If you’re a Thai-food aficionado and you live in Boston, you’ve probably eaten at Brown Sugar Café. But you probably haven’t heard of The Similans. Oddly enough, they’re essentially the same — just on opposite sides of the Charles.
The emblematic fish tanks sit in the window of The Similans; inside, whiffs of aromatic ginger and roasted chilies fill the air. Plump dough pockets filled with chives sit three-in-a-row beside a bowl of chili-spiked ginger-soy dipping sauce and a ginger-miso-topped bed of shredded vegetables ($5.95). The charcoal-grilled spareribs ($7.95) are fall-off-the-bone tender, their glaze sweet, salty, and just sticky enough.
If you can get past the appetizer page, check out the noodle and curry selections — everything from the classic pad Thai ($8.95) and pad see ew ($8.95) to more exotic and outside-the-box combinations of roast-duck curry ($13.95) and masaman ($9.95), studded with roasted peanuts and chunks of butternut squash. In fact, The Similans has five variations on pad Thai, not to mention the Brown Sugar jade noodles ($10.95), quickly stir-fried with black trumpet, shiitake, wood-ear, and button mushrooms, bell-pepper spears, scallion stalks, and a generous handful of large shrimp. For overzealous spice fiends, grab a Thai iced tea ($2.50) to temper the burn. The Similans, located at 145 First Street, in Cambridge, is open Monday through Thursday, from 11 am to 10 pm; on Friday, from 11 am to 11 pm; on Saturday, from noon to 11 pm; and on Sunday, from noon to 10 pm. Call617.491.6999.
: On The Cheap
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