Half the Thai food in DTW is made by Chinese, or by Hmong or folks from other SE Asian countries who had just transient ties to Thailand. Moreover, even DTW Thai food restaurants run by ethnic Thais from Thailand seem to have picked up some bad queues from the aforementioned other half regarding “American tastes.” Most get ingredients from the same place (Seven Seas*) and many use the same pre-made mixes. So, one can get into kind of a rut, when going out for “Thai” food here. Granted, I haven’t done a comprehensive study (just significant sampling), and I don’t mean to sound like a know-it-all, so I would like to hear alternative viewpoints! *nothin’ wrong with Seven Seas---I like them.
Anyway, I have a bit of a far fetched idea for something at least a little different, even if not sublimely transformative. I got put in touch with a Thai lady from Chiang Mai who has started a catering business from her home. She lives in a nice neighborhood on the 66xx block of Aurora Ave. in Troy (NW of Crooks and Square Lake). Nung Danek 248-519-1470 email@example.com. I asked her if she’d be willing to sell small orders of homemade Thai food IF I put in a BUNDLED order (it’s not worth her while to go to all the trouble shopping and making something for just for me). She enthusiastically agreed. I told her that before involving and bundling with others, I would first like to give her food a test drive. She reluctantly agreed.
On Jan. 2, I ordered green curry chicken, tom yum goong (shrimp soup) and she also threw in some fried wontons. The curry was very good. The freshness of the ingredients shined. Little green golf ball sized Thai eggplants, etc.. Happiness. The chicken used was boneless skinless breast, so I might suggest to her a variant in that regard. The tom yum was good, with nice shrimp that she peeled herself, after which she left in the detached heads for flavor. Her style of tom yum surely is authentic to her region, but it was the type of thin clear broth with tomato chunks which DTW restaurants try to emulate. Unfortunately, I prefer a style which is hyper rich, where more than eight ounces would kill a person--- full of herbs/weeds, lime leaves, coconut milk, fiery chili paste, etc.. The fried wonton stuffing was beautifully savory with its ground pork, shrimp paste (?), shallot (?), etc.. Though, there was a lot of fried wonton skin for each measure of stuffing---not great for the diet.
This lady is really nice and offers something different and fun from other DTW restaurants. I’m thinking goatgolfer, rainsux, boagman, coney with everything, jjspw, gan, donbui, xman, rcloud, and several others get to this area for Asian food not infrequently. So, maybe a few of you would like to bundle an order with me on our Google Detroit Chow space? (Note to Wooderson: If I recall from the CH dumpling or dan dan noodle night, you were a nice single guy, so I’d be remiss in not mentioning that Nung has quite the darling little Thai sous chef…not to be confused with Nung’s teenagers, of course!...but I don’t know her name or “status.”)
Once putting in a bundled order, we could separately swing by her place on a set early evening or weekend day. Noodles may be suboptimal, because they seemingly wouldn’t stay great beyond an hour or two, but we could try. Nung also (too strongly, IMO) discourages freezing. She says she is very good at making sticky rice with accompaniments, as well as shredded green papaya (spicy/savory) salad—som tom. I’d be happy even just with curries.
While one might assume her overhead costs are low, she doesn’t get to make big wholesale ingredient purchases (and her nice home is not exactly “low overhead”….), so the food prices will be maybe even a bit higher than restaurants, though you won’t have to tip. If you don’t want to bundle with me on Google Detroit Chow, feel free to get your friends and put in an order for yourselves (or she could cater a Thai party at your house, but I would think that would be better done during the warmer months so she could offer the grilled items from her repertoire). Please report back on what you liked or didn’t like, though. Cheers.