Thursday, September 2, 2010

Having "Fun" in Tremont

A few weeks ago, Suzanne totally called me out. There was a gaping hole in my list of visited Tremont restaurants- Ty Fun Thai Bistro. Thai is absolutely one of my favorite cuisines, and "R" and I have been planning on trying Ty Fun for quite some time. We even had a reservation once, and then canceled because the weather was nice and we were craving a patio. But after she pointed out that it was missing from my review list, it lit a fire under my bottom. I needed to get there ASAP. Luckily, it wasn't hard to find some friends to happily join me.

I tweeted that I was headed there, and several people chimed in with menu suggestions (which I always love!). My friend Christina responded with "Try the Crispy Cups", and so I did. Crispy Cup ($7) (pictured above)- 6 homemade daily golden pastry cups filled with ground chicken, shrimp, corn and curry powder served with cucumber salad. These light little cups were packed with a great mix of texture and flavor. They were good, but became even better when I topped one with the vinegar-based cucumber salad served with it. You might be able to see it in the picture, but the details of the cut of the carrots and shape of the pastry cups were really creative. I was also happily sipping on a glass of Pinot Grigio as we started our meal. The wine list was small, but right up my alley. I love a nice dry white wine with notes of apple, melon, pear and a clean, crisp finish. Three selections immediately jumped out at me off their short list.

One of my favorite classic Thai sauces is the spicy peanut curry. So I am always drawn to it on a menu, and last night was no different. I found it under their "Original Thai Curry" section of the menu- Chicken Massaman Curry ($13)- sliced chicken breast cooked in Massaman curry, coconut milk, roasted peanuts, peanut sauce and potato. Now I am a seafood lover and will rarely ever order chicken out, so I requested that the dish be served with shrimp instead of chicken. They were more than willing to make the change for me. The dish arrived with the shrimp, potatoes, sliced red bell peppers, and peanuts floating in a pool of the curry sauce with a side of white rice. This was no ordinary side of white rice. It was presented in the shape of a heart- a nice touch. The dish was a very good version of the Thai classic, and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. While the curry sauce was nothing unique, where I think Ty Fun really stands out is in their presentation.

All of the dishes are presented very thoughtfully and creatively. Tiny details are paid attention to, and the craftsmanship of the kitchen staff is noticeable. Shaved carrot and toothpicks are transformed into flowers, vegetables are cut into starburst shapes, and of course the heart rice. It really is the little things that make diners happy, and Ty Fun's details certainly enhanced my overall experience here.

The restaurant is small and cozy, with the smells of Thai curry and sweet coconut wafting from the kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they did have a few tables outside for dining al fresco. I have driven by there many times and never saw the tables tucked away on the side of the restaurant. Our servers were attentive, and our water (and wine) glasses were never empty. I thought that it was reasonably priced for the quality of food that was served, and "R" and I will soon be back. I can't believe that we hadn't been there yet. Thanks, Suzanne- I can now add it to my Tremont reviews and cross another restaurant off of my "To Do" (or is it "To Dine"?) list.

Ty Fun Thai Bistro
815 Jefferson Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 664-1000

Ty Fun Thai Bistro on Urbanspoon


Heather said...

I thought the restaurant was great. It was a good restaurant for my first Thai experience!

Sam said...

I like Ty Fun too! Still, Mint Cafe on Coventry remains a fav for me.

Lives2Eat said...

I love that restaurant. Good choice on the dishes. May I suggest trying out Mekong River in Cleveland Heights. They have really good Thai/Cambodian food - not so much new age type but more traditional food done well. It looks like your hole in the wall restaurant, but the flavors of the food really makes up for it all. Also, don't forget to try their Thai Iced Tea. So good!

Bite Buff said...

Heather- we'll getcha to love coconut milk yet! :)

Sam- I visited Mint for the first time a few months ago and really enjoyed my peanut curry. I think it was a little hotter than my dish last night, which I love.

Lives- Thanks for the suggestion! I haven't been there before, and I do love a good hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurant. Those are usually the best!

Joanne said...

That restaurant does look nice. I enjoy small and quaint but it all comes down to the quality of the food in the end.
Glad you had a great time with good food.

Ben said...

We've been meaning to try Ty Fun for a while, and Sarah loves massaman curry. Thanks for the review, and we look forward to going there!