Today’s review goes back to two days before we moved from Portland. Well, if I’m honest it goes back to December when my Mom and family sent Jeremy and I a gift card to Pok Pok.
How did we end up at Sen Yai when our gift card was for Pok Pok?
We had a lot of excuses for why we didn’t go the very second we received the gift card. To name a few: no car, public transportation, no reservations, long wait and on. Plus, I love holding onto gift cards – they’re a present I’m not ready to use just yet. I mean once I go the present is over and then what?
Like any good procrastinator it took our fleeing the Portland area for us to go ‘oh shit! we need to get over there’. My mom had sweetly checked with me before getting the gift card to make sure we’d go. I looked over Pok Pok’s menu and said sure, they don’t have a lot of options but we’ll make it work and they had a lot of interesting meat dishes that I thought Jeremy would really enjoy.
Back to two nights before we moved. Things were packed. We were on target with our move and planned on using the gift card to go buck wild and have dinner plus leftovers for the next day
I looked at the menu again and was kind of like meh. I guess I’ll order brussels sprouts. You can see Portland had spoiled me already with vegan options everywhere.
While hungrily staring down the site, I noticed they had other locations with different names. I think they’re all in close proximity to each other too.
I went to Sen Yai’s menu and they had a number of vegan options. Hooray!
“Sen Yai specializes in Kuaytiaw, the noodle dishes of Thailand. Kuaytiaw is eaten at all times of the day; as a late night snack, economical dinner, a quick lunch on the run, even for breakfast.”
This is what we decided on.
- Luuk Chin Thawt – Deep-fried Thai-style pork balls served with Pok Pok spicey sweet and sour dipping sauce.
- Phat Sii Ew – Fresh local wide rice noodles, Carlton Farms pork, Chinese broccoli, egg and black soy sauce stir-fried in a smoking hot wok. Cooking method studiously lifted from Yok Faa Poohana, a favorite Chiang Mai street side restaurant.
- Peanuts – Pok Pok style with lime leaf, garlic, chilies, and sea salt.
- Phat Sii Ew (vegan) – See above description, minus meat and egg + tofu
- MaMa Phat (vegan) – Thai brand MaMa instant ramen noodles stir-fried with carrots, cabbage, onions, sprouts and green onions.
- Phat Thai Jay – Rice noodles cooked with tamarind, palm sugar, peanuts, dried tofu, preserved radish, garlic chives, bean sprouts, and chili powder.
Unlike Jeremy I can remember how everything from Sen Yai Noodles tasted. Amazing. I would eat all of it again.
Starting from the bottom left, we have MaMa Phat – my favorite. The carrots, cabbage and cilantro were all very fresh, crunchy and full of flavor. It reminded me of when I still ate ramen but had upgraded it, because I would add broccoli, cilantro, minced garlic and chili pepper.
Above MaMa is the Phat Thai Jay – equally delicious. I could really single out the tamarind. Am I an expert now that I’ve made it myself? Maybe. And there’s something so seductive about Thai food when peanuts and garlic are in the mix. Phat Sii Ew was great too with a long tenderly sautéed Swiss chard (?).
- Everything was very fresh and not greasy
- Ordering over the phone for pick-up was easy, convenient, and free of glitches
- They accept Pok Pok gift cards
- You can also eat in
- They labeled the boxes so we knew what had meat and what didn’t
Sen Yai Noodles is located at 3384 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 503.236.3573
A++ would eat here again. And again.
Have you been to Pok Pok or Sen Yai? What was your favorite dish? xo