Fringe Foodie

Wine, Singing & Pad Thai, Where Else but Nantha’s?

Nantha’s Kitchen is literally a little hole in the wall, tucked away on Duluth between Coloniale and De Buillon. The petite restaurant is sign-less but is uaually brimming with clientele, they even have a table for two out on the sidewalk.

Eating at Nantha’s was worth the thirty-minute wait. The amiable server made us feel welcome and offered us water while we waited by a makeshift bar outside, suggesting that we come back with a bottle of wine.

When we came back we were seated, and the waiter immediately took our order. The menu included Pad Thai, Massaman (veggies), Thai Chicken with Red Curry, Malaysian Chicken, Lamb Shank with Red Curry, Mussels, and Duck Confit.

I ordered their Shrimp Pad Thai, as it seemed to be a popular dish, at least amongst the patrons there at the time. My friend ordered the Duck Confit. The kitchen was visible to the patrons—set up like your kitchen at home, you could watch the staff cooking.

The atmosphere was cozy, warm and charming—booth seating, red Christmas lights in the window and American Beauty playing on a small television near the kitchen.

As the waiter put down the Duck Confit he chirped, “Quack quack!”

Both plates had been put together artfully. The noodles in my Pad Thai were fresh and tender, the sauce was light and supple, the eggs and shrimp were in good proportion. The plate was garnished with sprouts, crushed peanuts, and coriander. Sprinkling lime juice on top of the dish gave it the perfect zest, complimenting the optimal spice of the Pad Thai.

The meal was satisfying and filling without leaving me feeling like I should bike around the block several times to relieve bloating. The noodles didn’t have the feeling of greasiness that you’re left with when you walk into a place that whips up your Pad Thai within five minutes of your ordering it.

The only disappointment at Nantha’s was their lack of desert choices. There weren’t any cakes or pastries, they only offered green tea ice cream to satisfy a sweet tooth.

It was the community atmosphere that made the night memorable. The night was topped off with men at the booth next to ours spontaneously singing and playing guitar, inviting everyone in the restaurant to join in.

The mystical environment seemed to embrace all of the patrons, making them feel at ease. Nantha’s is reasonably priced, cozy and friendly. I would argue that they have the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. And where else can you drink a bottle of wine with your Pad Thai?

Nantha’s Kitchen (68 Duluth)
Bring your own wine.
Price Range: $12-17 per entre

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