We first found Nyum Bai at the Public Market in Emeryville. That was almost two years ago. Now they have their own standalone restaurant across the street from the Fruitvale Bart Station. It’s small and cozy, but worth the short wait.
Not sure how I feel about $5 Thai tea, but it was welcomed after a few bites of the food to come…
I’ve never had Prahok Ktiss before and that’s too bad. Although on the oily side, the richness of the pork belly is balanced well with the fresh crispy vegetables. I might want to try and make this dip at home and see if I can replicate it. If I can get it to 75% it would make me happy. How do I describe the flavor? A little fishy, bold, with curry notes throughout, the flavors build and build and you find yourself coming back for more.
You can see the chili flakes waiting to hit my tongue and do work. There was a noticeable kick but not enough to stop me and my dipping quest. Mouth open and tongue out – spicy achievement unlocked.
I enjoyed this curry dish more than the Mrs. Curry always has had a place in my heart and it gets ordered often around me. Since the other dishes were a little different from what I usually get, I would say this wasn’t the stand out. Still, did I enjoy it? Yes! Give me curry and rice any day.
Of course we had to try their soup noodles. This one didn’t have inherent spice, although you could add some if that’s your thing. Since we already had spice in the other dishes we opted to go easy on the soup. There’s something about a good bowl of noodles that hits home and comforts me. Why does the act of sipping soup and slurping noodles have a calming effect, who knows? As long as I get my fix I guess it doesn’t really matter. The super clean and porky broth along with the pork bits and whole shrimp gives surf and turf a new feeling.
If you couldn’t tell we had a pretty good meal here at Nyum Bai. The Prahok Ktiss definitely stole the show because the flavors were familiar, yet different and unique. The other dishes were quite good as well, but didn’t stand out as much. Foodwise, we left full and happy. Costwise, we wished it put a little less dent in our bank accounts. Our meal came out to roughly $50 which is more than we typically like to spend on an average night. All in all, we would come back at some point to try some of the other dishes and for sure the Prahok Ktiss will be in our sights. Have you ever had any of these dishes? What should we try next time?
3340 E 12th St
Oakland, CA 94601