After three months of busy schedules, Chef Rachel Duboff, my colleague and owner of personal chef services Thyme to Nourish, and I finally had an opportunity to visit our favorite Thai restaurant in Wallingford. It’s called Sea Thai. I have known the owner, Renoo Ramstad, for 18 years, as long as I have lived in Seattle. Many local Thai chefs love Renoo’s Southern Thai cuisine and desserts, and her impeccable attention to fresh ingredients. The restaurant “takes pride in offering the finest homestyle cooking available without going to Thailand.” Both Chef Rachel and I have been long time fans of Sea Thai.
After looking over the menu, Rachel and I decided that we would each order our favorite dishes and share. To tempt your appetite, I’ve included photos of our dishes on Facebook here for you.
When the waiter asked how spicy we would like our food, I replied “as the chef recommends what is best for the dish.” Rachel and I love spicy Thai foods, but we wanted the chef to decide which heat level is appropriate for each dish, based on the dish’s personality.
The first dish we ordered was a tidbit, Miang Kao Tod, a crunchy fried rice and pork. At it turns out, it’s not a fried rice dish at all but almost like a salad and is eaten with a leaf. Americans usually use iceberg lettuce; in Asia, the most common choice is Chapoo (also know as la lot in Vietnam). This is a great starter dish.
Phad Kee Meo is a drunken noodle dish that features stir-fried fresh rice noodles (chow fun). This dish is almost as popular as Phad Thai. The noodles are usually served with a pork/Chinese kale combo, but Sea Thai’s version has an unusual twist. Instead of pork, it contains seafood with rice stick flake, a type of dried noodle about 2 inches by 2 inches that rolls when it’s fried. The texture is so seductive that I could have the dish all by itself for lunch and dinner.
Pumpkin Curry with Prawn is a must this time a year. Renoo blends her own curry paste every week for her restaurant. Hers has a very good heat that cools down perfectly with the texture of pumpkin. To serve with the curry, Sea Thai uses Khanom Jean, a fried rice vermicelli noodle. Most restaurants in Seattle have this noodle available by request, as well as steamed sticky rice.
Sea Thai head chef is Pa Juk, a delightful 69-year old cook who came to the table to greet us. After seeing our sweaty foreheads and red cheeks, she sent us complimentary black sticky rice with custard dessert to cool down our palate. Before leaving Sea Thai, Renoo generously gave me a box of her red curry paste with citrus flavor to bring home.
I hope you too will visit Sea Thai and sample some of these dishes. Tell Renoo that Pranee sent you, and be sure to let me know what you think about Sea Thai’s food.
2313 North 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98103-6905