While Thai restaurants are plentiful in North Texas, not many offer Isan food
, a cuisine originating in the northeast region of Thailand that has some Lao influence. Tomyumkung Thai Café
in Carrollton, however, is one of the few that does, along with a variety of other Thai dishes served up in an authentic manner with the occasional modern spin. Brenton Rodriguez and his wife took over an existing Thai restaurant at the end of 2020 and have since made it their own.
Thai elephants welcome you to the dining area of Tomyumkung, reimagined by Brenton Rodriguez and his wife in 2020.
When we sat down and examined the menu
, we noticed that there was a lot of duck available. It's a favorite but is often hard to find in this area, especially in smaller, less-pretentious spots, so ordering some was a given. To start, we ordered some crispy spring rolls, which came five to an order, a generous serving size accompanied by the requisite dipping sauce. After we let them cool down a bit, we were as pleased with the execution as we were with the quantity.
Five crispy spring rolls per order.
Pad woon sen was also on the menu, and it isn’t always, so we ordered that. We wanted some duck, too, and could choose from duck noodle soup, duck pad Thai, crispy duck Thai basil and duck fried rice. When we finally settled on the duck fried rice, we were asked what spice level we’d like. There were not four, not five, but eight spice levels to choose from. Talk about fine tuning.
Pad woon sen: glass noodles and mixed veggies in a light brown sauce.
The serving sizes were large, and came with a cup of tom yum soup, a nice addition. The pad woon sen was a generous amount of perfectly stir-fried glass noodles, egg, tomatoes, cabbage and carrots in a delicate brown sauce topped with green onions, and to the extent that a spice-level range can be an exact science, this did seem to nail it. This was a faithful and flavorful representation of this classic Thai dish.
House Thai fried rice topped with wonderfully crispy and flavorful duck.
The duck fried rice arrived piled high with wonderfully crispy pieces of duck. The meat was not dry but also not fatty, and the skin was perfectly crisped. The duck sat upon a large portion of Thai fried rice, complete with the requisite tomatoes, egg and green onions, all in a light fish sauce. It was wonderful. Have we mentioned the duck yet? The crispy-chewy-meaty pieces seasoned to perfection stole the show. Disappointment set in when it appeared that only rice remained, but like a secret stowaway, one final piece of duck breast and crispy skin remained hidden under the rice. With a bit of satisfaction mixed with a tinge of sadness, we finished it off.
This version of Tomyumkung has been serving up Thai food including Isan cuisine since 2020.
We wanted to try some of the Isan specials such as tum tard (a papaya platter), tom sap (a spicy and sour soup with pork ribs), nam with crispy rice, spicy sausage, and larb (minced meat with rice), but these will have to wait for another day. We look forward to the return visit and hope we can persuade ourselves to order some of the Isan food. But the duck. Have we mentioned the duck yet?
3030 N. Josey Lane, Carrollton; 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Monday and Wednesday – Friday; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.. Saturday and Sunday; closed Tuesday.