Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thai at On's Kitchen

Meing-Kum from On's Kitchen
(photo by Tom Wallace, StarTribune)
I'm lucky to have a sister here in the Twin Cities who shares my passion for Thai cuisine. She knew right where to take me for a fantastic Thai dining experience: On's Kitchen in St. Paul. She recommended practically everything on the menu, but we narrowed it down to the Meing-Kum, Haw-Mok, Tom Yum, and Panang Curry.

Meing-Kum is definitely a new favorite for me. It's a plateful of Thai flavors: diced ginger, lime, red onion, chili peppers, peanuts, dried shrimp, toasted coconut, a sweet-salty sauce, and lettuce leaves. Our server showed us how to make a small cone with a lettuce leaf, which we then filled with a little bit of everything from the plate. The idea is to pop the whole thing into your mouth (I did it in two bites, which was probably a lot messier than the single-bite method) for a burst of flavors – sweet, salty, spicy, and sour – exactly what Thai food is all about!

The Haw-Mok was the only thing I didn't really care for. It's steamed fish with curry flavors and a kind of custardy texture. It was fine, but I wouldn't order it again. My sister, however, really enjoyed it, so it's worth a try if it sounds like something you might go for, plus the presentation – in a banana leaf – is quite nice.

The Tom Yum was excellent. I loved the flavorful mushrooms and fried tofu in the soup (you can get it with your choice of meat or tofu) and the hot & sour broth was wonderful, although I'd request it a little spicier next time. They have a scale of 1 to 10 and we got a 3-4, so there's plenty of room for more heat.

Panang curry is one of my stand-by favorites and On's did not disappoint. Again, I'd like more heat, but it was rich and delicious with perfectly cooked chicken and vegetables, mostly bell peppers. I ate the left-overs for dinner that night... Thai twice in one day makes this girl very happy!

Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos of our food. I copied the Meing-Kum photo, above, from a review in the StarTribune, which can be found here: On's Kitchen Restaurant Review. The review is from April, 2011 and mentions the road construction in the area, which over two years later is still there and still a hassle, but On's Kitchen is worth it. I can hardly wait to go back and taste more!

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