Tuptim Too Hot to Handle

600 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ, 07042

Let’s say you order a traditional spicy dish and the waitress asks how you would like that? You decide you want a little kick but you don’t want to burn a whole through your intestines so you ask them to make it medium. Now, most of us would expect medium means that your lips won’t turn numb and the candle on the table won’t melt from your breath.

At Montclair’s Tuptim, you would be wrong.

There’s an ongoing debate about the best Thai food in Montclair with lines split pretty evenly between Tuptim and quasi-chain Thai Chef. Tuptim for my two cents is the lesser of the two when it comes to noddles and is a bit more hit and miss. It’s good but the great shakes are few and far between. We think of it more as out Thai take out place when we want something quick and easy but the other night we decided to actually walk in for a sit down.


We visited on Christmas Eve eve with the thought being we wanted something not fish, not pasta. Most of Montclair had left for the holiday so it was a rare 8 p.m. Saturday night meal where we weren’t squeezed in elbow to elbow with other patrons.

The meal started out well with the steamed dumplings for an appetizer but then things got interesting.

My better half went with a special: a noodle sampler consisting of pad thai, Laad Nar and noodles in soup. This was excellent and someone should lobby Tuptim to make this part of their regular menu. A family size portion of this dish would give Tuptim a much needed shot in the arm in the competitive Montclair eats scene.

The issues began with the Pad Gra Pow. Now, in all fairness the dish, made of string beans,hot chili paste, basil and your choice of chicken, beef and pork is noted as spicy on the menu. My issue is that if you’re going to ask me to adjust the spice then you need to actually adjust the spice. About half way through my dinner, I needed to call a doctor to reattach my lower lip to my face since it had drooped down onto the table.

If this isn’t the affect you’re looking for we suggest you ask for mild not medium or better yet skip the Pad Gra Pow altogether. In fact avoid anything on the menu with a little chili next to it.


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