Monday, March 02, 2009

Review: Nine Thai

Type: Thai
Location: 641 Shunpike Rd., Chatham, NJ (in the Hickory Square Mall)
Phone: 973-377-3636
Price Range: Moderate (average for Thai)
Liquor License: BYOB
Delivery: It used to; I don't think it does anymore
Take-Out: Yes

The decor doesn't look particularly Thai, but the food is reliable, if not stellar. This is a kid-friendly restaurant, so I would recommend avoiding it, or getting take-out, during early evening hours on weekends. At other times, it's fairly quiet. One time when we visited, it appeared that an entire little league team was there with a couple of adult chaperones. I think the restaurant seats 50 or less. The kids weren't rambunctious, but with half a dozen conversations going on at once at that table, adjacent to ours, it was a little hard for the two of us to hear each other.

Service is attentive, friendly, and polite, but at times, annoyingly so. If they're fairly busy, it's not an issue, but I prefer not to have 10 minute conversations with our waitress while we're trying to eat, which can happen if it's a slow night.

The curry dishes, pad thai, and noodle hot-pot dishes are nicely seasoned, and quite tasty. I've ordered the frog's legs a few times. Those are fried in a tempura-style batter, served on mixed veggies in a somewhat nondescript sauce. Yes, they taste like chicken, but smell a little different.

Entree portions are not especially large, so I've never brought home leftovers, but we've never ordered appetizers, either. Every time I've gone there, the waitress asks whether we'd like an order of green beans to go with our entrees. Those are sauteed with red pepper flakes and garlic, I think. It's a huge plate of green beans which could probably be shared among three or four people. They were tasty, but too much to share among two people, along with our entrees. Bear in mind that neither of us has a particularly big appetite, compared to most people we know.

Are there better Thai restaurants around? Undoubtedly. But this is conveniently located near other shopping. It's easy to walk in, place an order, go run errands at the pharmacy or grocery store in the same mall, and pick up your order when you're done. There also happens to be a liquor store next door, in case you'd like to BYOB to have with your meal, if you choose to sit down and eat it there.

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