This quirky little Thai restaurant is rated among the best in the city and with good reason. Uncle Boons delivers with phenominal food and cocktails in a fun atmosphere with a very friendly staff.
We started off with a shot of Ya Dong, a Thai spirit that tastes a bit like kerosene. It's mixed with crushed ice and grapefruit juice and taken if one fell swoop. It's refreshing and powerful at the same time. The restaurant also serves beer slushies and cocktails like the Naam Manao Puu Yai made with vodka, lemon, pink peppercorn and ginger. The bartenders here are fabulous and true to their craft which makes this a perfect spot for drinks and snacks at the bar.
Tables are limited and worth fighting for. But as we found out, people like to linger, so we wound up starting our meal at the bar despite having reservations. We started with an order of frog legs. They are marinated and deep-fried to a crispy golden brown atop a bed of glass noodles with lemongrass, cucumber and lots of fresh cilantro. One of our fellow diners cringed when they arrived. No problem. More for me! Meng Kum is another dish worth seeking out. Betel leaves, about the size of a thumb, are piled high with dried shrimp, toasted coconut, peanuts and chilies and served like a mini wrap. There are so many flavors and textures going on. It is truly a Thai treat. We also tried another traditional snack, Muu Tod Kapi; pork riblets wrapped in shrimp paste and served with a fish sauce caramel. One word - marvelous!
At this point, our table was ready. We were seated in a narrow dining room that continues the tiki feel with mix-and-match lamps and lots of interesting pictures on the walls, including a metal buddha looking down on us. It wasn't long before larger plates began to arrive. Jaan Bangsaen - a huge platter of seafood - packed with oversized prawns, octopus and blowfish tails straight from the charcoal-fired grill. Blowfish always brings me back to my childhood when we used to fish for them on Long Island. The simple preparation here will blow you away. Rotisserie chicken served with a green mango salad is nice and juicy, but not quite as exciting. Gaeng Som Muu Krob is another story. It's basically a thick slab of pork belly with very crisp skin served in a sour tamarind curry. It's surrounded by squid stuffed with more pork. Call it pork paradise.
We capped off the meal with a huge bowl of coconut ice cream with lots of whipped cream and topped with chocolate sauce, peanuts and toasted coconut that creates a crunchy shell. Think Carvel brown bonnet on steroids.
To say I enjoyed my meal at Uncle Boons is an understatement. I'm just glad they let us in!
Review By: Thomas Rafael