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Looking for Thai Street Food in Houston? Check out Rim Tanon

Egg dishes are standouts at the Upper Kirby restaurant.

By Beth Levine April 19, 2017

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Khao soi gai, $12.

Image: Beth Levine

Authentic Thai street food in Upper Kirby? Thanks to the recent opening of Rim Tanon, it's a reality. Tucked away near the Hobbit Café, Rim (which means “roadside”) is a collaboration between chef Nunnapat Triwakthunakon and the folks behind Thai Cottage, Time for Thai and the now-shuttered Blue Fish House. With a heavy emphasis on street cuisine or the dishes you might have on "family night" in Thailand, Rim Tanon has some non-traditional items mixed in with the traditional.  We popped in on a busy Friday night, secured ourselves a spot on the patio and got down to business.

We started with ma hor, fresh fruit morsels topped with minced pork and peanuts, and crispy chicken wings called peek gai tohd. Lately we have been eating a lot of fried chicken wings with Asian influences (both State of Grace and Kitchen 713 have similar menu items) and Rim’s did not disappoint. The wings were crunchy, smothered with just the right amount of sauce and the meat was tender. 

The main dishes are divided into the entrée, grilled and noodle sections of the menu. Pad phrik king with khai tom is one of the restaurant's most popular entrées, consisting of crispy pork or chicken (we got pork), stir fried with green beans, ginger, and kaffir lime in a phrik king curry paste with a hard-boiled egg. Eggs are big at Rim Tanon. The general manager, Ken, came over to talk to us a bit about Rim’s non-traditional approach to incorporating curry in the menu. Stay tuned for some outside-of-the-box curries, like one flavored with mango, to appear on the menu this summer.

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Not your average pad Thai, $14.

Image: Beth Levine

Khao soi gai was a recommendation from our waiter and a favored dish at the table. Besides being a pretty noodle dish, it was extremely flavorful with just the right amount of spice. The dish comes with a beautifully adorned tiffin carrier or dabbas containing perfectly sized portions of pickled mustard greens, limes and shallots. Heat index warning! The dish also comes with a side of chile oil, so if you think you can take the heat, drizzle away. Suea rong hai is a grilled charbroiled rib eye with spicy tamarind sauce, sticky rice and steamed vegetables—a lot of steak for such a good price (most of our main dishes ranged between $12-15). We couldn't resist trying the pad Thai. Rim serves this dish a little differently than most, over large pieces of an omelet inside a metal bowl on a wooden plate with lime and peanuts alongside sautéed green onions. To accompany our main dishes, the waiter recommended one of his personal favorites, khai luk koei, a small dish of deep fried eggs topped with a tamarind sauce and fried onions and dried chile.

Still relatively new, Rim Tanon is still refining its cocktail menu. But just at just a few weeks old, the food is spot on. Despite the influx of new places to try right now, Rim Tanon and its eggy delights are definitely worth a visit.

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