I had the delightful pleasure of reviewing Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen for lunch with a good friend recently. According to the menu, Nittaya started her restaurant to showcase the secret family recipes from her home country of Thailand.
You get a hint of the the ambiance right from the start. The storefront is a prettily decorated quasi courtyard with a potted lime tree, vine trellised walls and outdoor seating. The decoration inside is swanky and soothing with a very well stocked and elegant wine bar.
Potato curry filled pastry which is deep fried. I like to think of them as Asian empanadas. The pastry is flaky and buttery and the filling is just fantastic-a nicely balanced and seasoned curry. No one spice overwhelms or dominates and the end result is just divine.
Coconut Chicken Curry:
Chicken in a creamy coconut soup which is flavored by lemon grass and ginger. It is a great starter-light, fragrant and delicious.
I tried the set lunch which comes with a salad and a potsticker. They are perfect accompaniments not just in size but especially in taste. Light and deft hands prepared the salad dressing and the potsticker.
Pad Z-ew Pork:
Rice noodle pan fried with Chinese broccoli, eggs and pork. This is one of my all time favorite Thai and Southeast Asian dish (a lot of SEAsian countries have variations of this dish), and the standard bearer for which I gauge all Thai restaurants.
I love this dish so much and have tried it in many different restaurants all over the world and in Thailand itself so I know what makes a good Pad Z-ew. Chewy rice noodles that are not overcooked or mushy. Firm Chinese broccoli, eggs and pork which are lightly seasoned with soy sauce and infused with a taste of sauteed fresh garlic.
And….Nittaya’s does a very, very good Pad Z-ew! Outstanding in fact. Pad Z-ew is a popular street food in Thailand, with basic ingredients and is one of the very best comfort foods for Southeast Asians all over the world. What a delight to discover a great one so close to home!
Tofu Massaman Curry:
Tofu coconut curry cooked with potatoes and peanuts, served over rice. Slightly sweet, a little spicy and a whole lot of yummy.
Coconut Ice Cream:
Homemade, sweet and creamy. An excellent way to end lunch on another very hot day in Las Vegas in late September!
The one word that best describes the ambiance, cooking and overall experience at Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen is delicate. Delicate in presentation, preparation, flavor and just such a pleasurable overall experience.
The appetizer plates or Thai tapas as they are called at Nittaya’s are under $10 and the set lunch is $11. Professional service, very reasonable prices, excellent atmosphere; this is one kitchen that is definitely not going to be a secret for very much longer!