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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rama Thai Cuisine

Sometimes, well, a lot of the time, I'm in the mood to find authentic hole-in-the-wall restaurants that make Baton Rouge such a great food town.  The Red Stick doesn't get enough credit in the culinary world due to all of the national chain signs that you see while driving down the interstate and New Orleans being only another 60 miles down the road.  However, if you hop off the freeway and hit a side street, you'll find some locally owned eateries with some exceptional flare.  One of these quaint places is Rama Thai Cuisine.  The Perkins Road Overpass area Thai restaurant is one of the forgotten gems in Baton Rouge, and it is time I give it some respect on Bite and Booze.  Eusebio and I dined at Rama a little while back, and we couldn't have left more satisfied!

Rama Thai Cuisine on the Inside and Out

It only felt natural to begin my meal with some Thai beer, so I ordered a Singha and started to get my taste buds ready for some Asian flavor.  Singha is a fairly standard lager with that Asian bite that you'll recognize from other Japanese beers like Kirin Ichiban.  It is pretty tasty, but I'd rather get to the food.

Singha Lager Beer

To wet our appetites a little more, we ordered a couple of appealing appetizers.  First up were the fried wontons.  These were nothing too special but they were fried to a nice crisp and had pretty decent flavor.  We had the shrimp chips for second app.  The chips were light and delicate with a great shrimp taste.  They came served with a delicious peanut sauce to dip the chips in.

Fried Wontons and Shrimp Chips with Peanut Sauce

The next dish to leave the kitchen and make its way in front of me was the lemongrass soup.  This fantastic soup was sweet and spicy with a citrus flavor.  It came loaded with shrimp and mushrooms, and I ate every bite.  I love a good, simple soup like this!

Lemongrass Soup

For an entree I called on the Rama Duck.  This delightful half of a duck was seasoned with Thai herbs and spices, then roasted until fork tender.  Each bite of duck put a smile on my face as the flavors filled my mouth and tickled my tongue.  The duck still tasted like duck meat should, and was only complemented by the sweet and savory Thai seasonings.  Steamed vegetables were served with the duck, and they tasted alright, but the duck certainly highlighted the plate. 

Rama Duck with Steamed Vegetables

For dessert, Eusebio and I couldn't decide between the fried apples with ice cream or the fried bananas with ice cream.  So, we did what any good person should do: we got both!  These fried-fruit desserts each came with three scoops of homemade ice cream.  Rama offered a selection of ice cream flavors, of which we ordered all of them: vanilla, coconut, and durian.  Yes, that's right, that durian! 

Durian Fruit as eaten by Andrew Zimmern in Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel

Eusebio and I were a little nervous to try it as an ice cream flavor, but it was actually quite good.  The vanilla and coconut icecreams tasted pretty standard.  They were not very rich, but still had a smooth texture and the right amount of flavor to provide a condiment to the fried fruit and something sweet to end the meal with.  The durian icecream certainly had a unique flavor but it was nothing offensive.  I actually think I liked it more than the other two, even if it was just for originality alone.  I wouldn't hesitate to order it again next time I go to Rama, that's for sure!

Fried Apples and Banana Topped with Ice Cream, Durian Ice Cream on a Fried Banana

You can also check out the Cuisine Rouge post about Rama to see what they have to say about this little Thai Restaurant!

Rama on Urbanspoon

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