Restaurant Review: T & Thai

You’ll taste the difference at this new Cliffside Park spot.



Towns like Edgewater, Englewood and Ridgewood have long been the go-to destinations for Bergen foodies, and rightfully so—the downtowns there are filled with a diverse mix of dining options. But the restaurant renaissance underway in Cliffside Park has quickly pushed the county’s most densely populated municipality near the top of the ranks.

After a short stroll along bustling Anderson Avenue, the borough’s main retail drag, my friend and I squeezed inside T & Thai, a cozy space whose dining area is no larger than a snug Manhattan loft. In a way, however, the size recreates the warm atmosphere of many Asian homes, and that’s exactly what we sought, eating in on the first full day of fall.

T & Thai’s menu isn’t unlike other Thai restaurants, and I’ve tried many of the selections, from pad Thai and fried rice to panang curry and whole snapper, in  dining rooms across the county. But there is something different here, an intangible that goes into every dish. We’re told Chef T (as he’s simply and fondly known) prepares food the way his grandmother did in—as I can only imagine—the family’s kitchen decades ago.

We immediately tasted the difference when sampling our first appetizer, chicken satay. Satay is a popular Southeast Asia dish, its flavor and preparation varied from country to country. T & Thai’s iteration comes with four marinated chicken skewers, each with perfect grill marks and seasoned ever so lightly. Much of the flavor punch of this app comes from the sweet peanut sauce, meant for dipping (or slathering, if you choose). Our second starter was a pair of summer rolls, fresh (neither fried nor steamed) rice-based wraps stuffed with shrimp, thin rice noodles, veggies and a heaping pile of cilantro. The ingredients alone stimulate the taste buds in a pleasant way, but the accompanying tamarind dipping sauce neutralized the distinct taste of the cilantro.

Though convinced that we could have ordered a table full of appetizers—the curry puffs, chicken dumplings and Tom Yum soup were calling our names—my friend and I ordered a trio of mains to share. The pineapple cashew fried rice with shrimp isn’t presented in a halved pineapple the way many restaurants do serve it, but the portion is still enough to feed a family. Even better, it’s filled with fresh vegetables and, of course, plenty of pineapple. The jumbo shrimp, which we added to the order, come with tails on, requiring us to pause between bites to discard the shells.

Our second plate was drunken noodles, a dish that’s quite the opposite of the lighter Thai noodle dish, pad Thai. This broad noodle is thick and chewy, almost as “meaty” as the delicious cuts of beef we added to the entrée. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the meat, which was unlike the thin, flimsy cuts used at many Chinese restaurants. This dish has an extra kick thanks to the Thai hot chili but is not overwhelmingly spicy.

We also shared a bowl of Hawaiian pineapple curry with chicken, a concoction of coconut milk, pineapple, red bell peppers, chili peppers and basil. The broth was on point in terms of taste—sweet, not spicy—though it was a tad runnier than I expected. I also didn’t anticipate having to order a separate bowl of jasmine rice (curries at T & Thai do not come with a side of rice). 

Loaded with carbs and protein, we reluctantly passed on dessert. But I’ll be certain to try the mango with sweet sticky rice and the restaurant’s seasonal dish for fall—pumpkin and taro custards—during my next visit. 

What T & Thai lacks in fancy decor and floor space, it certainly makes up with its service and cuisine. And isn’t that what makes grandma’s kitchen so memorable?

T & Thai Restaurant, 644 Anderson Ave., Cliffside Park, 201.941.0099; tnthai.com

Edit Module

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE BERGEN BUZZ WEEKLY E-NEWSLETTER

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Find Events

February 2020

Court Gallery This exhibition is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey and the Northeastern region through bodies of water­­––an investigation of ecology and landscape that fosters a closer...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

East Gallery This exhibition features recent artist books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition. Drawing inspiration from cartography,...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

South Gallery ABOUT THE COMPETITION  Since 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

The sudden loss this past fall of the iconic pianist Harold Mabern was felt perhaps nowhere else more than the halls of William Paterson’s jazz program, where he taught for 39 years and had a...

