Circles chef/owner Alex Boonphaya looks like a proper boss in this slick, refreshingly non-ridiculous local TV spot that Skynet Comcast will start running next month. (Eat your heart out, NJP and Steak ‘Em Up.) Perhaps emboldened by his positive screen presence, the chef’s feeling generous enough to give out a bonafide free lunch next week. Yes, there is such a thing. Simmer down, fans of cynical adages.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24 from noon to 2 p.m., Boonphaya will provide free food to anyone who shows up at his Northern Liberties location (812 N. Second St.). The purpose: He wants to test the mettle of his kitchen in cranking out his brand-new lunch menu, which will officially launch the following day.
As you can see, he’s not doling out middling noodles in a takeout container. Combining some accessible fine-dining touches with additional Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian touches, Boonphaya’s looking to class up thet options for Philly’s Thai lunch crowd, while keeping prices reasonable ($4-$15). Above — the Magret duck salad; seared red snapper with housemade green curry and vermicelli; and cold buckwheat soba, also served with snapper, plus squash puree.
Two items will be of particular interest to Philly’s noodle nerds — Boonphaya’s got two unique ramen renditions available. If you’re a pork person, go for the Berkshire bowl, with braised loin, boy choy, scallions and proper Japanese egg noodles. Fans of beef and spice might be intrigued by the kimchi ramen, with house-fermented Korean-style cabbage and marinated sirloin.Lemongrass Soup $6 Choice of chicken or tofu in a Thai herb stock with lemongrass, galangal, onion, kaffir lime leaves and tomato Coconut Milk Soup $6 Choice of chicken or tofu in a coconut herb broth with lemongrass, galangal, onion and kaffir lime leaves Pork Satay $3 each Curry marinated Berkshire pork with heritage bacon, served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish Kow Tang $6 Dehydrated glutinous rice served with sautéed seitan with garlic and peanut sauce and cucumber relish Peak Gai Yang $4 Cage-free organic chicken wings marinated with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, turmeric and garlic Papaya Salad $6 Shredded green papaya with carrots, dried shrimp, tomatoes and roasted peanut Duck Salad $8 Seared Margret duck with peppers, onion, tomatoes and cashews, served a sweet chili vinaigrette Yum Hua Plea $8 Grilled banana blossom and grilled fresh calamari with onions and peppers, served with sweet chili vinaigrette Pad Khing $12 Choice of tofu, chicken, beef or pork stir-fried with peppers, onions, shiitake mushrooms, celery, scallions, snap peas and carrots Pad Ped $12 Choice of tofu, chicken, beef or pork stir-fried with our red curry paste, peppers, bamboo, basil, finger root ginger, green peppercorns and cream Pad Keemow $12 Choice of tofu, chicken, beef or pork stir-fried with egg, chili garlic blend, seasonal vegetables, bean sprouts and basil Pad Thai $12 Choice of tofu, chicken, beef or pork stir-fried with eggs, bean sprouts, chives and carrots in our sweet and sour tamarind sauce Red Curry $15 Choice of tofu, chicken, beef or pork with peppers, bamboo and basil Geang Luang $15 Choice tofu, chicken, beef or pork with a turmeric base curry with stewed papaya Cold Soba Noodles $15 Buckwheat noodles with charred red snapper, sake, soy and squash puree Thai Peanutty Noodles $13 Choice of seitan, pork, beef or chicken with egg noodles, bok choy, served with our peanut sauce Kanom Jein Geang Keaw Wan $15 Seared red snapper served with house green curry with vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts and basil Berkshire Pork Ramen $13 Braised Berkshire pork loin with bok choy, scallions and Japanese egg noodles Kimchi Ramen with Marinated Steak $13 House made kimchi served with roasted scallions and marinated sirloin flap, with Japanese egg noodles Pad Woonsen $12 With choice of tofu, chicken, beef or pork stir-fried with egg, sweet chili paste, seasonal vegetables, clear glass noodles, scallion and bean sprouts