I have been meaning to visit the restaurant PaaDee Thai comfort food พาดี (it’s name means bringing good things) ever since I heard the name and their desire to provide authentic street food and home food from Thailand. Yet, it was only recently that I finally got around to it. I had been hearing amazing things about their restaurant within a restaurant, Lang Baan (which means back of the house) and decided I couldn’t go to Lang Baan until I had experienced where it began, PaaDee.
This restaurant definitely lives up to its name. I was having a very mixed day- sad, irritated, annoyed, introspective. By the end of my happy hour visit, I was in good spirits. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
The happy hour items include 6 snacks and 3 dishes which you would normally find from street cart in Northern Thai cities (most of my experience has been in Chiang Mai, with a little in Bangkok). Of the 9 items, I sampled
- Muu ping, a grilled pork skewer.
- Neua Yang, a steak and sticky rice appetizer
- Peek gai tod, fried wings glazed in Sriracha fish sauce. If you come here, you must get this, happy hour or not.
In terms of cocktails, I tried 2 of the happy hour cocktails: the Strawberry Pineapple Infused Shochu, on the rock was refreshing with a bit of sweet citrus that made it way too easy to drink. The next was The Waterfall cocktail, with Jinro shochu, shrub, muddled cucumber, lemon and thyme which I thought was the better drink personally
Tao hoo tod, fried tofu with crushed peanuts and white sesame sauce. This was ok- I think I’ve had better, especially considering some high quality fresh tofu that is available in Portland. This was the only time I thought their sauces fell short, as I enjoyed all the other sauce accompaniments you see in this post.
Kanom gui chai, which are pan fried chinese chive cakes served with a sour soy sauce. These chive cakes were the size of my palm. And there were 3 of them! Yay! I was happy that F got to try these because often the best dishes in a Thai restaurant are not vegetarian friendly (ahem- see the fried wings above), but these are vegetarian and really good! I have a real soft spot for anything with gui chai, which are chinese chives. I’ve only seen them sold in Asian markets so I don’t usually get to cook with them.
Kanom Jeen Gang Keaw Gai, a green curry noodles dish with chicken usually (but we substituted tofu), Thai eggplant, bamboo shoot, red bell peppers, grachai and basil. Gang Kiew means green curry, and the Kanom Jeen refer to these thin white noodles. This is the way my mom serves green curry when she makes it.
F was very patient with me as I tried to follow through with my goal from the last Portland Bloggers workshop which was focused on photography and practice with more kinds of shots that try to tell a story with the food.
I definitely want to come back- but I got full all on appetizers so had no room for the other dishes that caught my eye, mainly the Gai Grop Sam Yan with crispy chicken, cashews, scallions and dry chilies over rice and the Plaa trout tod nahm pla, which this fried whole trout with fish sauce sounds just like what my family would order, but it also comes with apple salsa so.. what? I want to see what this is!
Everything I had did remind me of something I would expect to taste in Thailand, so it was very authentic. The flavors are a complex mix of what Thai palates look for- salty, sour, spicy, sweet. The atmosphere doesn’t have the real Thai feel/charm that Andy Ricker’s Sen Yai does, but honestly neither does Pok Pok (and this doesn’t hae the hustle bustle and long wait Pok Pok does). Honestly the fact I am comparing it equally with Andy Ricker and with Thai street food in actual Thailand says it all.