Thai Ping Restaurant | The Elegant Taste of Thailand
After spending a day in New York City for a Broadway Show, my dad recommended we have dinner in New Jersey at a Thai restaurant in Boonton.
As you know from my obsession with Khao Tip, I can always go for Thai food. A 20-minute ride down the highway was worth the authentic dishes Thai Ping Restaurant creates.
The Elegant Taste of Thailand
As found on their website, Thai Ping Restaurant tries to create an authentic Thai experience.
They are named after "A river in Northern Thailand...characterized by beautiful forests and wilderness." Thai Ping recreates the beauty of Thailand throughout their restaurant.
Thai Ping Interior
I love Thai Ping's decor. They have so much character in their restaurant that achieves their vision of an authentic Thai experience.
They use heavy, detailed tablecloths, statues, artwork, and flowers to create a beautiful (and immaculate) dining room.
There are two seating areas in the restaurant. The first is immediately when you enter. In front of you is a counter area and a fish tank. Tables fill the front window and along the wall.
The staff behind the counter are friendly and welcoming. Our waitress, an older woman, brought us through the archway into a second, large dining area (seen above). She sat us in the corner at a circular table which looked out onto the main street.
Thai Ping Menu
Thai Ping offers a three-sided menu. There are tons of entree options with a variety of proteins to choose from. Vegetarian options are also available. What I was most excited for (of course) were the appetizers.
Thai Pork Dumpling | $5.95
Dumplings are my favorite. I could sit down with a bowl and eat them as a meal.
Thai dumplings are a familiar dish I've had before. But I ordered them to see if Thai Ping's dumplings were as tender and filled as ones I've had before. You can begin to gauge a dining experience based on how well they execute the simple things.
I ordered the steamed, pork-filled dumplings, and they were perfect.
They were light because the outer dough/noodle is paper thin. Inside is a type of ground pork mixture with mild seasoning. The main flavor comes from the soy-based sauce you put on top.
Keow Tod | $5.95
This was my first time trying the Keow Tod. They were a great accompaniment to the Thai Dumplings. They are deep fried wontons filled with ground chicken and herbs.
The Keow Tod was crispy and warm (but not greasy). They were generously filled with ground chicken. My favorite part is the sweet orange sauce. The sauce adds a brightness to the rich wontons.
Satay Skewers | $7.95
The satay skewers blew my mind. Seasoning plus unique sauces make for a memorable dish, and the satay skewers did that.
When I first tried them, I thought that they were spicy. In reality, the rich flavors/seasoning (which you can see coating the outside of the meat like a sauce), is what gave me that impression. I'm not 100% sure what the seasoning was, but I believe there was a yellow curry base.
Two sauces came with the skewers. One was my favorite, the cucumber salad. It is a clear base (like a sweet vinegar), with slices of cucumber, chili, and onion. The second sauce was a thick, orange peanut sauce.
Normally, I'm not a fan of peanut sauces because I think the flavor is too strong. However, with the seasoning on the skewers, the peanut sauce worked well.
Eating the appetizers with their sauces changes the taste of the dish. For instance, the peanut sauce on the skewer gave it a hearty flavor. The charred edges, tender meat, and peanut sauce create a richer flavor. While if you put the cucumber sauce on the skewer, the fresh veggies and light vinegar cut through the heavy spices. I love the flavor combinations, so I put both.
Duck for Dinner
I've only had duck one other time in my life, and it was nothing special. So when my dad told me that the duck at Thai Ping Restaurant was to die for, I knew I had to try it.
Ma Muang Himapan | $21.95
I tend to skew towards dishes with a variety of ingredients when I order food. I think multiple ingredients creates more combinations and textures.
Ma Muang Himapan duck was perfect for me. It had sweet sauteed onions and juicy pineapple chunks which contrast the al dente carrots and peppers.
I've had crunchy cashews in other Thai dishes as well. Scallions and water chestnut were subtle, underlying flavors that contributed to the overall dish.
The duck was the star.
There has to be crispy skin when you're eating duck. Thai Ping nailed this: crunchy, golden skin, a layer of buttery fat, and then the dark meat. Eating duck is almost like the texture of dark meat turkey.
Thai Ping's duck wasn't dry either, which is what I was worried about. Dry, overcooked duck is a culinary sin. The chef at Thai Ping is skilled at executing this authentic dish.
Pad Khing | $21.95
If one duck dish was spectacular, why not order two?
Pad Khing Duck is also a light dish. Though this one had earthy veggies like the two types of mushrooms, a bright pop of flavor came from the ginger. The sliced duck was crispy and delicious.
Spicy Noodles | $13.95
I can't eat a meal without carbs, and noodles are my favorite.
These noodles remind me of drunken noodles (my favorite dish) at Khao Tip. I believe they're the same type of noodle but with different sauces.
Thai Ping's Spicy Noodle dish was lighter since it had so many fresh veggies. I loved the crunchy peas and sweet corn.
If you love spicy food, add the chili sauce to your noodles. I couldn't handle it. One eyedrop of the sauce had my eyes watering and nose running. For me, I thought the dish had enough flavor on its own without the sauce.
A New Thai Spot
The generous dinner portions didn't leave any room for dessert, but I did have a Thai iced tea which was a sweet addition to close out the meal.
Overall, I enjoyed trying new Thai dishes. I believe Thai Ping holds up to its mission of creating an authentic dining experience.
The staff was welcoming, and I felt like I was eating thoughtful, home-cooked dishes. Thai Ping has now set the standard for amazing duck recipes. I can't wait to return to try more of their dishes!