Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sap’s, a Couple of Weeks Ago -- 8/28/2012

Art and I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago and during the course, hunger reared it's persistent head. A natural choice for us was Sap's Fine Thai Cuisine, since we love spicy and rich Thai food, and it's in the neighborhood and convenient.

We are hooked on Tom Khlong, S-NS15, a souped-up version of Tom Yum Gai, intensified here with roasted galangal, hunks of roasted garlic, shallots, and toasted dried red chiles. We got it with chicken, the tender slices bathed in the very spicy broth of lemongrass, aromatic lime leaf, fish sauce, lime juice, and just the right balance of palm sugar. It gets topped with more of the incendiary dried  chiles, Thai basil, and cilantro. We get it without the noodles and eat it with jasmine rice instead. The aroma coming off of that bowl is spicy and delicious; the taste is even better.

We got S-P52, Khai Pa-Loh, a classic Chinese-influenced dish that you can find on Thai streets and in restaurants alike. Succulent chunks of braised pork are paired with hard-boiled eggs, and cubes of fried tofu (which soak up the rich, aromatic sauce). The whole thing is swimming in a broth composed of soy, rich pork stock, palm sugar, and 5-spice seasonings; brilliant when sprinkled with some black pepper and roasted chile paste.

We always love S-P31, Amazing Green Beans. It has crunchy blanched green bean slices paired with our choice of ground pork, with slivers of jalapeño chiles, lots of garlic, Thai basil, Thai chile, fish sauce, and pork stock. This is one of my favorite dishes on the whole menu; a dynamite bite each and every time.

S-P37, or Pla Neung Manao, is a dish that I often eat in Thailand, usually when I'm near a coast. Seafood, in this case, filets of tilapia, are swimming in a tangy broth of chicken stock, and lots of lime juice, accented by the sweet tang of pickled garlic, with slices of fresh Thai chiles, scallion, cilantro, and fish sauce. It tastes exactly as good as it does over there, minus the salty breeze when you're sitting on a rickety wooden pier over the bay, shaded by bamboo slats, watching the palm trees sway, with the sun glinting off of the crystal clear water.

A sure bet is always Pad Khing, S-P36, on this visit ordered with tender slices of beef. They get paired with big slices of green onion, copious slivers of ginger, fish sauce, fermented bean paste, palm sugar, and shredded cloud ear mushroom. It is a dish loaded with umami, and a perfect complement to the beef.

Admittedly we were a little too soup-centric, but it was all delish, as usual, and the leftover Pla Manao came home with me. I gotta say, this dish is almost better when it's ice cold leftovers on a hot and humid blazing Texas summer afternoon. The homemade strawberry sorbet was the perfect ending to another incredible meal at Sap's. LOVE this place and highly recommend it!

Mick Vann ©

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