The Mein Man: Thaiger Room Is Far from Roaring and Far from Golden

thaiger-golden-640-8050Dish: Golden Noodles
Place: Thaiger Room, University District
Price: $7.28 ($2.00 more for prawns and $3.00 more for mixed seafood)

On the plate: Per the menu: “Rice noodles stir-fried with your choice of meat and mixed vegetable. Topped with delicious peanut sauce.” I went with chicken, and the mixed vegetables included broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms.

Supporting cast/What to do: If you’re a spice lover, this will likely be at a lower spice level than you requested, so add chili oil.

Noodling around: I was torn between getting these Golden Noodles and the Thai-Ger Noodles. While I prefer the fresh, wide rice noodles that come in the namesake dish, the server said that Golden Noodles is more popular. It’s made with the same dried rice noodles you’ll find in pad thai, soaked and stir-fried.

I requested Thai spicy–5 out of 5–but the noodles were nowhere close to spicy. Instead, a creamy peanut sauce (made with coconut milk, peanuts, and possibly peanut butter) dominated the dish.

Making matters worse, the noodles were somewhat mushy and terribly unappealing. And the portion was quite small, as the dish came with a big scoop of rice. Are you kidding? Rice on the side might be good for anyone carbo-loading, but otherwise it makes no sense as a side to noodles, other than a profit-making motive.

If you want more: Sadly, I hesitate to recommend anything else at this restaurant, as all the dishes I ordered were poor quality. Maybe try a Thai Iced Tea ($2.75)? As far as spice, the only dish that had a little heat, per my request, was Tom Yum Soup ($7.00)–though overall it was too sweet.

Be aware/beware: I used a Living Social voucher for my meal. Upon arrival, I saw signs saying that the vouchers cannot be used after 9pm. Such a restriction is a red flag for me. Why? And why do that, without warning, to someone who drove a distance to dine at your establishment?

Bigger beef: the portions. As if my noodle dish wasn’t disturbing enough, there’s the problem of the combination platter. Order one of these, as I did in getting “Spicy Thaiger Sauce” (an eggplant dish), and you’ll get just a few spoonfuls of what you wanted, plus another big mound of rice and some simply terrible pad thai. I have a hunch there’s ketchup in the kitchen, next to the peanut butter.

First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on July 23, 2012.

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