Tried out Royal Thai, a BYO place in Atlantic Highlands on the corner of
1st and W. Mount Ave. last night. It's a cozy nicely appointed dining
room with warm colors and comfortable furnishings. It was rather early
on a weeknight so there was not much of a crowd, but there were several
folks picking up take out. The place has only been open about a month.
The service was attentive and cordial, and the wait staff was helpful
without being intrusive. I started with the "Bags of Gold" appetizer
that was recommended by my server, billed as a mix of crab flakes and
cheese wrapped in a won ton skin, deep fried and served with a Sweet
and Sour sauce. It was OK, sort of a crab rangoon sort of dish, but did
not stick out as particularly Thai.
The entree was a bit more in line with expectations. Spicy Basil Duck
was a very large portion of sauteed pieces of duck with onions, chilis,
bell pepper, fresh basil and a spicy brown sauce. It was very tasty and
surprisingly spicy as I often have trouble getting places to crank up
the seasonings beyond the average western palate. The one downside was
that there were a few unexpected bits of bone in some of the duck.
Granted there was no claim of it being boneless, but if there is bone in
a duck dish I prefer just having the whole legs, thighs or breast with a
sharp knife. If they are going to serve chopped and sauteed duck they
ought to try to minimize the bony bits. This was a minor quibble
All in all the meal was good. Not great but I'm more than willing to
support a new place and give them a shot of working into their stride.
This is especially so given the surprising lack of Thai food in Monmouth
They were doing a steady take-out business, and a copy of the menu can
be seen at:
The main menu has the same selections, plus more separate entree selections
for Pork, Chicken, Beef and assorted seafood.