Last Friday my fiancee & I went to Srip for the 1st time and in our opinion deserves the praise that it receives. I know that many poor reviews start with; "Well In Thailand.....", "When it was small" or "My grandma makes better" (In reality whose grandmother doesn't makes better?).
Well we are not Thai, never ate there when it was a hole-in-the-wall, nor have visited Thailand (on our list though). Our only exposure to Thai food has been through local places in the US, which I am sure is the demographic of the majority of people here. Sure the heat was dumbed down, but hands down this was the best Thai food that we have had. Everything had depth of flavor that we have never been exposed to before. It was so good that both of us mentioned that it will be hard to eat at our favorite Thai places going forward. Luckily Srip is a short drive from home.
Logistics: We showed up roughly 8ish on a Fri. Parking was no problem. After hearing the horror stories we were resigned for a long wait. Sure enough when we arrived there were groups of people standing outside. Preparing for the worst, we walked in and put our names down. Turns out it was only a 10 minute wait.
Service: As expected, it was less than stellar. It took forever for the waitress to come take our order. After finally coming over to our table she wanted to take the whole order at once - not the typical drinks, then come back for food. We both sensed that we better order now or we may never see her again. On a positive note she was very friendly and answered our questions thoroughly. Drinks & food came out relatively quickly. Some of the food dropper-offers explained what was delivered and others just dropped it on our table and left.
Food: For the two of us we way over ordered with the expectation that a lot would come home with us.
Tom Ga Kai - Ahhh the depth of flavor of the broth I can only begin to describe. It was so good we immediately ordered a large container to go.
Watercress salad - Just like Italian frito misto, but a bit heavier. We ordered it with mock meat to offset all of the meat dishes. This was fantastic, but as others have mentioned, I wish it was only the fried watercress and peanuts without the "meat". We ended up eating the watercress and leaving most of the rest on the plate - too much food coming to eat something that was marginal.
Larb (pork) - the flavors were great, but was a little heavy on the salt.
Pork with chilies, cilantro and lime - This was fantastic and our favorite of the meal - along with the soup. It was so light and refreshing and the heat actually worked with the dish in a perfect balance. I think if it was any less spicy the dish would not have worked as well. I loved it, but it was a little spicy for the Mrs. To quote her; "This is too spicy for me, but I can't stop eating it."
Coconut rice - Again so good we ordered extra to go
Chicken Green Curry - At this point we were both pretty stuffed. I had a little bit just to try it, but saved it for lunch for the next two days. Wow! Again, what a depth of flavor. I have eaten many-a green curry and this was unlike anything that I have had. It was not as sweet as you normally get, but had a much deeper range of flavors. The only way I can describe it is as a much more sophisticated version of what I was used to eating. I am not sure I can go back to those sugary sweet green curries you normally get - before I had no idea.
Pork with long beans - Again, we were pretty stuffed so at the rest. so I just had a taste. This was a much different flavor than I have ever been exposed to before. Its hard to describe, but when I first tried it it was a little overpowering with flavor. I really liked it, but it was too much flavor coming at me at once. Like a lot of foods this was much better after sitting a day or two - that also goes for the green curry. In fact, I just ate it while writing this. It was so good, I went for another round and finished it off.
64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377