Northborough – After a long drive and suff ering from a cold, all my husband wanted was hot soup. I wanted good food that I didn't have to cook.
We both got our wish at Yoong Tong Authentic Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar. We arrived early, and the quiet dining room was just right to calm our road-jangled nerves.
We took our time ordering over a small bottle of warm sake ($7.95). Served in a decanter glazed in blue and white and poured into tiny cups, the tangy wine was warm enough to ward off winter chills.
We followed with soup: Tom Yum Shrimp ($3.95) for my husband and glass noodle for me. He was attracted by the promised spice, while I thought the idea of glass noodles too interesting to miss. Once again, we got our wish.
The Tom Yum featured large shrimp in a hot and sour broth. Chili and lemongrass brought out the dominant flavors, and mushrooms added texture. My glass noodles were delicate strands of bean threads wafting almost through a light, flavorful chicken broth. The bowl was filled with tender chicken, snow peas and leeks, off ering the swirl of taste and textures that makes Thai food so appealing.
A word now about service: while we were left to take our time over our order, we were never abandoned, with one of two diff erent servers showing up the moment we put down a menu or finished a course. It wasn't until after the meal that I realized one attentive server was a member of the family that owns the restaurant, Tom Sahasakmontri. That kind of attention to customers resonates with the attention the kitchen gives the food, producing beautifully presented and delectable meals.
For the main course, I chose Tofu Royal ($12.95). This dish set off the creamy texture and chameleon tastes of the bean curd exceptionally well. Lightly fried, the tofu had a chewy crust, again off ering that contrast of textures I enjoy. Bathed in a delicate brown ginger sauce and accompanied by scallions, bean sprouts, mushrooms and snow peas, the tofu – and I – were definitely treated royally. Even better, the large platter meant I got to enjoy the meal again the next day.
As a side dish, I ordered brown rice ($2). The healthy serving of the chewy, nutty rice also gave me leftovers to accompany my tofu.
My husband chose Hot and Crazy Noodles with chicken ($11.95). The mix of textures in this dish came from the fresh rice noodles pan-fried with onions and peppers. The flavor of the hot peppers and basil leaves gave the dish heat, while the slices of chicken breast added substance. He was so happy with his meal that even with his cold-dimmed appetite, he finished nearly the whole platter.
Yoong Tong off ers the complete restaurant package: soothing atmosphere, appealing and exotic food well prepared, and attentive but unobtrusive service. We're already planning our next visit.
Yoong Tong, at 278 Main St., Northborough, is open for lunch weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner Monday through Thursday 5 to 9 p.m., Friday until 10 p.m., Saturday from 3:30 to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 3 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 508-3930-7714 or visit www.yoongtong.net.