Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mana-Thai Cuisine

360 N Bedford Rd , Mt Kisco, NY (914) 244-8588

Years ago, if you wanted decent Thai food in Upper Westchester, you had to make a trip to Reka’s in White Plains.  There was a Thai place in Thornwood but the food wasn’t too good.  Then, 2 years ago, a couple of new Thai places sprung up—in Mohegan Lake and Mount Kisco; and now there is yet another new Thai restaurant—Mana Thai, in Mt. Kisco in the strip of stores that contain CVS and Blockbuster on Bedford Road, in place of the earlier Myong eatery.

We landed at Mana-Thai on a cold, cold night, the day after a heavy snowstorm.  It is a small place with a few tables and a large professional kitchen with lots of stainless steel.  There was a single cook/manager and a helper, and as the piped music played through the ceiling speakers, he would abruptly join in every once in a while, striking sharp, somewhat discordant notes with the music.  I like that in a cook.

The atmosphere was laid back.  He came by in a few minutes and took our order, chatted with us.  And then proceeded to whip it up on the huge, professional gas burners behind the counter.  The soups—Tom Kh Gai and Tom Yum Gum—were good, not great.  The fried calamari appetizer was wonderful, crisp and fresh.  A Singha beer while we waited for the main entrees.  Pad Kimao, Pad Thai, and Thai fried rice with its characteristic aromatic spiciness—well made and honest. 

It was the atmosphere that was endearing, perhaps it was the snowbound coldness of that night, the somewhat unconventional layout and service, the good hot food that was eminently affordable—we will be back.  A welcome new addition!

Note added Aug 21, 2011
We have visited Mana Thai a few more times, and it is a unique, small restaurant!  Go there a bit late in the evening.  There is only one chef (and owner) who cooks for you, so the dishes arrive in sequence.  If you are willing to overlook this slight logistical hiccup, you will be rewarded by fresh, wonderfully tasting food, cooked from scratch.  It is as simple as that.  The tofu soup that we had yesterday was silky with the taste of the vegetables deep in its broth. The  Larb, ground chicken salad had the classic tang of Thai salads and the staple of Thai dishes here--the Pad Thai, was a reliable war horse of a dish that takes its rider through yet another journey--solid and reliable.
Mana-Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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