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Food & Drink

Bumpy Ride, Fresh Results at Tuk Tuk Tap Room

Photo: Casey Howell, License: N/A

Casey Howell

Som Tam—an enticing green papaya salad


The sizeable spicy fish cakes, packed with red curry and long beans with a hint of lime, paired nicely with the tart and sweet pickled cucumber salad that still retained a crunch—on their own, the fish cakes were overwhelmed by salt.

Local pho fanatics might want to skip the Saigon-style offering. The bowl, dressed with fresh cilantro (I imagine the gastropub goes through several cases of the herb per week), bean sprouts, thinly sliced onions and fresh noodles felt flat for all the effort. While tender brisket perked up the bowl, the broth left this diner underwhelmed.

But nevermind the missteps, Tuk Tuk excels when it comes down to its specials. This is where Gilbert gets a chance to really stretch his legs and showcase his love of Asia with an ever-changing selection. Recent hits included fried prawns ($15.50) with a tamarind and palm sugar coating. Flash fried and only partially shelled (yes, you’re supposed to eat those), the result was sweet and crisp without devolving to saccharine. Shenzen lamb dumplings ($9.50), handmade by Gilbert, in a ginger, scallion and mushroom broth were fragrant and comforting. The Ped KRXB crispy duck ($26.50 with rice and pickled mango salad) laced with anise, cinnamon, tamarind and chili sauce—which Gilbert should bottle—was moist. Toss aside any conventions that eating half a duck will be ladylike. It won’t.

I probably could have used a tuk tuk, or rickshaw, after consuming a quarter duck and then some, but turns out I could also benefit from the walk back to my car on North Alamo. I was never really keen on Frogger.

Tuk Tuk Tap Room

1702 Broadway
(210) 222-8277
facebook.com/tuktuktaproom
Best Bets Specials should always be considered first, but the pork laarb and green papaya Som Tam are solid menu standards
The Skinny A Southeast Asian gastropub marrying craft beer with adventurous, upscale bar fare
Hours 5pm-midnight Tuesday-Thursday; 5pm-2am Friday-Saturday
Price Asian Street Eats: $4.50-$14, Table Eats: $12.50-$17.50, Add-Ons: $2-$3

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