Although short in stature, gregarious Tippewan “Tip” Sherrod, for whom the restaurant is named, is as dynamic and passionate a restaurateur as you’ll meet in Albuquerque. If she’s not inundated with hungry patrons, she might take time out to recount her background as a midwife in her native Thailand as she extols the healthy qualities of Thai food. As she takes your order she might tell you about the curative properties of your particular choice.
The Thom Kha Kai (a traditional Thai soup based on coconut milk with the sweet scented spicing that comes from lemon grass and galganal, a root similar to ginger), for example, is good for high-blood pressure. It’s also good for a hearty appetite. Served in a large tureen, you’ll ladle onto a bowl such ingredients as broken lime leaves, coriander, chili peppers, mushrooms and lime juice. The tanginess of the lime juice and the sweet, rich creaminess of the coconut milk are in perfect proportions to make for an aromatic and delectable soup. Tip’s version is among the very best in town and best of all, it’s prepared to order.
Tip is adamant about fresh food and doesn’t believe in pre- or re-heating. I don’t recall Tip’s explanation for what ailment Massaman (spelled mas su maan on the menu) curry can alleviate, but it certainly cured my hunger. Massaman curry is a Thai Muslim curry with flavors reminiscent of some sweeter Indian curries. It requires gentle, slow cooking and melds such ingredients as red curry, coconut milk, potatoes, onions and roasted peanuts. The aroma of a truly great Massaman curry is intoxicating while the flavors captivate your taste buds with contrasts of sweet and savory. At Thai Tip, the Massaman is a great one.
You can specify the degree of “heat” you want on many of your entrees. The intrepid diner might opt for “New Mexico hot” while those with asbestos lined mouths might opt for “Thai hot” which personally I like. Further confirmation of Tip’s “heart healthy” attitude is shown in the way she shapes the rice which accompanies your entrees–like a Valentine’s Day heart.
A nice introduction to Tip’s style is the assorted Thai appetizers menu item which includes two egg rolls, two chicken satay skewers, two fried dumpling pot stickers stuffed with chicken and vegetables, and two deep-fried wontons stuffed with ground pork and mixed with a touch of black pepper and potato. This appetizer menagerie is served with a mild peanut sauce and Tip’s own egg roll sauce which is a cloying, syrupy sauce with peanuts. My preference would have been for a more traditional cucumber sauce or for chili to have been added to either of the sauces.
Thai Tip is as accommodating a restaurant as you’ll find in the city. If you’ve got a short lunch-hour, call ahead and Tip will have a table set with your order. It’s no wonder this terrific Thai restaurant already has a loyal following.
1512 Wyoming, N.E.
LATEST VISIT: 30 April 2005
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: Thom Kha Soup; Massaman Curry