Hello! I’m back, with a love letter to yet another restaurant in the Mercato Irnerio. This time, I’m talking about Pad Thai Kung, which I think may just be Rome’s best Thai restaurant. Read on for all the details!
Pad Thai Kung – Thai Street Food in Rome
As you may know, I’m always on the lookout for excellent non-Italian restaurants in Rome. I don’t have anything against Roman food (on the contrary, I love it), but being American, I grew up eating all kinds of things. Even as a picky eater in my small hometown in a largely rural state (Maine), I was exposed to different cuisines (although most were heavily adapted for a rural American palate).
My husband grew up in Sydney, and he regularly craves flavors that fall outside of the typical Roman pantry.
He was thrilled when I told him about Pad Thai Kung, and we made plans to go as soon as our schedule allowed (and I drooled over their Instagram account in the meantime).
After reaching the market (a quick walk from the Cornelia metro stop), we followed the signs for Box 19, which houses Pad Thai Kung.
A line stretched back several feet from the door. I was extremely happy that we had booked ahead of time, given that the place was already filling up.
We took our seats inside, and the smell immediately made my mouth start to water.
Having skipped breakfast on purpose, we were so hungry and excited to order that we really went for it and got way too much food. As we waited, Pad Thai Kung filled completely – there wasn’t a seat in the house.
We started with a plate of shared appetizers with the friends who had joined us – fried and steamed Thai rolls (Pho Pea Pak) plus, what turned out to be my favorite, Thung Thong – little pork parcels fried until crispy. I could have had a whole order of them to myself.
There were two dishes on the menu that I had to try – papaya salad (Som Tam Thai) and Tom Yum soup (Tom Yum Kang).
The papaya salad arrived with the starters, and my husband and I dug in. The moment I felt the pinch of the lime and chili on my tongue, I was suddenly in Thailand, where we spent most of our honeymoon. I chewed, and my whole body relaxed, while memories of balmy night markets, soft seawater and sky-high temples floated around in my head.
The main courses arrived next. I went for Khao Krapao Moo. The creamy egg yolk and cooling basil balanced out the darkness of the soy and the heat of the chilis. Jeremy got Paneng Moo, which was a little less spicy but had the added richness coconut milk.
I can’t wait to go back to Pad Thai Kung. Not only was the food excellent – easily the best Thai food I’ve had in Rome – but the service was was stellar, too.
Get there soon – and be sure to book a table!
Pad Thai Kung
Mercato Irnerio, Box 19
Note: If the online booking system shows no availability, give them a ring.
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