Thai cuisine is probably the most interesting multi-cultural food in the world and Tum Thai Cuisine, which opened in Huntington Village in late December, well represents that diversity. This 45-seat spot, a branch of the five-year-old Tum Thai of Rockville Centre, offers dishes influenced by India, Japan, Laos, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Spain, Portugal, America and mainly China.
The Thai cooking at Tum Thai places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong, aromatic components and a slightly spicy edge. All five of its regions have dishes listed on its comprehensive menu that offers 13 appetizers, 8 salads, 3 soups, 9 entrees, 6 noodle dishes, 15 fried rices, 6 curries, 3 duck dishes, 5 fish entrees, 5 vegetarian choices, 11 specials and 6 desserts.
Few of these dishes are simple; rather they are an intricate mix of details, ingredients, textures, colors and tastes. All of them are served in a completely redecorated version of the Afghani restaurant that previously occupied this spot. The interior now boasts imported Thai handicraft like handmade bird cages, sculptured wood and brass Bodhi tree leaf.
The gracious, informed waitstaff promptly arrived with a wide range of appealing presentations. There is the coconut shrimp, four thin upright towers lightly breaded and anchored in contrasting chili plum sauce, and goong ob mor din or four jumbo shrimp atop a deep mass of vegetable studded delicate glass noodles. Pad Thai, a signature Thai dish, was the only let down. It was a disappointingly small, barely lukewarm preparation.
Among the many choices to check out are tom yum noodle soup with an array of shrimp, squid, scallops and mussels in a lip smacking tom yum broth and grilled Chilean sea bass in a sweet (but not off-putting) chili sauce accompanied by baby bok choy, mushrooms and bell peppers. One of the most typical complex amalgams is pad woon sen, a noodle with a generous sprinkling of onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, celery, eggs and scallions highlighted with a choice of chicken, pork, duck, beef, shrimp, squid or mixed food.
Yes, you’d expected there is sticky rice for dessert, but surprise, there’s also chocolate lava cake, crème brulee, fried ice cream, pumpkin custard and fried bananas with honey.