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Rabieng, Duangrat's Country-Thai Sibling on Leesburg Pike in Bailey's Crossroads


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Had dinner(carryout) from Raibeng for the first time on Monday night. Absolutely fantastic. Spring rolls werer ordered, a bit mainstream but a good barometer. These are definitely an entry into the top three I've ever had. Coconut Milk, Lime, Galangal and Chicken soup. Studded with petite piquant thai chiles this soup was deeply rewarding, a great hot weather soup. Shrimp and Pork dumplings, nice wrapper, fantastic filling, ground pork and shrimp reminded me of the shrimp cakes one of my garde manger cooks makes for family(although the dumplings were very, very good, Chi's shrimp cakes are unbeatable) The beef manamaan was as deeply satisfying as a well crafted beef bourginon, braised beef in a dark curry, redolent with cinnamon and thai spices hands down my current favorite for braised beef dishes. I passed on the whole fried fish b/c I was going back to the casa and didn't think the fish would benefit from travel. Raibeng has all the flavor of Duangrat's with a lower price tag and a Thai "country" feel to the food. This may become a weekly stop

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This is my favorite Thai place in the area, and one of my go-to places for comfort food. Bad day? Mean boss? Really cold? Car crash? The roasted chili cod fixes everything!

My standard order is the chili cod (sometimes x2 for takeout, though I still get strange looks every time I do this), the pad se ew with beef, and the green curry with eggplant and chicken. Went on Sat night, and everything was great, as usual. The restaurant was nearly empty, which was a surprising first. I hope people are still going!

Other tasty items include the spicy cashews, the fried tofu, the sun-dried beef appetizer...em, pretty much all of the fried things. They really get good practice at frying food deftly with the weekend street food menu.

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Rabeing continues to be our favorite weekend lunch place. They have a Thai street food dim sum brunch on the weekends, featuring small plates pattered after the snacks served from stands and carts on the streets of Bangkok. We went last weekend and found that they had added some new dishes to their menu, modified some dishes, and moved some off of the "dim sum" menu although they are still on the regular menu (an example is the green papaya salad).

We tried many of the new dishes. All were good, and some were great. I've ranked them below, although I'm sure Mrs. Rice will disagree about some of the rankings.

Pulled Chili-Lime Chicken and Carrot Salad

I think this was the strongest of the new dishes. It was strips of julienned carrot and young ginger, shredded chicken, dressed with a lime and fish sauce. The flavors were amazing, and it was an excellent palate-cleanser for the other fried dishes we had.

Oyster "Hush Puppies"

Four or five oysters, dipped in tempura batter and deep-fried, served with a sour orange sauce. They were perfectly fried and not greasy. They were very tasty, even to Mrs. Rice who doesn't like oysters.

Fried Rice Cakes with Beef in Green Curry

These were the same rice cakes that are served with the appetizer "Tidbit", but with a beef and green curry sauce. This dish reminded me why I think Rabieng's versions of classic Thai food are the bar to judge other restaurants by. However, I didn't think the combination isn't as good as the Tidbit.

Fried Chili Garlic Shrimp

We liked these shrimp, breaded and seasoned with chili sauce and green onions. They were a little greasy, an anomaly compared to other fried dishes we've had there like the oysters and the tempura.

Sriracha Chicken Wings

These were OK, but not great. They were two pieces of wing, with a sauce that was more sweet than spicy, and very messy to eat. I like wings, but I'll probably skip these next time.

Old favorites such as the Peking duck roll, the tempura dishes, the pork and garlic noodles, and the sticky rice dishes remain on the menu. One tempting new one is the combination of Esan sausage and sticky rice (called lemongrass pork sausage on this menu). Other new ones are grilled taro and sticky rice, and sticky rice and banana paddy.

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went to Rabieng yesterday.

the fried rice cakes with green beef curry used to be with chili pork, but according to the staff, it wasn't popular with people.

i preferred the pork myself but i think the clientele fears the pig. guess i have to go to duangrat's for this

i love the chive dumplings- the sticky rice covering deep fried is scrumptious.

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went to Rabieng yesterday.

the fried rice cakes with green beef curry used to be with chili pork, but according to the staff, it wasn't popular with people.

i preferred the pork myself but i think the clientele fears the pig. guess i have to go to duangrat's for this

i love the chive dumplings- the sticky rice covering deep fried is scrumptious.

I was there yesterday too, but for a late lunch (around 2ish). I think they still have Tidbit on the regular menu so you might want to check that. Also, they now have hardwood floors instead of the carpet, which looks nice but makes the dining room louder.

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Haven't been back to my favorite Thai place in awhile, but I ventured back through 7 corners to Rabeing courtesy of Thai restaurant week. The food was lovely - the chili roasted cod tasted just like I remember, a smidge of hot, rich, and salty all mixed together; the dressing on the squid salad was bright and fiery-tart; and the rice noodles chewy and deeply flavored. We also tried a special for the event - sea bass with a salt and pepper sauce turned out to be a generous hunk of fish, expertly battered and fried (light but CRUNCHY!), in a tasty but mundane brown sauce with scallions and greens. Very nice, but my precious chili cod still takes the prize! The service was pleasant and efficient, even though they were more-than-ordinarily-busy for a weekday night.

The best part, however, was the complimentary plate of exotic fruits. I got to try my first mangosteen and I have to say that I LOVE THEM!!! Sectioned like an orange, tasting vaguely of ripe mango, white and creamy with no hint of pith, and cunningly packaged in its own casing "dish". Adorable and delicious! I asked, but the restaurant folks said that they are still impossible to find. Tell me it isn't so??!! Where can I find/buy/beg mangosteens in the area? Anybody know? Please help!!!

