Fan of Thai food, there's a new Thai restaurant on the Coast -- D'Iberville's Somboon Thai Cuisine.
The restaurant is in a beautifully appointed facility that has been completely remodeled, from the tile floor to the high back chairs and Thai-themed tables, all in beautiful subdued colors. You are sure to love it as soon as you walk in.
Somboon is classic Thai, so don't expect any fusion. No burgers with Thai sauce, or fries and red curry, but do expect a petit menu that covers the Thai basics.
Most of the time a menu that is not overly expansive is a good thing. When you see a menu that is pages and pages long, you are likely to wonder if the chef prepares everything with the same aplomb.
Somboon got it right during our visit, and the crowd of people that filled the place for lunch seemed to agree.
There are four appetizers on the menu (all just $6), and we tried the chicken satay and deep-fried shrimp rolls and left not a crumb on the table. Chicken satay is as classic Thai as can be had, and if you have had any adventures in less developed countries, almost anywhere in the world, you know that food-on- a-stick is the way to go.
Satay is turmeric basic, which is the reason for the yellow color and Somboon's version was served with a delicious Thai dipping sauce, creamy and spicy good. The fried shrimp rolls were crispy and came with their own dipping sauce, tomato red and just right spicy that was perfectly paired.
We chose two of the lunch specials, all of which are just $9, and again both were delicious.
The green curry (you have a choice of chicken, beef or pork) was spot on. If you are a curry fan, you know that the coconut base sauce, seasoned anywhere from mild to seriously hot with curry paste is fragrant and spicy. Look for hints of shrimp paste, hot chilies, lemongrass, galangal and coriander.
Pad Thai was our other choice, another classic Thai specialty, and it was delicious, as expected. Pad Thai is one of those everything-in-a-pot dishes that normally includes rice noodles, bean sprouts, eggs, tofu and your choice of protein, but it is the seasonings that make it what it is.
Tamarind, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic, red chili pepper, palm sugar and lime are most common, but it is the balance of those flavors that make this dish so good. If you are a non-Thai, chances are you will have problems making this at home, for some reason non-Thai people have problems getting this right. Pad Thai is almost always garnished with crushed peanuts.
One of the things that makes Somboon stand out is the condiments that can be found on each table. Fish sauce, vinegar with hot peppers and crushed chili peppers are basic to Thai culinary sensibilities and it is nice to be able to combine your own.
Somboon hits all the high points of Thai cooking and is a great choice for almost any occasion. It has great atmosphere, attentive service, good food and affordable prices.