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Good Thai food and a cultural experience too!

Tida | Feb 6, 200109:03 PM

There was a message posted to this board a long time ago about a Thai temple in Berkeley that has a food fair every Sunday. I finally paid a visit this past Sunday and what I saw just nearly made me weep and kiss the ground.

The temple which also serves as a Thai cultural center is at 1911 Russell Street which is near Ashby Avenue and MLK in Berkeley. We got there around 11:45 AM and I think they start serving at 11AM.

There was a veritable smorgasbord of Thai treats, some of which you can find as standards in restaurants like pad thai and some that are purely home cooking. Some dishes I saw offered were: pad thai, the thai soup with big rice noodles, meatballs, beansprouts, and cilantro, 6 different kinds of curries, a variety of Thai and Chinese-influenced stirfries, a Thai style BBQed chicken, 2 different kinds of coconut desserts made in front of you, papaya salad made in front of you, summer rolls, and a host of Thai desserts like sticky rice with mango, sweet coconut rice, egg/sugar threads, custards, and different sweet rotis and cookies.

For lunch, I had a plate of rice with 2 items: a Japanese eggplant stir-fry with a black bean sauce and a Thai eggplant stirfry with ginger, chili, ground pork, and Thai basil. My husband had rice with a sweet curry and some chicken that had been cooked with ginger. He wasn't crazy about his dish but is willing to go back and try others another time. I really enjoyed my food and can't wait to go back. Hopefully, they'll be serving one dish that I saw that my mom used to make every once in a while which I probably haven't had in about 10 years or so. It's a dish that is usually a pork butt braise with star anise as the primary flavoring agent. It's got bamboo, mushrooms, and hard-boiled eggs in it and is just so tasty!

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