Monday, June 20, 2011

time for tub tim thai

My mom heard about Tub Tim Thai from ABC7 Chicago food reporter Steve Dolinsky (a.k.a. The Hungry Hound).  Based on his recommendations, the restaurant created a special meal option on the menu: 2 appetizers, 1 main course, and 1 dessert.  We couldn't resist!  (The pictures I took were from my camera phone because I forgot my other camera at home, whoops).
Meang Kum: Fresh Chapoo leaves topped with roasted coconut, sun-dried shrimp, diced ginger, shallots, lime, peanuts and Thai hot pepper on the side served with its original sauce. 

We were apprehensive to try this dish because we had never heard of it.  But Steve Dolinsky had reported that it was a must-have because you can't find it at any other restaurant, and boy was he right!!  This dish was the most memorable part of the meal.  You basically shove the entire thing, leaf and all, into your mouth.  It's a light and crispy flavor explosion!  I especially liked the subtle punch of the Thai hot pepper and biting into the little sliver of lime.

Thai Crispy Crepe: Thin crispy crepe filled with minced shrimp, coconut, tofu, bean sprouts and ground peanuts served with cucumber salad. 

My second favorite!  Again, everything was very light and crispy.  I always get nervous when I see "coconut" in the description because I don't want it to overpower the dish, but it was the perfect undertone to the fresh bean sprouts.
Chicken salad: Ground chicken tossed with scallions, shallots, and cilantro in fresh lime sauce.

Simple and delicious!
Sizzling Salmon with Panang curry

The salmon is crispy on the outside and tender inside.  The waitress poured the curry on it tableside so we could watch and hear it sizzle.
Charcoal boiled chicken: Marinated half chicken seasoned with coconut milk and Thai seasoning. 

Served with sticky rice in a cute basket!  The chicken was very tender and juicy.  This dish wasn't included in the special combo but we really wanted to try it.  Good choice!
Sweet rice with mango

Warm sweet rice and ripe mango- the perfect summer treat!

       Our experience at Tub Tim Thai was greatly enhanced by our very bubbly and somewhat eccentric waitress.  Minutes after being seated, she approached us in her softspoken manner and asked if we were Thai. 
       "No, we're Chinese."
       "Ohhhh really?  Wow, you [me] are so cute!  Very cute!  So cute!  How old are you?"
       "I'm actually 21."
       "Wowwww really?  You look very young, like 15!  High school!  Ohhhh but now you can drink! [brushes my arm]."
       "Hahahahahaha!"  my mom and I laugh a little nervously, causing the waitress to squeal in more delight.
      "Ahhhhh both SO CUTE!  You look like sisters!!  Maybe because you have similar haircuts.  You both look so young.  SO CUTE!!!"  [but she didn't look that much older than me so I don't know why she was obsessing over our appearances]
       This continued throughout the entire meal.  It was pretty funny, but I felt like the entire waiting staff was staring at us especially when we became the only ones left in the restaurant (they serve lunch until 3 p.m. and the kitchen re-opens at 5 p.m.).  It wasn't annoying or anything, just kind of funny and strange.  And since we were the only ones left when the kitchen had closed, the waitress had to see us to the door and help us unlock it so we could leave.  Of course, she had a few parting words for us:
       "Sooooo cuuuuteee.  I want to keep you both here!"  It was a little hard to understand her, but I thought she asked what school I attended.
       "I go to school in Los Angeles.  I'm actually leaving tomorrow."
       "Ahhhhh noooo so sad!!!  When will you be back?"
       "Probably Christmas."
       "Ahhhh ok, well I'll be here forever!  I'll be waiting for you!  Ahh soooo cute!!!  What is your name?"
       "Ahh Stephanie!"
       "Haha, no, Daphne.  D-a-p-h-n-e."
       "Daphne?  Ahhhh so cute!  I've never heard of a name like that before.  [to my mom] And your name?"
       "Mary.  It's easy and simple."
       "HAHAHAHA!" [but we're both clueless as to why my mom's response was "so cute."]

Definitely an unforgettable meal!


  1. LOL!! I loved this post!! The Thai food sounds so good!

  2. Want. Your. Mom's. Recipe. For. Red. Curry. With. Chicken.
    Will. Die. Without. It.


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