Restaurant Review

Traditional Thai at Heng

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I never miss an issue of our free sister publication, Providence Monthly. The magazine always steers me to a newly opened ethnic restaurant in Rhode Island.

September’s issue featured Heng Thai and Rotisserie at 165 Angell Street, around the corner from the Avon Cinema. After a double feature at our favorite movie house, we visited the cozy downstairs restaurant, warmly decorated, with an open kitchen and friendly, helpful waitpersons. The menu is written in Thai and English, listing all of the ingredients in the eclectic selections.

We skipped the traditional “starters,” including Kanom Jeeb, a shrimp dumpling with sweet soy sauce ($6.95), and Moo Ping, charcoal herb marinated pork skewers ($6.95), and Joyce and I ordered Dairy-less Chicken Coconut-Galangal soup ($4.50). The large bowl was loaded with chicken, mushrooms, cilantro, coconut and galangal flavoring. Galango is a common plant stem, similar to ginger, but more sharp, citrusy and piney tasting. What a wonderful new taste treat!

I ordered the Crispy Pad Thai ($13), a generous plate of shrimp (3), chicken, crispy egg noodles, scallions, turnips, bean sprouts and minced peanuts. The combination of tastes and textures was incredible. Joyce likes her Thai food hot and ordered Holy Basil-Ground chicken sautéed with basil, mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic and served in bird’s eye chili with jasmine rice ($12). Both meals were tasty and arrived piping hot.

Heng specializes in Thai rotisserie chicken, a popular street dish served in Thailand, consisting of a half bird with a choice of sides and rice for $14. Garlic string beans or Som Tum or Larb Kai salads are the choices. They also feature mango sticky rice for $6.95.

Heng is loosely translated as “Lucky,” with the G actually looking like chicken, if you can imagine that. They make a fine addition to the growing number of ethic restaurants on Providence’s East Side.

Open daily, Monday through Saturday for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner from 4 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 pm. Sundays they open at noon. For reservations and information call 751-1651.

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