NOI – Orginal Thaiküche. A-6020 Innsbruck· Kaiserjägerstrasse 1
Generally, the best barometer of a solid, authentic Thai restaurant is the quality, preparation and completeness of their Pad Thai dish. If good Pad Thai comes out of the kitchen, you can expect the other dishes to be excellent. This classic stir-fried rice noodle dish is featured on practically every Thai restaurant menu, but results can vary – the noodles can be mushy, sauce could be lacking or traditional elements could be missing.
At NOI Thai restaurant, this popular dish features all the usual Pad Thai ingredients – rice noodles, scrambled egg, tamarind juice, meat (here chicken is used) – and it is garnished with nutritious bean sprouts, thinly sliced carrots, a mound of crushed peanuts, coarsely chopped cilantro and a citrus element (a lemon wedge here, although limes are more common). In addition to the standard components, some chopped Chinese cabbage and tiny, dried shrimp also find their way into the dish. It’s clearly an impressive, eclectic list of ingredients. Additionally, as typically served with Thai dishes, the standard Thai condiment set containing sugar, fish sauce, chilies in vinegar and ground Thai chili powder accompanies the pad Thai dish.
Tamarind juice and fish sauce, which gives the dish its uniqueness, is a bit restrained here, resulting in a dish that isn’t as bold in flavor as it should be. However, it is decent. Combining all the ingredients makes up for this shortcoming, though, because the textures and flavor combinations meld together well – the crunchy peanuts give an added something to the dish, a squeeze of lemon all around brightens up the meat and noodles, the herbs and vegetables give some freshness, small dried shrimps provide tiny bursts of saltiness and the chicken pieces are slender and tender. Additionally the noodles are cooked fantastically – they are slightly chewy and sticky, a mark of a good pad Thai dish.
Add some of the condiments for the ultimate experience – salty (fish sauce and little shrimps), sour (tamarind and lemon juice), sweet (palm sugar and vegetables), and spicy (chili). Be forewarned – the chili powder is a real scorcher and a little bit goes a long way!
For 11.90 euros, the price is reasonable for a real, authentic and satisfying Thai experience. The exotic nature of the ingredients factor into the costs here. Presentation is eye-pleasing and the flavors are there. In terms of authenticity and taste, the Pad Thai at NOI Thai restaurant may very well be one of the best in Innsbruck.