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Thai Cuisine Restaurant Review
And just when I thought that perhaps Batavia had no further dining
venues worth trying... I was happily proven wrong recently when Lauren
and I decided to give Tusk Thai Cuisine restaurant a try.
Located a block north of Wilson Street and housed in a building once
occupied first by Fantastico and then RendezVu, Tusk has really done a nice
job upgrading an interior that had begun to look pretty shoddy by the time
the last occupant had departed. Now, a fresh coat of white paint
inside and some new curtains, coupled with
white-paper-over-white-table-clothed tables, cloth napkins, candles in
ceramic holders and polished glassware give the dining room a clean,
comfortable and welcome feeling.
We arrived just before six and were a bit nervous about
the fact that one other table was occupied... But by the time we were
finishing our diners, the place was packed and not a single empty table
remained; there was good reason for that.
Lauren and I have eaten Thai food on only three other
occasions (Bistro Thai,
Thai Zie) over a period of perhaps six years or so; I can offer no valid
explanation as to the marked infrequency of dining at Thai restaurants nor
the near indifference to the fact. That may be about to change; among
those Thai venues I have to date visited in the Tri-Cities, Tusk is head and shoulders
above the rest.
From our table, the banter we could hear -- in Thai -- in
the kitchen was testament to the fact that at least the cooks were
authentic. As we would soon learn, the food, too, was extremely
authentic. Our waitress (the only server that night) spoke
near-perfect English, although when she went into the kitchen, her fluency
in Thai was obvious. She was as sweet, patient and helpful as could
be, even when she performed the daunting task of taking care of about ten
tables that had the restaurant suddenly filled to capacity (although a woman
I assumed to be an owner was also available and did help greatly when the
need presented itself).
Perhaps it is an Asian trademark that the restaurant menus
are always encyclopedia-length tomes that seem to make selections difficult;
not counting desserts, there were over 80 items on Tusk's menu, fifteen of
which were appetizers! With the kind help of our waitress, we decided
to order the Siam Sampler Plate, which consisted of five different app's:
Summer Rolls, Tusk Wraps, Toong Tong, Coconut Shrimp
and something called Gyo. Beautifully plated and served with
three separate dipping sauces -- artfully explained table-side upon serving
as to what sauce went with what ap -- the appetizer portion of the meal was
excellent. Wonderful flavors that included fresh cilantro, ginger, soy
and a few I could not identify, were skillfully blended to provide
mouth-watering results, and it was clear that the dinners to follow would be
just as good.
Lauren selected the Chicken Sup-Pa-Ros (Grilled
marinated chicken breast in rice wine honey, ginger and soy sauce, garnished
with pineapple) and I ordered the Samsahai (Stir-fried chicken,
scallops and shrimp with ginger, baby corn, pea pods, scallions and bell
peppers). We steered away from the dishes that were marked with icons
of one, two or three peppers -- at least on this occasion -- and the only
"heat" came from a momentary encounter with the fresh ginger sautéed in with
Our evening at Tusk Thai Cuisine was an absolute delight.
The food was prepared from scratch using the freshest of ingredients and was
seasoned delicately, producing separate and distinct, palate-pleasing
flavors. Tusk Thai Cuisine is another excellent example of the simple
elegance that is possible when one pays strict attention to detail.
For the uninitiated, Tusk does not serve alcohol... However,
they do allow carry-in of beer and wine; there is no additional corkage
fee for wine -- what a concept! All this at really reasonable
prices. And add to that the fact that
Restaurant.com coupons are
available for Tusk and the deal gets even better.
Excellent and very authentic Thai food at great prices in
an intimate setting -- what more could one ask? I can guarantee that
Lauren and I plan to go back. I give Tusk Thai Cuisine a very
authentic Four Zins!
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