Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thai Special 2: Rumphool

Rumphool Thai has a $6 lunch special! Lunch specials are great. Thai lunch specials are even better. Spring rolls! It's so nice and spring-y out, and there is no place more colorful on Roosevelt Ave than Rumphool Thai to celebrate the end of winter. I dare you to find another restaurant on the route that is as cheerfully and brightly decorated as this. It's as if Ikea threw up on the walls, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. A blurry view but you'll get the point.
A very friendly waiter greeted me and led me to a seat by the window, and I sat facing the street, and the huge colorful pillows. It is impossible to be unhappy when facing pillows such as these, especially when the sun is shining.
I pondered over the lunch special menu for a while, and asked my server what he thought was best. He basically reccommended everything. If I felt like noodles, then I should try the Pad-Kee Mao (Drunkman Noodles). People like the Pad Thai he said. If I want everything mixed with rice, I could get fried rice. If I felt like spicy, I could get a curry. I felt like spicy. Red curry was spiciest, he said, and that it's best with chicken. No reason to argue with that.

Lunch special comes with salad and spring roll.
A nice crunchy iceberg lettuce salad with a chunky and sweet peanut dressing. The spring roll was crisp and hot, and smothered with the dressing as well. It seems odd to cover something deep-fried with something liquid, but the contrast of the cold and sweet dressing while biting through the crisp shell of the savory spring roll was delightful. No dipping required.

What I forgot to mention was that I also ordered curry puffs, which brought the price of my meal up, but I am a sucker for curry puffs.
Look at them. Crisp and flaky dough surrounding a spiced potato and chicken filling. Rumphool's curry mix is turmeric-heavy. Each bite is meant to be dipped into the vinegary cucumber and onion chutney, cutting through the richness and heaviness. I do love a good curry puff, and these were better than average.

The red curry came with a large scoop of rice. It had a nice consistency, not too thin or thick. It was full of bamboo, chicken and basil. The spice level was not that high, at first I only felt a slight tingle in the back of my throat. But half-way through, my nose began to run, which is always a good sign of creeping heat. It was flavorful and filling. For a $6 lunch special, (plus my $4 foray into appetizers) I was quite pleased. The food was good, the service was friendly, and just being close to that many primary colors in one place is bound to lighten anyone's mood.

57-17 Roosevelt Ave

There are three somewhat strange things about this place besides the decor: No bathroom, closed Tuesdays, cash only.


  1. Rumphool is my new favorite Thai. The food isn't "Americanized" with lighter flavors or cheaper ingredients, although they do seem to cut back on some of the heat by default. For example, Tom Yum soups are deeply flavored and red with chili oil, and they don't shy from leaving lemongrass pieces in your soup. However, they tend a bit too far toward the sweet for me sometimes; the Pad Thai an example of that.

    It's better for takeout, because 1) it's tiny, 2) as you say no restroom, and 3) in the winter the door opening directly onto the sidewalk makes the room freeze up quickly.

  2. Donald, thanks so much for your input! I agree that it may be better for takeout,but it's just so strange in there that I can't help but want to stay there and stare at the walls.