Where to Find Thai Food in the Hudson Valley

Thai turns up the heat

Many restaurants hope to give customers the royal treatment, but Thai Garden might just be able to do it.

“We had a relative who was a chef in the kitchen of the [Thai] king’s palace, cooking for the king and his family,” explains Nawaphon Sittisawassakul, the 21-year-old son of the Orangeville restaurant’s owners, Sonia Carden and Tepbut Sittisawassakul.

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A couple of decades ago, that relative moved to San Francisco, opened a Thai restaurant, and eventually taught those palace recipes to the Sittisawassakul family when they immigrated to New York from Bangkok in 1998.

They’ve served authentic Thai food in their current location since 2008, after moving from their original spot in Sleepy Hollow.

Asked what ingredients make Thai food so distinctive — different even from the cuisine in neighboring Southeast Asian countries — Carden immediately names chili. (Indeed, visitors to Thailand find some dishes too fiery to eat.) She then rattles off a list of others: garlic, lemongrass, Thai basil leaves, tamarind, turmeric, ginger. Her son quickly adds: “It’s the soul of the Thai chef.”

tiger cries dish at thai gardenBeef up: Tiger Cries — flank steak marinated with Thai spices — at Thai Garden
Photograph by Roy Gumpel

shrimp thai food

Thai Garden has an extensive menu, with almost 100 choices of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, and desserts. Sittisawassakul says the best-sellers are pad thai (with chicken it’s $7.95 for lunch, $12.95 for dinner, a dollar higher for shrimp), curries (a choice of chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp and four different sauces starting at $8.95 for lunch to $16.95 for dinner), and pad ma keur — an eggplant sauce made with chili, garlic, ginger sauce, and basil — which is one of seven sauce choices available with meat and seafood entrées.

A favorite from the “specialty” menu is Tiger Cries, a grilled flank steak marinated Thai style and served with mixed vegetables in garlic sauce ($15.95).

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Daily lunch specials start at $7.95 and come with a side salad that includes the house peanut sauce.

Sittisawassakul says that customers had grown so fond of the peanut sauce that his family now bottles and sells it at the restaurant as Siam’s Thai Peanut Sauce ($6.99). They also sell their own version of Thai sweet chili sauce for $2.99.

Sukhothai serves fresh, authentic Thai cuisine cooked to your liking. Situated in a renovated brick building, the walls of the dining area are decorated with art, mirroring Beacon’s emphasis on all things creative. The restaurant offers sit-down service as well as take-out, and has multiple gluten-free options; diners can also choose the spice level of their food (on a scale of one to five). Traditional favorites like pad thai and som tam are on the menu, as well as house specials like Chef Chira’s Classic Crispy Duck. Entrées cost $8-$18.

If you go…

Thai Garden Orangeburg. 845-680-6437; thethaigarden.com
Sukhothai Beacon. 845-790-5375; sukhothainy.com


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