Ubol’s Kitchen Serves Exotic Thai Cuisine
Ubol’s Kitchen has been in Astoria for 20 years and is proud to have a faithful clientele who come for UNIQUE AND exotic Thai dishes served in a comfortable, friendly environment. The clean, informal dining room features coral walls and matching tablecloths and very friendly service delivered by Boi and his helpful manager, Suki. This dynamic duo is always on hand to make every dining experience a pleasant one and to help with menu choices, especially for diners who are not well versed in the wide array of Thai dishes. Best of all, there is now free parking in a lot across the street.
The authentic Thai cuisine from Ubol’s Kitchen is freshly prepared and beautifully presented. My favorite part of a Thai meal is the array of tempting appetizers. Start off with the mixed appetizer platter, available for two or four persons. On a gleaming white platter is arrayed a sample of some of Ubol’s specialty appetizers. Tiny, finger-sized Thai spring rolls are crisp and delicate, perfect for dipping into sweet plum sauce. Whole shrimp are wrapped in crisp rice paper and fried till golden brown for a delicious treat The curry puffs are wonderful triangles of flaky pastry, stuffed with ground chicken, potatoes, and the chef’s special spices. Also on the platter are delicate crab balls, redolent with sweet crab meat and tender skewers of chicken and beef called satays with an accompanying peanut sauce that I’m crazy about ($5.95). Other great choices include Thai spicy chicken wings or ground shrimp chips.
Thai cuisine employs a wide variety of herbs and spices to lend a unique and wonderful flavor to every dish. Soups flavored with mint, lemongrass and lime are made extra special with the addition of fresh shrimp, scallops, mushrooms and chili. Fresh salads dazzle the palate with vegetables, spices and meats. My favorite is the ground pork salad, flavored with onion, chili, ginger, scallions, peanuts and lime juice, all sitting in a pretty radicchio leaf ($6.95). Another house specialty is the duck salad, featuring tender, boneless duck, seasoned with lime juice, peanuts and onion.
Enjoy Singha, a refreshing Thai beer, a glass of wine or a frosty Thai iced tea while you wait for your entrée. Ubol’s Kitchen offers fish, chicken, pork, beef, rice, noodle and a variety of vegetarian dishes. A dish called Talay Thai combines fresh seafood with Thai herbs, chili, onion and basil leaves ($11.95). In addition to the regular menu, the chef offers daily specials such as a whole steamed fish cooked in a delicious sauce of coconut milk and garlic. Suki kindly filleted the fish at our table. The sauce spooned over steamed rice was delicious.
Succulent lean duck is prepared at least six different ways, all of which are delicious, such as the duck with basil, fried till crisp and topped with crisp basil leaves. Boneless red curry duck is sautéed with chili, bamboo shoots, pineapple, peas and coconut milk with red curry. Poured over rice, this is a unique taste sensation ($11.95).
Pork in the garden ($11.95), chunks of marinated barbecued pork, vegetables and special seasonings served with rice, is a popular dish. Chicken lemongrass, sautéed with ginger, onion and lemongrass and topped with roasted cashews, is a light and flavorful dish ($7.95). Flaming chicken topped with a sweet and spicy sauce and served ablaze, is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds ($7.95). We enjoyed a side dish of sautéed greens still sizzling hot on their platter after they cooled off a bit.
There are many famous rice and noodle dishes in Thai cuisine, the most popular being pad thai, a combination of rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, egg, onion, bean sprouts and peanuts ($7.25). Vegetarians will delight in an extensive variety of appetizers, soups, salads and entrées such as mixed vegetables with red curry, served on a sizzling platter ($7.95) or in garlic broth. A mock duck dish seasoned with delicious Thai herbs and spices is so convincing few would know the difference from the real thing. While all Thai food is flavorful, not all dishes are hot. What’s more, the chef at Ubol’s Kitchen will adjust every dish to a diner’s particular taste.
The mango with sticky rice, Thai custard or ice cream all will cleanse your palate and finish a wonderful meal. We tried sweetened sticky rice and banana wrapped in a steamed banana leaf, as well as sliced banana, deep fried in a tender golden wrapper and drizzled with honey.
Ubol’s Kitchen is one of my personal favorites and it will be yours too. They’re open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from Noon to 11 p.m. Credit cards are accepted and delivery of orders of $15 or more is free. There’s even free parking just across the street. Visit Boi and Suki soon—you’ll be glad you did.
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