One of the most charming things about being on exchange is being able to visit places around your host university and discovering what each place has to offer. Facilitated by a relatively affordable bus ride away, I made my way to New Haven where I caught up with my friends who were studying at Yale University. For dinner on the first night, we decided to head to Jeera Thai’s – a place well known around the university students for cheap and decent Thai eats.
My dish of Spicy Basil Fried Rice ($8.95) was particularly enchanting and spicy. While I yearned for a stronger infusion of basil flavours, I thought this was very appropriate for a cold winter day that demands a little heat in your body. Made with fresh chilli, garlic, onions, egg and basil sauce with a choice of beef/chicken/veggies/tofu or shrimp. It was almost perfect after a cold bus ride from Hartford to New Haven. Be forewarned that this dish is exceptionally spicy. I was demanding iced water by the time I was done by my second bite. Refreshing though. After all, American food thus far has been on the side of relatively compartmentalized safe flavours.
Those who would want some soups to start with could choose from the Thai Coconut Soup ($3.95) or the Thai Tom Yum Soup ($3.95). Both were decent enough to warm the tummy but could do with a better infusion of flavours to drive up the taste. Still, the tom yum was a little lacklustre in spice and overall notes. The coconut soup on the other hand was creamy and delish, decadent enough to entertain your tastebuds with sweet coconut fresh aromatics in a savoury chicken broth.
Pad See U – Flat rice noodles stir-fried with Chinese broccoli, egg and sweet soy sauce with beef/chicken/veggies/tofu or shrimp ($8.95).
A great catchup!
Jeera Thai is a charming little place that is a little too small for my liking. Ideally, one should order delivery or takeout if you don’t wish to jostle with the few others already in the restaurant for some elbow room. The food is good enough and cheap, and the touches of hotness in its dishes (despite how demanding it is to the tastebuds) is refreshing from the regular American palate. I would love to be back there, or simply order something to go.
216 Crown Street
Tel: 203 562 5856