By Connor Beach
One of Huntington’s newest restaurants, Tum Thai, gives customers a traditional taste of Thailand.
Serving both sit in and take away diners, Angsuwan Banchusuwan and her husband Tom opened the 255 Main St. eatery just before the New Year on Dec. 22.
The couple, originally from Thailand, have owned and operated a restaurant by the same name in Rockville Center for the last three years, and felt that it was time to build on the success with another location.
“After three years we wanted to open another restaurant, and Huntington popped into my mind,” Banchusuwan said, adding that she thought Huntington was looking for an upscale Thai restaurant.
They’re in the process of applying for a liquor license so, for the time being, Tum Thai is bring your own bottle to accommodate diners who appreciate a drink with dinner.
Banchusuwan said her eight years as a flight attendant and her husband’s 20-year experience as a chef are a perfect combination of for the restaurant business.
“We focus on good quality food with good customer service,” Banchusuwan said.
The 46-seat restaurant brings in all of the ingredients that they can’t find in Huntington fresh from the vibrant community of Thai markets in Queen Banchusuwan said, allowing Tum Thai to offer customers an extensive menu of complex Thai flavors.
To start, the Som Tum, or Papaya Salad, ($8) combines green papaya, tomato, green beans, peanuts, chili and pepper in a lime sauce. The salad is very fresh and bright with a strong citrus flavor that is followed by a kick from the chili that adds contrast to the bright flavors.
On the special appetizer menu the Duck Roll ($12) features crispy duck wrapped in a tortilla with cucumber, scallion, and apple served with a hoisin sauce. The traditional Thai flavors come through in the duck, while the apple adds a less traditional twist that, combined with the tortilla, gives the dish a playful feel.
For a unique take on Thai flavors the Shrimp Sa Bai Thong ($8) is shrimp stuffed with ground chicken and then wrapped in spring roll skin. The crunchy texture of the spring roll skin holds together the combination of proteins that work well with the sweet and spicy dipping sauce.
For seafood lovers Tum Thai offers Pla Kra Prow ($23.95) that features red snapper served whole, cooked to a crispy golden brown and topped with chili and Thai basil sauce. The delicate white meat of the visually stunning dish falls off the bone, and the crispy skin adds texture to complement the traditional Thai flavors of the basil sauce.
Diners searching for traditional Thai dishes need not worry, Tum Thai has plenty to offer. The medium spiced Red Curry ($10.95) is served with bamboo shoots, eggplants, bell peppers, and basil leaves in coconut milk. The tender chicken mixes well in the curry broth with the crunch from the vegetables, and the spice level does not overpower the dish.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will be happy to know that Tum Thai also has a dessert menu that includes Fried Ice Cream in a raspberry sauce ($7), a trio of Thai Crème Brulee ($8) and Chocolate Lava Cake with vanilla ice cream ($8).
Banchusuwan said that Tum Thai’s combination of good food, a unique dining experience, interior design and customer service has been a successful one in Rockville center, and she is confident that it will translate well to Huntington.