Dec 20th, 2015
"Immm Rice & Beyond": A new restaurant opens up in the uptown area, with the unique concept in Khao-Rad-Gaeng (Rice topped with Thai comfort meals/ Rice and Thai comfort meals).
One thing I love about Thailand is ข้าวราดแกง /kâao râad gaeng ( Thai-Street-food), and it’s abundance of scrumptious comfort food that is prepared and ready to serve. The customer point to the dishes they want and they will be serve over rice. One common way of enjoying the dining experience is to try Thai street food where the vendors line up on the street as kâao râad gaeng. This is a must for you to try!
I remembered when growing up my Grandparents were running a cafeteria shop, and we were one of the most famous kâao râad gaeng in my hometown. I used to be around and saw locals get some good food. Even though on my regular weekends for breakfast my dad used to take my sister and I out to try other kâao râad gaeng shops in my home town. I have to admit I love it, and this is my kind of comfort food. I am proud to say I have had this type of meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This what makes my heartbeat.
For a Chicagoan, you don't have to travel 18 hours to Thailand. Now you can make a quick trip to “Immm Rice & Beyond” (4949 N. Broadway, in Uptown) for some real Thai comfort food.
The partners behind “Immm Rice & Beyond” are Dew Suriyawan, who is a business owner from Spoon Thai, and Noon Tosakulwong, a foodie girl who has a passion for food and wants to present Thai Street Food to Chicago.
As you first walk into “Immm Rice & Beyond”, the spectacular art exhibit wall warms you up and gets you ready for some Thai foods. The Chicago skyline and Chicago River are up front, with a man in national formal Thai costume who comes with delicious Thai Comfort foods on his boat ready to serve you.
Let me give you a tip of what ข้าวราดแกง /kâao râad gaeng means:
ข้าว /kâao/ means “rice.”
ราด /râad/ means “to pour over.”
แกง /gaeng/ means “curry." ( not just only curry it is including Thai comfort dishes).
You shall find a variety of dishes from the North to South regions of Thailand that are ready on the steam table of which patrons pick their own single dish or combination to pour over rice. The menu rotates every day of which some main items will be served every day: Kaɛ̄ng tāi plā (แกงไตปลา), MHOO WHAAN (หมูหวาน), Pāā Lo (พะโล้), Panang Mhoo (พะแนงหมู) and Pad Pak (ผัดผัก). And for the other 5-7 dishes those will be rotating every day. I suggest you check out their menu before and visit on Facebook/immmchicago.
Here are my top dishes from Immm:
- *Pad Phed Pla Dook Krob (ผัดเผ็ดปลาดุกกรอบ / Central Region) is common Thai dish; you can see everywhere in kâao râad gaeng shop. The crispy deep fried Pla Dook ( Clarias is a genus of catfishes steak ) stir-fried with red curry paste, lemongrass, galangal, and fresh kaffir lime leave, topped with crispy Thai basil leaves.
*** This order you must try, check their menu daily on FB: Immm Rice & Beyond ****
- Gaɛ̄ng tāi plā (แกงไตปลา / South) is a southern Thai curry dish. The name tāi plā is taken from fermented internal fish organs which give a strong smell, salty and nutty flavors to the curry.
This dish is a big hit for the Thai community in Chicago. Everyone has been talking about how great they make as an authentic Gaɛ̄ng tāi plā dish. It’s a thick, spicy mixed vegetable turmeric curry, a sauce made from fish tāi plā, shrimp paste, roasted fish, bamboo shoots, and eggplant.
- *Pāā Lo (พะโล้, 拍滷 / Central Region) is a famous soup from China made of braised pork belly, boil eggs and puff tofu in 5-spice base soup.
This dish is a one of a kind dish with 5-spice, light soy sauce, caramelized brown sugar (gives dark brown color to the soup), cilantro, and black pepper giving a unique flavor to the soup base. The sweetness from brown sugar with a nutty flavor from light soy sauce and the pork belly that has been cooking down in its own fat, make this soup a comforting bowl.
- *Mooh Whan ( หมูหวาน / Central Region ) is caramelized pork belly with soy sauce, brown sugar, and black pepper. The saltiness and sweetness meet in the middle with pork flavor; ridiculous good when you serve over the rice.
- Kaeng Kua Sub Pla Rod ( แกงคั่วสัประรส ) is red curry infused with turmeric, mussels, and pineapple.
Gaeng Kua / แกงคั่ว is one type of Thai curry which uses a larger amount of turmeric in red curry paste. A popular dish in Thailand prepares this kind of curry with prawn, shrimp or mussel.
- *Kaeng Phed Ped Yang (แกงเผ็ดเป็ดย่าง / Central Region) is red curry with roast duck, tomato, pineapple, lychee, basil leaves, and grapes.
This dish is a combination between Thai (red curry) and Chinese (Roast duck).
- Kaeng Om ( แกงอ่อม/ North Region ) is a spice "Lanna" curry with meat, mixed vegetable (dill, bamboo shoot, Thai eggplant ), and without coconut milk base.
- Kaeng som Ma-Ra-Gor Goong ( แกงส้มมะละกอกุ้ง /Central Region ) is a spice and sour soup made of: red curry paste, big amount of turmeric and shrimp (some use roasted white fish to mix with curry paste), raw papaya and shrimps.
- Guai Tiao Ruea (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ/ Boat noodles) is Thai style noodle bowl, rice noodle (pick your own:wild noodle, thin noodle or angle rice noodle), fresh bean sprout, Thai basil leaves, pork or beef stew meat, Chinese pickled cabbage (ตังฉ่าย), meatballs, cilantro, crunchy pan fried garlic bits, light soy sauce, black pepper, and sugar in pork or beef broth. An authentic style is to add fresh pork blood ( 1 tablespoon ) into the boiling broth to create a meat flavor and make it thicker; as you see the broth is not clear that is from the blood.
- Tum Pol La Mai ( ตำผลไม้ ) is a papaya salad style that adds more elements to the dish as grapes, carrot, apple, pineapple instead of papaya.
Atmosphere: Contemporary cafeteria design.
What to eat:
Kâao râad gaeng: Pick your own Plate
1 Entree 8$
2 Entree 9.5 $
3 Entree 11 $
Order from the kitchen: Guai Tiao Ruea ( ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ/ Boat noodles ) 5$, Khao-Mun-Gai (Hainanese Chicken / ข้าวมันไก่) 9$ and Khao-Mooh-Deng ( BBQ pork and Chinese sausage over rice with 5 spice-Gravy / ข้าวหมูแดง ) 9$
What to drink: Cha-Yen (Thai Ice Tea / ชาเย็น)3$, O-Liang (Thai Ice Coffee/ กาแฟเย็น) 3$, Daily Fountain Selections (Check the menu on Facebook ) 3$ and BYOB
Thank you for stopping by and checking out my review.
Hi, I am Natty! And Thank you for stopping by!! I am a foodie girl who has a passion for cooking, exercise and photography. There are so many favorite recipes from my family and friends I have tried throughout my journey that balances out and makes a healthy meal. I would like to take you on a journey to a different pantry around the world to share my favorite stories and recipes. My hope is that they inspire and benefit you.
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