|Meing Kham at Sapphire Thai Food Express in Teaneck are Chinese broccoli leaf roll-ups with fresh ginger, dried shrimp, fresh chili, roasted peanuts, lime and browned coconut with a sweet sauce on the side.|
|There is very little dried shrimp on each leaf.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Wondee's in Hackensack has spoiled me for other Thai restaurants.
I haven't tried Thai Palace on Degraw Avenue in Teaneck, despite a recommendation from friends and a three-star newspaper review last year.
Now, a woman who cooked at that restaurant helped open a new place, Sapphire Thai Food Express, in a storefront on Teaneck's Cedar Lane.
Sapphire also got a favorable newspaper review recently -- 21/2 stars -- but the two dishes I ordered on Sunday evening were just good, not great.
There was so little shrimp in Meing Kham, one of the restaurant's specialties, that I could not taste it, especially if I added the optional sauce.
The broccoli leaf roll-ups have a crunchy filling and a too-sweet sauce of brown sugar, coconut and galangal, a member of the ginger family ($10).
I ordered the dish because I can't resist the appeal of food you eat with your hands, such as tacos and anything stuffed into Middle Eastern pocket bread.
I liked the Papaya Salad, which I asked for medium spicy, but the strands of green papaya could have been cut thicker, as they are at Wondee's ($7).
The papaya, peanuts, string beans, tomato, chili and tart lime-juice dressing are served over crunchy chopped romaine lettuce, but I prefer Wondee's whole leaves, which allow you to wrap up the salad and eat it.
|The shredded green papaya in Sapphire's Papaya Salad was thinner than the crunchy strands in the salad served at Wondee's Fine Thai Food & Noodles on Main Street in Hackensack.|
|Sapphire Thai Food Express seats fewer than 30, and on Sunday evening, the dining room was too cold when the air conditioner cycled on.|
Sapphire Thai Food Express, 445 Cedar Lane, Teaneck; 201-928-0770. Open 7 days. Call for hours. BYO. Free parking in municipal lot around the corner.