Twice the Spice

Newtown Square’s Spice Indian Thai Bistro

An inside look at Spice Indian Thai Bistro in Newtown Square. (Photo by Heidi Reuter)New to Edgemont, Spice Indian Thai Bistro pairs solid northern and southern Indian cuisine with Thai dishes that’ll have your tongue doing somersaults. The décor is hip, with cool lighting, cushy banquettes, vivid orange, red and white hues, funky flatware, a see-thru geometric divider loaded with votive candles, and plenty of seating.

Regulars applaud the Indian offerings, but we were swayed by the Thai portion of the menu. Indian cooking is more complex, with subtle seasonings and a fragrant final product. Thai draws on some of the world’s most tantalizing spices, its flavors fresh and light. It’s like the difference between a falling-off-the-bone roast and a quickly seared pork tenderloin.

The Thai salad was a cool, crunchy tangle of shredded cabbage and carrots, all glistening under a sweet-and-sour dressing, with creeping heat and just the right amount of tangy fish sauce. The lamb pepper fry, served in a worn copper bowl with a generous mound of basmati rice, offered relief to my stuffy sinuses.

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We also ordered onion kulcha (naan bread), creamy mulligatawny soup, tangi eggplant (crispy chips drizzled with sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney—too sweet for our tastes), and traditional lamb vindaloo and chicken tikka—both of which were full of life. Prepared in a clay oven, the latter offered juicy, flavorful chunks of chicken coated in a velvety, balanced yogurt sauce with plenty of turmeric, chili, coriander, garlic, lime juice and ginger. Be sure to try Spice’s lunch deal, a bargain at $10.95.

4843 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (610) 356-5262.

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