Thailand’s Center Point, an adorable restaurant run by Aom “Annie” Phinphatthakul and her family is one of my favorite places to enjoy Thai cuisine. Phinphatthakul possesses a mastery of flavor and a stunning visual sensibility. The dishes here are, “Pride on a plate,” as a friend pointed out yesterday at lunch.
“Where’ve you been everything OK?, Chef Annie asked as it had been a year-and-a-half since I’d eaten at her Woodside restaurant. Based on yesterday’s meal, that’s far too long to stay away from her cooking. Everything we ate yesterday was delicious, but the real standout for me was larb duck with crispy rice ($13.95).
I’d envisioned sheets of crispy rice served with the duck. What came out was a trio of fried rice balls arranged in an arc next to the larb. Who knew there was such a thing as Thai arancini? The crispy orbs are an excellent way to sop up the piquant juices underneath the duck. The shredded meat—mixed with roasted rice powder and shot through with herbs and just the right amount of chilies—was superb.
“Is this a new dish?” I asked Chef Annie. “No, it’s been on the menu a while, you just haven’t tried it.” Clearly I need to get to TCP more often!
Thailand’s Center Point, 63-19 39th Avenue, Woodside, 718-651-6888