Red Bank’s Muang Thai restaurant is back in business after it was seized by the state Treasury Department over unpaid taxes last Thursday. Jack Pongnoo, owner of the East Front Street restaurant, tells redbankgreen that the shutdown resulted from a misunderstanding of how much he owed the state and when, and has now been resolved. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Muang Thai owner Jack Pongnoo, seated, with Muang Thai staffers last August. Below, the sticker slapped on the restaurant door by state tax officials Thursday. (Photo above by Robert Kern, below by Boris Kofman. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Fans of Red Bank’s well-regarded Muang Thai appear to have lost a dining option.
A planned expansion of Muang Thai into an adjoining flower shop will provide direct access to the outdoor seating area, below, that now requires a walk around the corner. (Photo below courtesy of Muang Thai. Click to enlarge)
By ROBERT KERN
The mark of a Thai cuisine master goes beyond knowing which ingredients to use. Herbs and spices like lemongrass, ginger, chilies and lime leaves – also known as kaffir – need to be handled and selected so they deliver the most flavor.
“Make sure the lime leaves are mature,” said Chanarong ‘Jack’ Pongnoo, owner and chef at Red Bank’s Muang Thai restaurant. “The older leaves have much more flavor.”
Expertise like that is not gotten from books or watching cooking shows, but from long years learning and mastering techniques. Like so many other master chefs, Pongnoo attended the traditional school: his mother’s stove.