Dish: Ayutthaya Noodles
Place: Ayutthaya Thai Cuisine, Capitol Hill
On the plate: From the menu: “Seasoned stir-fried wide noodles with chicken, egg & garlic. Served over green lettuce. Garnish with ground peanuts & green onions.” Julienned carrots add color and crunch.
Supporting cast/What to do: Spice up your dish if you like from the ubiquitous condiment tray of pickled jalapenos, chili oil, and chili paste.
Noodling around: Ayutthaya Thai serves up the usual Thai noodle suspects: pud Thai, pud see ewe, and pud khee moa (the restaurant’s spelling of the dishes). Looking for something different, I chose the Ayutthaya noodles. Explaining that Ayutthaya was the former capital city of Siam, the server said these noodles were a house specialty not found at other local Thai restaurants.
I love wide noodles, and these are made from fresh rice noodle sheets that are sliced in-house. The width makes them easier to stir fry, as they hold their shape without twisting or breaking. Great texture, with a little bit of bite to them, and straightforward flavors much as you’d expect from the ingredient list. The noodles absorb a sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, and something called Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce, which like Maggi Seasoning Sauce is simply a flavor enhancer.
If you want more: There are eight appetizers on the menu, mostly fried. Kabong ($5.75) caught my eye. Described as “Fresh squash & corn in a spiced battered,” they’re deep fried and served with sweet and sour sauce. I didn’t detect much corn, and felt like I was eating a side order of sweet potato fries.
Be aware/beware: Portions were pretty small for the price. And service was terribly slow; someone from another table came to mine to tell the server that they were in a rush.
If you want your food spicy, you’ll probably have to exaggerate your request. When the server asked for a spice level between 1 and 5, I requested 7 (thinking they’d dumb it down to 5) and said to serve the food like you’d serve it in Thailand. I thought he understood. Unfortunately, my green papaya salad (a third dish I ordered) was a like 1, and the noodles possibly a 2 at best. I’m guessing you should order at 25 if you want a spicy 5.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on December 26, 2011.