Curry on Murray is Thai for the mouth and the eye
By Chris Ramirez
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
Can't afford to shell out a couple grand to go to Bangkok this summer?
Proprietors of Curry on Murray in Squirrel Hill say their menu is about as authentic as you can get without needing a passport or getting jet-lagged.
Owner Werakul “Rhee” Laoworakiat says dishes sold at the casual sit-down eatery on Murray Avenue replicate the taste, texture and, yes, tongue-gripping spice of those served in his native Thailand.
Curry on Murray had its “soft opening” in June, and its grand opening July 12. The business occupies what was once the Sababa Middle Eastern Grill, featuring high ceilings and chic, airy industrial-style decor.
Here you can slurp long, stringy noodles from big bowls while washing it down with a refreshing blast of neon-colored Thai iced tea.
Sure, there are the you-can't-go-wrong Thai staples, such as pad thai ($10.95), mango salad ($11.95) and lemongrass soup ($5.95).
And there are house specialties — including chicken or taro curry puffs and ka prao ($11.95), a dish made with ground pork or chicken — that have gained traction with customers.
And there are the curries, a dizzying array of them, ranging from more commonly known green ones, red ones and yellow ones, to duck, massaman and panang curries ($11.95 to $13.95).
There's even pineapple and pumpkin curry.
“People are learning about us, and the word's getting out. They want this,” says Sakkapas Nukulkarn, 33, the restaurant's manager. “We know Squirrel Hill has a lot of Asian restaurants, a lot of choices ... but we try to bring that taste of Thailand to them here, something new.”
The restaurant has added acoustic jazz musicians performing on Friday and Saturday nights.
Asian cuisine is nothing new to Squirrel Hill. In fact, there are about five or six other Asian restaurants within a few blocks, including two others that cater to the Thai palate.
Laoworakiat, an engineer by trade, also runs the Curry Away restaurant in Edgewood, and reached out to Nukulkarn to run Curry on Murray. Nukulkarn once was a manager at the Silk Elephant, an upscale Thai restaurant a few blocks farther down Murray, and the two have known each other for several years and became chums while playing pick-up soccer games on the weekends.
Laoworakiat says his chefs capture the taste of Thailand, even though some ingredients — such as genuine Thai basil — can be hard to come by in Pittsburgh.
“We just want people to give us a chance,” says Laoworakiat, 44. “Millions of people in Thailand have been eating it and enjoying it forever, so there's something to it.”
Curry on Murray, 2121 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 9 p.m. Sundays. Details: 412-422-3120
Chris Ramirez is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-380-5682.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates claim 3 pitchers in minor league Rule 5 draft
- Police: Fayette man took money from foreigners in exchange for passing driver’s license exam
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Kovacevic: Why give credence to Heisman?
- Steelers notebook: Worilds loses sack; Big Ben gets 1st career catch
- Police: Panhandler claimed to be trooper in Latrobe
- Century III new owner seeks to reverse vacancy trend with new theater
- Pirates not yet talking extensions with Alvarez, Walker
- PNC plans to do away with tellers