Pictured above: green curry, pad thai, tomkhagai. Photos: Andrea Gibson
By Andrea Gibson
May 5, 2013
One of the longtime foodie complaints about Athens is the lack of a Thai restaurant. While you can get a sampling of these dishes at other establishments, there hasn’t been a place dedicated to this popular Asian cuisine.
Jessica and Jason Kopelwitz, owners of Fluff Bakery in uptown Athens, have remedied that situation with the opening of Rickshaw Thai in the Eclipse Company Town area of The Plains. Each Friday and Saturday, by reservation, the chefs will whip up Thai favorites such as pad thai, green curry and fresh spring rolls.
The women’s club made a visit to the new eatery on Thursday, April 25. The Kopelwitzes served us family style, allowing us to sample several appetizers and entrees from the menu.
A group favorite was the tom kha gai, a warm and creamy coconut milk soup seasoned with red curry and full of chicken, lemongrass, cilantro and galangal, which is similar to ginger. The appetizer had a wonderful texture and flavor; I could imagine a hot cup of it curing a cold instantly!
We also enjoyed fresh spring rolls, which feature rice paper wrappers stuffed with fresh vegetables, herbs and peanuts with the housemade peanut, chili and fish sauces, which are all common in Thai dining. The Kopelwitzes also prepared a fresh green papaya salad that had a nice crunch and clean, zesty flavor.
Our hosts treated us to three entrees: the massaman curry, the green curry and the famous pad thai. The first was fragrant and sweet, studded with tofu and vegetables, and would be a good choice for anyone who prefers a milder curry. The green curry was tangy and spicier with chunks of chicken. Both curries were served over rice and a side of fragrant garlic naan, an Indian bread. The classic pad thai featured rice noodles, mung bean sprouts, green onions, crushed peanuts and lime, and was a nice complement to the spicier green curry.
The Kopelwitzes understand that their Athens audience may range from seasoned foodies to those new to the Thai cuisine. Their menu clearly states the ingredients for those who are vegan, heat-averse, allergic to shellfish or peanuts or cannot consume gluten. They are also willing to adapt the recipes to suit certain dietary needs or preferences as possible.
Rickshaw Thai is located in a small house that some will recall as the original, longtime location of Zoe. It makes for a cozy, intimate dining experience, especially when one is eating such warm, flavorful food in the company of amazing women.
And did we mention that Jessica and Jason also have a selection of Fluff bakery sweets for dessert? Somehow, several of us managed to find room for a crème Brule with Snowville creamery whipped cream.
Missed the dinner? You can find the Rickshaw Thai menu and reservation information at the Fluff Bakery website.