Hard to believe but fans of authentic Thai food have been delighting in the award-winning cuisine that Ricky Chai offers at his Skillman location for five years now. In that time, Ricky’s Thai has achieved a 4.4 rating on Zagat’s for food. His other flagship restaurant in Hillsborough which has been serving the best Thai around since 2004 is also still going strong.

Ricky is justifiably proud. “The Skillman locale has received The Best Southeast Asia Thai award from New Jersey Monthly magazine each year since 2014- that’s four years in a row. And we have received rave reviews from numerous food writers such as Pat Tanner in the Montgomery News, Faith Bahadurian in the Princeton Packet, and Susan Sprague Yeske in the Times of Trenton.”

Conveniently located in the Village Shops at Montgomery, across from the Montgomery Cinemas, the popular dining destination has ample parking and is perfect for a date night of a delicious dinner and a movie. “Moreover,” Chai says, “we are moving forward with our Morrisville location which we hope to open soon. And we have a newly designed website.”

“We have a thriving catering side to our business,” Chai says. “We can make any corporate or private party distinctive. Let us liven up your next event. We also have monthly specials, but our diners’ favorite dishes are still on our menu.”

“Having been a waiter, I know the key to customer service is to provide a varied menu and consistently fine food,” Chai says. The staff at Ricky’s Thai know that good service equals happy diners and happy diners come back again and again.

Chaiyo Thongpanich commands the kitchen as head chef both in the Skillman and Hillsborough locations. Thongpanich spent 17 years in New York perfecting his recipes and for many years has been the chef at the Thai Kitchens group. His dishes are famous for bringing complex ingredients together to please American tastes.

The menu abounds with distinct beef, chicken, duck, and seafood dishes, and any of the delicious options can be tailored to vegetarians. This is not your “one dish with four choices of sauce” cuisine. Begin the adventure with the Honey Puffs appetizer, a house specialty of scallops, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. It’s not on the menu, but those in the know always ask for it.

After the classic Tom Yum Koong soup that is the hallmark of great Thai cuisine, the next course can be the warm Yum Yum salads followed by fresh fish specials or the famous Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao), rice noodles with a special chili paste sauce. Red, green, and yellow curries can be created with a variety of ingredients, including squid and duck. Other favorites of long-time fans are the Basil Chicken and the Tamarind Duck. Many of the items are meant to be spicy and they can be made to order for every palate, from a single star to five stars for those not faint of heart.

The decor in Skillman is refined and the tables, arranged with ample elbow room between, align with banquettes along the walls. Fine table linens complete the sense of warmth and comfort. A comfortable welcome, service by experienced staff and the best Thai in town are the hallmarks for which Ricky Chai is renowned. Online ordering is now available at www.rickysthai.com.

Ricky’s Thai, 1378 Route 206, Skillman (Village Shops at Montgomery). 609-285-2955. 649 Route 206, Hillsborough. 908-904-8038. www.rickysthai.com

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