Tuk Tuk, the real Thai restaurant
Tuk Tuk is what I call the real Thai food restaurant. It recently opened in Dorobanti, an area with rapid expansion in terms of dining, so we were among the first clients to taste the flavors in the neighborhood. The restaurant’ co-owner, Chef Lam, was working for the past few years for Hilton in Roberto’s restaurant. Before that, for Maze in Prague, a Michelin star restaurant owned by Gordon Ramsey. He’s been cooking fine dining for so many years that he decided to go the entrepreneurial way and start cooking fresh traditional Thai dishes: flavorful, delicate and well-balanced.
I know chef Lam since 2012. We had the privilege to be taught by him some great recipes as well as where to buy good Asian ingredients in Bucharest. While he was at Hilton we were lucky to cater his dishes at our place for some great dinners.
I learned that Thai food is not about simplicity. It gathers at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, spicy…and crunchiness. The most important is to have a balance of them all.
In Tuk Tuk the menu consists of approx. 10 dishes and it changes every week. The loving way that the owner describes every dish lets the client know how much thought and care went into the meals. For him it is important to know if his clients have been in Thailand and had experienced the authentic dishes there. He asks for their preferences and then he recommends dishes or adjusts the existing ones.
My husband knows him well and he always let Chef Lam choose the dishes for us. We only say how many dishes we would like to have/order. The rest is chosen by the chef…
We always share our food so we recently ordered some stuff and picked it up for home as they do not have home delivery yet. Everything we tried was simply great: the flavorful tom yum, the pad Thai noodles, the garlic and black pepper prawns, the crispy sea bream, both the green and yellow curries, the warm seafood and glass noodles.
For our appetizer there was always Tom Yum on the list, a hot and sour shrimp soup, with mushrooms, lemongrass, shallots, galangal and cilantro, still simmering in a hot pot. The spicy seafood and mango salad is one of my husband’s favorite dishes as it is really spicy. I am only a medium spicy eater and chef Lam knows so he somehow divides our order. Sometimes I mingle with the “Thai spicy” too.
The sea bream was well seasoned, tender and perfectly crisped, complemented well by hot dipping sauce. The must try pad Thai noodles – fried wok rice noodles with fresh vegetables, egg, sweet tamarind and lime sauce are my favorite and my daughter’s too.
The shrimp green curry cooked in coconut milk with vegetables is so yum and flavorsome. The seafood yellow curry with turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, and coconut milk with a side of jasmine rice has the right balance of sweetness, saltiness, sourness, spiciness. Both the green and yellow curry were really rich and with the right amount of chili, as per my taste.
The list of wines is chosen in order to stand up to the bold flavors and distinct spices, particularly wines with a bit of sweetness, some with more fruitier character, some with higher acidity or round and well balanced red wines. They also serve wine by the glass.
We always eat dishes of fish and seafood when we cook or order Thai food, but Tuk Tuk has also chicken, lamb or beef in the menu as well as vegetarian dishes.
The dining area in the restaurant is cosy, bright and colorful. This small restaurant has got rave reviews from everyone we know and tried it.
I’m a big lover of Thai food and this place certainly hit the spot! 200 m away from home, gorgeous food, fast and friendly service and really generous portion sizes also! The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday, for lunch and dinner. I highly recommend all lovers of Thai food to try it.