Gao Thai Kitchen in Ramsey

Gao, which means nine in Thai, is an auspicious number that has obviously been good for the restaurant owners.

We wish Gao, a casual 44-seat storefront restaurant was closer to our home. The food was flavorful and fresh tasting, the service efficient. Gao, which means nine in Thai, is an auspicious number that has obviously been good for the restaurant owners, as the place was packed by 6 PM. The waitstaff wears black T-shirts displaying the symbol for nine.

The two appetizers we shared were creatively presented. Gold Basket comes with delicate miniature cups made from flour, which reminded us of crinkled mini cupcake holders and a bowl each of coconut minced shrimp and roasted-coconut crab salad. You fill the shells yourself, pop them in your mouth and get a burst of flavors. Also impressive were the spring rolls, three to an order, filled with carrots, cabbage, bean thread noodles and mushrooms with each one presented in a tall shot glass that has the plum sauce on the bottom.

Crispy, tender and boneless sliced duck came with shrimp, tofu, red peppers and pineapple in a perfectly medium, spiced-red curry sauce. While the duck was excellent, we would not have missed the canned pineapple if it was omitted from the dish. The shrimp were perfectly cooked in both this dish, as well as in the Pad Thai Pratoo Phi made with cellophane noodles, jumbo shrimp, garlic shrimp paste, egg, crushed peanuts, fried tofu, bean sprouts and Chinese chives. Entrees are served with jasmine rice, but brown or sticky rice can be substituted for $1.

For dessert, definitely try the refreshing and not overly sweet, Gao parfait which is served in a glass. The bottom layer has sweet coconut rice topped with fresh mango crowned with a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream. A few other options are chocolate peanut butter sundae, lava cake, ice cream and roti banana with chocolate and caramel sauce.

Gao Thai Kitchen
63 W Main Street

Gold Basket and Spring Roll appetizers.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

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