Cost: $8-$15

Where:
William Paterson University Shea Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

East Gallery This exhibition features recent artist books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition. Drawing inspiration from cartography,...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

South Gallery ABOUT THE COMPETITION  Since 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Court Gallery This exhibition is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey and the Northeastern region through bodies of water­­––an investigation of ecology and landscape that fosters a closer...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Join us for partially guided meditations every Monday afternoon from 1:10-1:45pm. Learn to mediate or expand your current practice. Come experience the benefits of meditation and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
View map »


Sponsor: Krame Center
Telephone: 201-684-6855
Contact Name: Vijosa Hoxha
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

South Gallery ABOUT THE COMPETITION  Since 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Court Gallery This exhibition is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey and the Northeastern region through bodies of water­­––an investigation of ecology and landscape that fosters a closer...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

East Gallery This exhibition features recent artist books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition. Drawing inspiration from cartography,...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

East Gallery This exhibition features recent artist books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition. Drawing inspiration from cartography,...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Court Gallery This exhibition is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey and the Northeastern region through bodies of water­­––an investigation of ecology and landscape that fosters a closer...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

South Gallery ABOUT THE COMPETITION  Since 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Join us for partially guided meditations on Wednesday evenings. Learn to mediate or expand your current practice. Come experience the benefits of meditation and practice in community....

Cost: Free

Where:
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
View map »


Sponsor: Krame Center
Telephone: 201-684-6855
Contact Name: Vijosa Hoxha
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

South Gallery ABOUT THE COMPETITION  Since 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

East Gallery This exhibition features recent artist books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition. Drawing inspiration from cartography,...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Court Gallery This exhibition is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey and the Northeastern region through bodies of water­­––an investigation of ecology and landscape that fosters a closer...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Join us for partially guided meditations every Monday afternoon from 1:10-1:45pm. Learn to mediate or expand your current practice. Come experience the benefits of meditation and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
View map »


Sponsor: Krame Center
Telephone: 201-684-6855
Contact Name: Vijosa Hoxha
Website »

More information

Bergen Community College will continue its new Cinema Ciccone silent film series featuring classic films, “Docks of New York” on February 11, “A Santa Notte” on February 13, and “The...

Cost: General public $15, Senior Citizens/Bergen Faculty/Staff $10, Students $5. All t

Where:
Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ  07652
View map »


Sponsor: Bergen Community College
Telephone: 201-447-7428
Contact Name: Ticket Box Office
Website »

More information

Clear away the winter cobwebs and challenge your mind while checking out the neighborhood’s newest favorite bar and lounge at David Burke Orange Lawn with its new monthly Trivia Thursday Night....

Cost: Free

Where:
David Burke Orange Lawn
305 N Ridgewood Rd
South Orange, NJ  07079
View map »


Telephone: 973-552-2280

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

South Gallery ABOUT THE COMPETITION  Since 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

East Gallery This exhibition features recent artist books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition. Drawing inspiration from cartography,...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Court Gallery This exhibition is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey and the Northeastern region through bodies of water­­––an investigation of ecology and landscape that fosters a closer...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

The Les Paul Festival Concert featuring The Young Philadelphians With a career spanning over 40 years and 25 albums, legendary guitarist Marc Ribot will take the stage with The Young...

Cost: $24-30

Where:
Berrie Center for the Arts
Ramapo College of NJ
505 Ramapo Valley Rd.
Mahwah, NJ  07430
View map »


Sponsor: Ramapo College of NJ
Telephone: 201-684-7844
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Internationally acclaimed violinist Laura Hamilton will be featured with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra on Friday, February 21 at 8:00 p.m., at the West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood. The...

Cost: $35, $25 (Seniors), $5 (Students)

Where:
West Side Presbyterian Church
6 Monroe
Ridgewood, NJ  07451
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 973-435-7057
Contact Name: Martha Whiteley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Court Gallery This exhibition is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey and the Northeastern region through bodies of water­­––an investigation of ecology and landscape that fosters a closer...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

East Gallery This exhibition features recent artist books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition. Drawing inspiration from cartography,...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Stop dreaming and start planning your getaway at the 7th Annual Vacation Expo! hosted by Excel Travel, NJ 101.5 and Dearborn Market. Vacation Expo brings you a wide range of trusted travel...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
Dearborn Market
2170 Rt. 35 South
Holmdel, NJ  07733
View map »


Sponsor: Excel Travel
Telephone: 732-571-1960
Website »

More information

South Gallery ABOUT THE COMPETITION  Since 2001, the University Galleries at William Paterson University has organized a juried printmaking exhibition featuring traditional and digital print...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Paterson University Ben Shahn Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

San Jose Taiko’s distinct performance style blends traditional rhythms of Japanese drumming with the beat of world rhythms, including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin and Jazz. Known for...

Cost: $20-$25

Where:
William Paterson University Shea Center
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ  07470
View map »


Sponsor: William Paterson University
Telephone: 908-370-4221
Contact Name: Zach Hertz
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module