38-12 Prince St., Flushing
11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days
Municipal lot across the street
two months old, the Green Papaya is already attracting Asian and
non-Asian local residents because of its vibrant fresh cuisine and
Ma Tai is an American success story. Starting 30 years ago when he
arrived here having little money and knowing little English, his
ambitious hard work and knowledge of Asian cuisine has served him well
in establishing his restaurants. His latest restaurant, the Green
Papaya, is small in size but has a large menu, which offers all the
classic dishes from meat and seafood to curry and vegetarian.
started with a luscious soup, Tom Kha Gal or Goong, an herb soup made
with coconut cream milk, mushrooms, galanga and lime juice with either
chicken or shrimp ($3 small, $6 large).
also had a hot and spicy Lemongrass soup and a special appetizer —
Peek Gai Yud Sai — a labor-intensive dish of a boneless chicken wing
stuffed with ground chicken, shrimp and glass noodles then breaded and
deep fried. It is served with a chili or plum sauce for dipping ($3).
enjoyed the classic Satays of chicken and beef marinated in herbs and
served with peanut and cucumber sauces — 4 skewers for $5.
are many noodle dishes served with fish, chicken, pork or beef. All
portions are generous and reasonably priced.
of our entrees was Pla Rad Prig — freshly prepared, crispy chili
fish cooked and served whole topped with chili and garlic sauce ($19).
Our other entrée was Pad Puk Ruam — sautéed mixed vegetables,
fresh, crisp and bite-sized green peppers, several kinds of mushrooms,
Oriental long green beans, bamboo shouts, bean sprouts etc. It was a
healthy, filling dish for $6.
menu lists an assortment of curries with chicken, duck, pork, beef,
squid or octopus for $5 to $8. Two great accompaniments were Yum or
Thai salads. We especially enjoyed the Som Tum (green papaya) Salad
— a refreshing mix of shredded green papaya, tomato, string beans
and red chili peppers ($6).
the meal we had the national beer, Thai Singa (Tiger Beer) — only
$2.50 and a perfect match for the cuisine. Another drink you should
try is the special ice tea made with milk ($1.50).
still couldn’t resist the dessert offerings: fried bananas in a
crisp wrapping surrounding a mound of coconut ice cream. The other
irresistible meal-ender was Sticky (sweet) Rice surrounded by fresh
addition to Mr. Ma and his attentive staff, we had the pleasure of
meeting his two delightful daughters — Irene and Elaine — who
dropped by for some home-style food but who admitted to having a
liking for pizza and hamburgers. That’s the way it is in Flushing
where every country’s food is our food.