Bring Out the Longevity Noodles: How Restaurants Are Celebrating Thai New Year

For the second year in a row, Washington Thai restaurants are celebrating Songkran—the Thai New Year—with a week of promotions. Thai Restaurant Week runs April 13 through 19, and although some restaurants simply offer a 10-percent discount, others get more creative with the festivities. At many restaurants, you’ll find drawings for the chance to win gift certificates, cooking classes, spa services, even a Thai vacation. Here’s a sampling of what some of them are doing; for more, visit the Thai Embassy’s Web site.

Asia Nine
This Asian-fusion restaurant’s special menu starts with a choice of Buddha Blessing Shrimp with plum sauce ($8) or fruit salad with Thai chilies ($12). For the main course, choose between a steamed young-coconut seafood curry ($20) or grilled herb chicken with papaya salad ($23). Dessert is a dish called the Golden Axe, a custard with black sticky rice ($8).

Bangkok Joe’s
This upscale Georgetown restaurant gets into the Songkran spirit every year. Munching on the shrimp dish known as meang-kum ($6.95) will supposedly bring a year of health. Shrimp-and-chicken spaghetti ($21.95) may give you a long life. Other appetizers include crispy mee krob noodles and King Rama II Dumplings ($7.95). Main courses feature kao kruk kapi, a traditional rice dish ($14.95), and Crying Tiger, which translates to grilled, marinated flank steak ($19.95). For dessert, try the steamed coconut custard with black sticky rice ($5.95). You can also take part in a traditional water-pouring ritual to renew your spirit for the year ahead.

This Vienna restaurant is offering an $8 lunch special, with a choice of appetizer, soup, salad, and entrée. Appetizers include chicken satay, vegetable spring rolls, mango-and-vegetable spring rolls, ginger/chicken dumplings, and kanom jeeb dumplings. Next is mushroom-ginger soup and a green salad. Lunch entrées include black noodles, cashew chicken, crispy duck, drunken noodles, pad Thai, panang curry, and fried rice.

For dinner, a three-course menu ($17) comes with a free glass of wine. The menu begins with chicken-and-lemongrass soup, chicken satay, or vegetable spring rolls. Main courses options are crispy tilapia, olive-and-basil duck, and sea scallops with herbs and spices. If you spend more than $50 during the Thai New Year celebration, you’ll get two free drinks. There’ll also be drawings during the week for items including gift certificates and T-shirts.

The Thai New Year menu at this ornate Falls Church restaurant includes drunken lobster noodles, five-spice roast pork, Siamese sesame steak, and red curry with roast duck. Seafood choices include scrambled oysters, red snapper in green curry, soft-shell-crab tempura, and garlic-and-black-pepper Chilean sea bass. Throughout the week, there will be live traditional Thai music, and on weekends there will be a Thai folk dancer. Check out the restaurant’s Web site for a 10-percent discount. []

Pana Thai
This Derwood dining room is adding a traditional dish from southern Thailand to its menu. Kow krook kra-pee mixes steamed jasmine rice with shrimp paste and is served with fried dried shrimp, sweet sausage, red onion, and fresh chili ($15.95).

T.H.A.I. in Shirlington

This colorful neighborhood spot will have an entire menu of New Year’s specials. Entrées include Thai New Year spaghetti with wok-fried chicken and shrimp; kao kluk kapi, a traditional rice dish; and kao soi, made with shrimp, coconut milk, and “longevity noodles.” (Main courses range from $12.95 to $19.95.) Dessert is steamed coconut custard with black sticky rice ($5.95).

Thai Pavilion in Rockville, Thaiphoon in Arlington, and Bangkok Bistro in Georgetown will each offer a 10-percent discount. 

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.