come in inch-square cubes, browned and obviously at least sauteed, which I suppose is technically, basically, fried. For some reason I subconsciously figured that this fried tofu appetizer would somehow be crispier. 

And it was. It was sliced into quarter-inch thick squares and had obviously bathed in the deep-fat-fryer for a few minutes. It was served with a spicy peanut sauce and a sweet-and-sour type glaze. The tofu itself, of course, was bland, but the sauces were quite tasty indeed. I particularly liked the peanut sauce, probably because it was thicker and stuck to the tofu squares long enough to get to my mouth, versus running off like the sweet-and-sour. 


It was enough to hold me until my entree arrived—pineapple duck with bok choy and vegetables. I’m sure I’ve had duck at least once in my life but I don’t really remember, so I figured it was closer to something I had never had before than the mahi mahi green curry, which also sounded delicious but the components of which I know I’ve had before. These were the two daily specials. You can see from the menu that they have lots of delicious dishes. 

The pineapple duck was quite spicy and just about right. Unfortunately, the venue was not air conditioned and this was a humid summer’s day, so it didn’t take long for me to start sweating like you do with spicy food. The lighting was also very dim, so these aren’t the greatest photos ever either.

I think maybe we need to have a standing mission to try a new restaurant monthly. This has been enjoyable. 


One Response to “Cheap date, for one meal anyway”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    i love the plating on the duck 🙂 Fried tofu is one of my favorite snacks. I make it with five spice blended into the coating and the kids eat it for dessert.

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