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In Depew, Thai House restaurant delivers Burmese favorites in camouflage

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By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Even if you manage to spot the restaurant's sign under the auto lot shingle, you might still think you're in the wrong place. "Thai House," it says.

If you're across the street from Depew High School, relax. You're there. The Thai name is left over from previous owners, and yes, more than half the menu is Thai dishes. But in June 2013, a Burmese guy named Kyaw Soe Kyaw took over the place. He'd been cooking at Buffalo's first Burmese restaurant, Sun Restaurant Buffalo, before he struck off on his own.

Last week I went to Thai House (5246 Transit Road, Depew, 601-7865, depewthaihouse.com) for dinner. I can't tell you if the Thai dishes are good, because I didn't have any.

But the Burmese cuisine I had was good. So good that it prompted a spirited discussion with my wife Cat about whether some of the dishes we had were in fact better than Sun's versions.

This isn't a review, just first impressions, but it's safe to say that Thai House has excellent Burmese dishes priced a few dollars less than Sun's. 

Check out all the photos and details after the jump.

We had tea leaf salad ($6.50), with fried beans, garlic, tomato, cabbage, peanuts and green tea leaves in a lime dressing. It offered a splendid combination of crunchy textures and tangy freshness.

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That green chile on the bottom is pretty hot, but you don't have to stir it in.

The flaky paratha flatbread with chicken curry appetizer ($6.99) had greasier bread and thinner curry than Sun's, but it was still satisfying.

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We had Burmese style stir-fried egg noodles with sweet soy, chicken and vegetables ($9.99). It was average, like a decent Chinese fast-food lo mein.

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Pumpkin curry is a vegan dish until you start adding chicken or whatever. (Ours was $11.99 with shrimp, which were, in retrospect, not needed.) This version made me understand how pumpkin can stand as the center of a hearty dish. Slabs of gourd were braised until firm, yet chunks dissolved in my mouth. The leftovers might have been even better.

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A closeup to illustrate the pumpkin texture:

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So I ordered owno koksware ($7.50), Burmese coconut noodle soup with chicken and hardboiled egg, and got a lovely bowl of soothing broth and fixings topped with crunchy noodles. As an added bonus, there were whole braised shallots in its depths.

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Our favorite was the chicken rice in clay pot ($11.99), a fragrant chicken biryani with cashews and tender meat, served in a clay pot so hot the rice was crusted and caramelized. It came with a condiment salad of cucumber, cilantro and red onion, and it was terrific.

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I have to return for a more diligent meal, but the story so far? Thai House has legit Burmese.

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com 

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Food and Drink
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