Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Thai in Tiburon. I've been wanting to try Virapan's Tiburon Thai Cafe ever since I spotted it nearly hidden at the far end of Ark Row. A family restaurant, it reflects the values of their homeland, Phrae province in Northern Thailand. I understand that coconut milk is not used as much in Northern Thailand cooking.
I started with the Vegetarian Spring Rolls, which are made with tofu, bean thread noodles, cabbage, mushrooms and bean sprouts. I ordered the steamed version and they were light and fabulous.
I then tried a vegetarian curry - jungle style - which I'd never heard of before, but it's a specialty of northern Thailand. Basically it uses a clear base which allows the flavors and spices to come through in a more pronounced way. In the case of spice, it actually comes across as hotter because there is no coconut milk to tone it down and smooth it out. This was marvelous, and included my favorite pumpkin meat in the mix of fresh fragrant vegetables. There are regular meat offerings too, I just felt in a veggie mood. In addition to the excellent food, the restaurant was fresh and bright, and the service was good. I'll definitely be back here, and bring some friends.