Sweet Ginger Thai Cuisine a quick and delicious meal
Friday, September 13, 2013
Today’s culinary adventures took my guest and me to the Thai cuisine restaurant, Sweet Ginger, located in the Merrimack Shopping Center, 6 Dobson Way, two doors down from the NH State Liquor Store.
The restaurant is a small narrow room, painted in a soothing tone of mango-cream orange, with seating on one side of the room and an open kitchen on the other side. Exquisite photos and artwork from Thailand are tastefully displayed throughout the room, along with a beautiful lucky bamboo plant at the register. Thai music plays subtly in the background.
Once seated, orders are quickly taken and because meals are made to order, you can watch the cooks prepare your food. This also gives you a chance to smell your and others’ meals, there’s nothing like the smell of good food to make you anticipate what you are about to receive.
Sweet Ginger has a lunchtime special where for an additional $2, you can add an appetizer (two pieces) and a drink (soda or an upgrade to tea) to your meal. As the restaurant recently got its beer and wine license, I instead decided to try the Thai beer Sangha, which is a lighter, sweeter beer than the other Thai beer offered Chang, which had a more robust and bitter taste.
For appetizers, we ordered the Thai rolls ($4.50) which came with a house pineapple sauce, and chicken satay ($5.75), which came with four skewered slices of chicken served with a peanut sauce and a cucumber salad. Not too much and just enough for an appetizer before a meal.
The menu covers different soups, (Tom Yum – the famous Thai hot and sour soup), fried rice and noodles (Pad Thai – the most popular Thai noodle dish) and curries. For those who want something a little different, vegetarian and seafood dishes are offered, as well as Sweet Ginger specialties, including duck, and “Triple Cs” – crispy chicken curry with string beans.
Dishes come with a varying degree of spiciness. One chili pepper on the menu indicates mild spiciness and three indicate the dish is very spicy. Be forewarned: When they say spicy, they mean spicy! Only someone who really likes their food very hot should venture into the land of three chili peppers.
The waitstaff was highly attentive, quickly whisking away used glasses and plates and came to the table often to check on the meal and to see if anything else was wanted. The check was delivered with bits of candy on the tray (always a plus in my book) and quickly taken care of. We were in and out in a short time (but not rushed), which for someone who had to get back to work was greatly appreciated.
For lunch, I ordered the Massaman chicken curry ($7 – Massaman curry with sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, onion and roasted peanuts) and my guest ordered the chicken Pad Kra-Paw ($7.50 – Thai style stir-fried with onions, red and green peppers and basil in a spicy sauce.) Both meals arrived at the same time and the food was appropriately warm. Conversation stopped as we both eagerly tucked into our orders. The food was divine and importantly, the serving sizes were enough to fill us up without making us feel stuffed.
Succinctly put, the food at Sweet Ginger is to die for. Plenty of fresh vegetables, subtle sauces and moderate serving sizes, it’s the kind of meal that makes your tummy happy reminding you that it really is good to be alive. Just try it and see if, after a meal here, you don’t end up leaving Sweet Ginger with a sweet smile on your face.
Open for lunch and dinner, you’d be best to come early for a good seat. If you don’t want to take the chance of possibly waiting, you can always call and order takeout – Sweet Ginger provides delivery of food all day until closing (around 9 p.m. each weeknight, 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.)