Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Marnee Thai 2 is Number 2

I finally hit the Marnee Thai on 9th. I'd been meaning to check it out for years, but with the original MT just a few blocks from where I live (and having heard that it's the better of the two), I just kept putting it off. So here's how it breaks down:

The crispy Corn Cakes and cucumber salad are delightful, though MT #1's are more gingery and better seasoned than MT #2's. Nevertheless, I gobbled up 3 fritters in 3 minutes (or less?).

The Chan Pad Poo (a variation of pad thai but with crab meat instead) was just as fun to eat as it is to say (Chan Pad Poo ... Chan Pad Poo ... Chan Pad Poo), though I think it was kept in the wok a hair too long—a little too much cling in them thar stick rice noodles.

The Prig Khing - J (green beans, tofu cubes, baby corn and mushrooms sautéed with a hot chili paste) also got good marks, but again I think it was a B+ to MT #1's A. This version's a bit sweeter than I remember the other one to be. (My Thai cook friend's number one criticism of Americanized Thai cuisine is that sugar is used with a heavy hand. ... I agree.)

And finally, the Kang Keaw (spicy green curry with coconut milk, chunks of eggplant and lots of basil leaves) was just right. It gave off a frolicking heat that was cut very nicely by the creamy coconut milk and sugar (and in this case, the perfect amount of sweet to savory).

Both Marnee Thais put out good food, but sequels rarely top the original.

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