The Thai green curry chicken lunch special at Njoy comes with a salad and steamed rice. We ordered it "Thai hot" and it came to the table perfectly seasoned. It was wonderfully rich, vibrantly aromatic and a bargain at $6.95.
212 Westheimer Rd.
Thai green curry, one of Thailand's most popular dishes, gets its color from fresh green chile peppers and basil leaves. Since these ingredients are at their peak in the summer, the dish is especially popular this time of year.
To make it, green Thai chiles or green serranos are ground up with garlic, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, shrimp paste and spices, fried in coconut oil with the other desired ingredients and mixed with coconut milk to a soupy consistency. I like to eat Thai green curry with a soup spoon.
A friend who owns a Thai restaurant in Austin once told me that authentic Thai food must include the proper balance of four flavors—sweet, sour, hot and salty. When the food is perfectly seasoned to Thai tastes, American customers complain it is too spicy or too sour. In an effort to please their customers, American Thai restaurants in mainstream neighborhoods tend to err on the sweet side--especially in popular dishes like pad thai.
We also ordered Njoy's pad thai lunch special at the same price. The noodle dish was a big disappointment—it was way too sweet and unappealingly gloppy. It's a very pleasant little restaurant and the service is gracious. The disparity between the the two dishes was curious.
We'll stick with the curry at Njoy. Or we'll order the less-frequently messed-up kee mao noodles, even if they aren't on the lunch special list.