Crispy Duck Salad
Top: Beef Pad Thai, Left: Tom Kha Chicken Soup. Right: E-Sarn Sausage
Massaman Duck Curry
Fried Banana and Taro Snack (available weekends only)
Ayada Thai / 77-08 Woodside Ave., Elmhurst,;NY 11373 / (718) 424-0844
Elmhurst, Queens is where you’ll find a variety of ethnic cuisines (Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc), but it’s where the best Thai restaurant offering simple, satisfying and unpretentious food (in my opinion and many other food bloggers, Michelin & Zagat diners) has been hiding out all along. Experience quick and friendly service, inexpensive prices for the great quality of food, and the presence of other fellow happy diners.
I’ve read and heard many great reviews of this restaurant saying that Ayada Thai is the place to go to if you’re looking to quit Sripraphai. I used to love that place, but the crowds are restless and menu, endless! At Ayada Thai, in this small, cozy space enclosed by bright yet unblinding green walls, I enjoyed a remarkable and memorable meal with my family.
We ordered the Crispy Duck salad to start (as the raving tips and Yelp reviews suggested), and fantastic it was. Crispy, meaty, tender, I was relieved to find no bones in it! Next, we tried the E-Sarn sausage. It’s the first time I’ve tried a unique and hearty dish. It’s a savory, Northern Thai speciality I haven’t seen it at any other Thai restaurant before. (Note: Prep yourself for spicy dishes and remember to order a Thai iced tea if you’re spiciness tolerance is low like mine. It’s refreshing!).
Of course, we had to try Pad Thai (with beef!). On a first visit to a Thai restaurant, I determine whether the place makes authentic Thai based on how their well their Pad Thai tastes in comparison to places I’ve been to before (well, what do I really know, I’m not Thai but sometimes I secretly wish I was part…) The Pad Thai passed my silly test with flying colors. I think it would be excellent with shrimp (allergies keep me from it, sadly). Since we couldn’t get enough of the duck (always a favorite choice of meat), we indulged in the Massaman Duck Curry. A mildly spicy, chili coconut curry with hearty cuts of a fine boneless duck, this dish was a flavorful and fulfilling surprise. Afterwards, it received lots of praise from my family. We also had a huge, tender pork leg over rice (not pictured), which was drool-worthy as well.
Another test I have for myself when going to Thai restaurants is finding the perfect Tom Kha Chicken Soup. I’ve been trying to find a decent Tom Kha Gai with balanced flavors, and here at Ayada Thai was where I found it. Of all the well-known Thai outposts in Queens I’ve been to several times, their Tom Kha Chicken Soup doesn’t match up to that of Ayada’s. Chicken soup lovers, this is must try when you come here. Savoriness level is a 10 out of 10!
Only on the weekends, you’ll have the chance to eat a fried banana and taro snack with some sprinkled sugar. You can take a box or two of these treats to go or you can enjoy them as dessert. Even after eating to our hearts’ (and stomachs’) content, there was room for these delectable treats.
It’s about time to take a trip out to Queens where a comfortable and cozy Thai haven awaits you and your curious appetite.
* I recommend you make reservations in advance as place is small and fills up quickly, however the wait time isn’t too bad.