Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-3PM, Sa-Su: 12:30PM-3PM; Dinner: Mo-Su 5PM-10PM
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Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
Good Thai food is worth a drive. And you’ll be happy to drive to Ploy Siam, a breath-taking Thai restaurant in Robbinsville, NJ (quite close to the new Papa’s Tomato Pies location), about 15 minutes from downtown Trenton. Inside this unprepossessing strip mall restaurant you’ll find an oasis of relaxation and elegance. The restaurant’s decor is simply stunning; nicely trimmed walls with elegant art surround a central skylight which shines down on a small fountain leading to an orchid-lined stream. If you sit in the center of the restaurant (and I’d encourage you to do so), it’s like stepping into an elegant botanical garden with a Thai theme. Only instead of admiring the horticultural delights, you’ll be savoring the authentic flavors of Thailand.
We’ve only begun to sample the menu, but so far we’re quite impressed. I judge Thai curries on two criteria–the flavor/texture of the sauce and the quality of the cooking of the central ingredients. The chef at Ploy Siam has aced both. The sauce for my vegetable massaman curry was luxurious and silky, with a perfume of cardamom and cinnamon and a rich deep flavor. The cook on the vegetables was skillful–each component still having a perfect toothsome bite to it, while being ever-so-slightly tender. Utterly paradisiacal. My omnivorous guest sampled the seafood pad tamarind, and reported a similar experience with each of the components (mussels, shrimp, octopus and scallops) flawlessly cooked and deliciously accompanied by a thick and flavorsome sauce. Nothing canned or frozen here–these are fresh ingredients, consummately prepared. We enjoyed the tofu tod (lightly fried tofu with a piquant peanut sauce) as well, though the tofu tasted store bought and somewhat sour for my liking. Even so, anyone who can cook these entrees so admirably can surely perform delicious culinary magic with the majority of the menu.
It’s not a bargain–entrees range from $14-$22, and appetizers are all between $7-10. Soups and salads are $6-14, with the exception of the Duck Salad which is $22. You are paying for the quality and superiority of the ingredients and the cooking. I’m told that their specialties are the crazy noodles, the seafood, and the duck. Most items on the menu can be served with a choice of either seafood, beef, chicken or vegetables–and it’s nice to see that they have priced each option separately (seafood is typically $2 more than chicken or beef, which are $1 more than vegetables). Ploy Siam is BYOB, which we always love for the bargain. If you are a strict vegan or vegetarian, make sure to request your dish without fish sauce, which is ubiquitous in Thai cuisine.
Go for the atmosphere or go for the food. Either way, you won’t be disappointed by Ploy Siam.