Up Thai, Offering An Authentic Variety of Thai Dishes
What's Up... Thai? It's a legit Thai restaurant in Upper East Side. I went with my friend, Helen, on her recommendation. To me, I can tell it's legit for only two reasons: the staff is all Thai and the menu is badass.
First of all, the restaurant is well-lit and nicely decorated. I really like those hanging glass lanterns in the middle of the dining area. They're so cool and foreign-looking. Anyways, I'm no lantern aficionado and I don't know anything about art besides when my brain tells me I like something. In fact, when this beautiful dish arrived at our table, my brain told me I was going to enjoy eating this meal.
To me, this is true art. Look at this Kang Ped Pet Yang (see above), a crispy half-deboned duck breast with curry paste, young coconut meat, pineapple, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and basil leaves. The flavor was awesome. I really liked the sea of tangy and spicy curry under the duck. I would lick the bowl clean if it were any less inappropriate. My tongue isn't so advanced as to know all the ingredients in the curry but if I had to guess, I would say it would be the usual lemongrass, shrimp paste, garlic, onions, chilies, and cilantro. The duck breast was juicy and the skin was crispy (as advertised). Me gusta.
Helen ordered the Cod Shu Shee, a pan roasted fillet of Alaskan Cod with Thai curry, bell peppers, kale, kaffir lime leaves, topped with coconut milk. Good choice, Helen. Now I only had two bites of this but I liked it a lot. The cod was a bit overcooked but the flavor was good. The kaffir lime leaves gave the dish a subtle yet pronounced lime flavor. The sauce was savory and coconut-y.
I want to point out that coconuts are superstars in a nutritional sense. They are rich in fiber, vitamins (C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6), iron, and calcium. Coconut milk can also be used as a milk substitute for vegans and those with lactose intolerance. However, coconuts contain high amounts of fat and, thus, too much can be a health risk so don't OD on this stuff. On the bright side, one of the fatty acids in a coconut is called lauric acid, which is broken down into monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial compound. Oh, coconuts... you tasty epitome of health and vigor.