1015 S. Townsend Ave., Montrose, 970/240-4567
Asii is another word to describe Southeast Asia. And while Asii, the bright and upbeat restaurant in Montrose, primarily serves Thai cuisine, there are menu items from various points throughout Southeast Asia.
Take for instance, the barbecue pork bun appetizer ($4.95). Under most circumstances, you would find them served at a Chinese dim sum restaurant, but these Cantonese specialties are right at home on Asii’s menu. The buns are dense yet pillow-like. The pork filling is tender and sweet. Other non-traditional Thai starters include a nori pork chicken roll (four, $4.95; six,$7.95) and a longstanding American-Chinese take-out favorite, rangoons, fried wontons filled with cream cheese and shrimp (four,$4.95; six-$7.95) and served with a sweet chili dipping sauce.
Since Asii opened its doors in 2009, its menu has undergone a few modifications; now, you can mix and match. Choose a protein: Vegetable or tofu (lunch, $7.55, dinner, $10.95); chicken, pork or beef ($8.55/$12.95); shrimp, calamari or scallops ($9.55/$15.95); organic chicken ($10.55/$15.95); or seafood ($11.55/$16.95) and then choose the dish.
The Pad kra pra spicy basil dish is stir fried with chili-basil sauce along with snappy bell peppers, bamboo slices, mushrooms, onions, green beans and basil leaves. There’s a fresh ginger dish made with green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, celery, and carrot, all stir-fried together with a garlic black bean sauce as well as a spicy dish of eggplant stir-fried with veggies and coated in the red chili garlic basil sauce.
With a new menu in his hand, one man sitting at a nearby table fretted for a moment that the new menu didn’t have rong song, his favorite dish. It’s a peanut sauce-based dish with steamed broccoli, carrots, cabbage, baby corn, mushrooms and pineapple. After some searching, he was very, very relieved to find it still on the menu.
There are other Thai go-to’s on the menu, like pad Thai noodles in a sour brown sauce and drunken noodles in a sweet and dark soy sauce. One staff member said those two dishes are by far and away Asii’s best-selling dishes. There are, of course, a number of curries to be had at Asii, including green, red, yellow, Pa Nang, massaman and jungle curry. The jungle curry, sweat-inducingly hot, has a clear broth and is packed with a variety of vegetables and your choice of meat.
There are more creative dishes on the “Thai Chef’s Special” portion of the menu, including red curry duck ($17.95) that’s topped with pineapple, bell pepper, basil leaves, and bamboo shoots and simmered in red curry spices and coconut milk. Like sweet and sour? The tamarind duck ($17.95) dish is made of boneless crispy duck pieces topped with pineapple, bell pepper, mushrooms onion and scallions in a tamarind sauce.
The choo chee shrimp ($17.95) is a dish comprised of shrimp, basil, kaffir lime leaves in red chili curry. This comes with a side of steamed asparagus, broccoli and carrots.
For Japanese-inspired flavors, try one of Asii’s Thai hand rolls. There’s a crispy California roll ($9.95) made with avocado, crab, cucumber and served with peanut plum dipping sauce. Or try the duck roll ($9.95), where roasted duck is rolled with Japanese brown rice, cucumber, cilantro, carrot, and service with a spicy Sriracha and sweet dark soy sauce.
The rolls are just another example of what Asii does best: Offer a base of traditional Thai dishes along with creative flavor journeys to other regions of Southeast Asia.
HOT DAY?: On a hot Montrose day, a cold Thai-style salad may be what’s needed. Try the larb chicken ($10.95) made with onion, dried chili and rice powder in a spicy lime juice dressing.
STAYING IN?: For those who happen to live close by – within two miles – free delivery is available.
Lunch served daily, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner served nightly, 4-10 p.m.