You love pad thai, your in-laws prefer Italian and your kids will only eat chicken fingers. What’s a diner to do?
Simple, check out Spice Cuisine, a new Thai restaurant across from the A&P in Bloomfield, which specializes in authentic Thai, but devotes half of its menu to traditional Italian items and has a $3.95 children’s menu with the regular kiddie fare.
For owner Ruenboon Sarabhayavanija, who was born in Bankok, running a Thai restaurant is in the blood. Her sister Randy Ochajaroen owned Tuptim in Montclair for 10 years and her son Luck owns O Thai, a trendy Thai restaurant in Vancouver.
But Ruenboon, who also goes by the American name Sheri, added the Italian half of the menu because most of her family is tired of Thai food and only wants Italian. Chef Luis Gonzalez, who was a sous chef at Church Street Cafe in Montclair, can turn out either cuisine.
Don’t expect the lavish interiors of your Montclair Thai restaurants, and until they get a double door for the front, you may find yourself a little chilly in very cold weather. But you’ll love the prices. Pad thai and all the other noodle dishes are only $6.50, and most of the Thai entries are just $7.50. The pad thai was very good, but we were especially delighted by the salmon in panang curry sauce. In addition to traditional Thai iced coffee and tea, there’s a honey-sweetened lemongrass juice. And save room for the fried banana, thai custard and fried ice cream desserts, which are presented beautifully.
We didn’t try the Italian side of the menu, which includes fried tilapia, chicken francaise, chicken marsala and shrimp scampi, and our children are too old to choose hot dogs over pad thai. You’ll have to check that out yourselves.
Parking on the street, or across the street in the A&P parking lot.
Spice Cuisine, 26 Belleville Ave., Bloomfield NJ. Open 7 days from 11:30 am to 10 pm. 973.748.0056.