Chews Wisely: Tuk Tuk Thai Cuisine

By Sam Forstner, The Dartmouth Staff | 9/22/15 9:39am

After about a 15-minute wait, I got a table in the back corner. The atmosphere was vibrant and the décor festive, although the place does feel somewhat cramped.

Finally it was time for the main event — food. I ordered Thai Spring Rolls to start, and decided to go with the Bangkok Seafood after it caught my eye on the chalkboard of daily specials.
Since this was my first off-campus meal since arriving to campus a week earlier, I knew I had to be wary in making any comparisons. As tempting as it was to take one bite, say “Better than DDS. 10/10” and stop my review there, I made sure to keep in mind that being “Better than DDS” is a bar low enough to step over.

Staying conscious of this point, I dug in. The spring rolls were just as expected — fresh vegetables encased in a flakey, fried shell, with sweet and sour sauce on the side. The entrée, though, surprised me — generous portions of shrimp, scallops and squid, stir-fried in a yellow curry sauce with onions and peppers served over jasmine rice. An impressive multitude of flavors sprang out, managing to both remain partially distinct from one another but still merge into a delicious, cohesive whole.

While it was a tasty meal, the life of a college student requires one to maintain a certain level of frugality. A day removed from my visit, with time to reflect on the economics of my decision, I’d be remiss not to mention the price point for us cost-conscious folks — there has to be a few of us here, right? An entrée costs between $11-20, so after splitting the spring rolls, ordering the Bangkok Seafood and only drinking water, I was looking at close to $25 with tax and tip. When analyzed from this perspective, there are countless other ways to more effectively allocate your resources.

In the words of world-renowned Australian chef and Thai Food expert David Thompson, author of the book Thai Food, "Thai food ain't about simplicity. It's about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish.” Cost concerns aside, Tuk Tuk Thai cuisine certainly delivered that finish. 3 out of 5 stars.

Sam Forstner, The Dartmouth Staff