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Unfortunately Rabieng had run out of mangosteen by last night. However, the lychee stuffed with caramelized onions and roast pork was delicious, and the roast pork in red curry was very good as well.

Ah, good to know. We'd been thinking about going back this weekend, both for another dose of the great food but kinda sorta mostly for another crack at a mangosteen.

The other night we were seated upstairs, where I'd never been before. It's a very pretty area with dark wood and a wall mural (and fun when you are overlooking the restaurant), but sort of perilous-looking to see your food being walked up those stairs. Poor servers!!

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This is a regular spot for lunch. Absolutely love it for their no-nonsense, fast service (though it has been slow when they are at full capacity). I think their noodle dishes are superior. My favorites from their regular lunch menu - the Chiang Mai chicken curry noodle soup with pickled mustard greens, the Tuk Tuk lunch break - a noodle soup with pork, Tom yum noodle soup with shrimp, in addition to the Siamese stir fry noodles with beef. Their version of drunken noodles is also killer, with appropriate spice. In fact, any dish here that says it's spicy is truly spicy. I also love their Southern salad with peanut dressing.

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Yesterday we needed something to eat, and I wanted to give Rabieng's "dim sum" a try. Over-all I was pleased with our selections, and would certainly go back. What we ordered:

"Peking Duck" Rolls - I am not sure what we expected when we ordered these, but it was not what we got, and that is not a bad thing. They were wraps of battered and fried pieces of duck meat with a delicious hoisen flavored sauce, and fresh scallions. Nothing that was mind blowing, but the crispy batter made up for the lack of skin. My last bite left me wanting more.

Dried Beef with Sticky Rice - There is no false advertising about the sticky in this rice, but it also had a delightful chew. The dried beef was four pieces of the sun dried beef the restaurant serves on the regular menu. Any day that I could have this dish for lunch would be a happy day for me.

Pulled Chili-Lime Chicken and Carrot Salad - Jim Rice's description above is spot on. As someone that does not really like carrots I can say that they really made this dish.

Crab Puffs - They were actually called something else, but the name escapes me. The fried skin that surrounded the filling was worth the price of the dish, and the filling can only be described as strange. It had a nice flavor, but not of crab, and I am not sure where the red color of the filling came from.

Sriracha Chicken Wings - These were the only dish that we had ordered that we would not order again. The wing was huge, but it was bland. The sweet and hot in the sauce was flat, and as Jim noted above it was quite messy.

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I keep trying to write about Rabeing, but I have a bit of a block. We've been going there for at least 9 years now. Familiarity hasn't bred contempt, but maybe has caused me not to praise it as highly as I would another place that had just been discovered. Prices have gone up a bit, so instead of a screaming bargain it's just a good value. But this place is the baseline from which all of our other Thai eating experiences have been judged.

One friend recently mentioned to me that Rabieng does shrimp perfectly. So, since we wanted to get takeout, I got the drunken noodles with shrimp. My wife got the cashew chicken, and we shared the green papaya salad. All of these traveled well. The salad was nice, with the sour-sweet-spicy dressing making anything taste wonderful The shrimp was perfect, as usual, while the noodles had just enough oil to not be too sticky, but kept from being unpleasantly greasy. The cashew chicken is head and shoulders above the Chinese style dish, stir-fried with dark soy and a couple of whole dried red peppers, then topped with some green onion. All of this was around $30.

Now if we could only hook up some kind of pneumatic tube delivery system from Rabieng to our home, I'd never have to cook again.

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Prices have gone up a bit, so instead of a screaming bargain it's just a good value.

Since I'm always such a cheerleader on this thread, I will agree with this to bring some balance. Since I usually get the same dishes, it's very easy to see incremental prices changes. The chili cod, in particular, has gone up several dollars ($3, I believe) since I first started eating it a few years ago. I've noticed less creep ($1, I think) on the noodle dishes. Everthing is still well worth the price, though.

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Rabieng also treats takeout well. I ordered green papaya salad, wild boar, and roast chili cod. The chili cod is deep fried, then tossed with a spicy basil sauce. To make the dish make the trip home, they cut hunks of the styrofoam box off the corners so it wouldn't get soggy, and provided the spicy basil sauce in a separate container so I could toss the pieces with it at home.

This is tasty and thoughtful takeout.

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Enjoyed a working lunch at Rabieng, starting with tempura plantains--deftly fried, flavorfully ripe, and served promptly. Today was another demonstration of the norm that Rabieng service will make one feel welcomed and warmed through sincere hospitality. The staff appear to genuinely appreciate both the individual *and* their patronage, a dual gratitude not often seen in other dining venues.

My companion ordered Pad Thai ($8 or so), proclaiming the ingredients to be the best rendition he's had thus far. I chose Green Curried Shrimp with Calamari and Shrimp ($7) from the lunch menu, a massive mound of fried rice sporting exceptionally tender squid, crispy fried basil, shrimp, and a balanced, spicy kick. Savory and filling, and a bargain value including both tea and a spring roll. But I missed the assertive, palate-singing punch from chili roasted cod and other successful and interesting dishes of previous visits.

I am also kicking myself for failing to remember to check out Duangrat's market next door, but I got caught up in conversation and drove away right after lunch.

I'll be back.

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Our lunch there a few Sundays ago was extremely disappointing. The only dishes that worked were the roasted pork with noodles (delicious; tangy and lighter than expected) from the street menu and the mango with sticky rice dessert. Everything else was inappropriately sweet and dry at the same time. Chili cod - overcooked, dry, hard fish and very sweet chili sauce. Pad se ew - floppy noodles, no burnt-wok smell/taste, and sweeter than normal. Jerked beef with sticky rice - very dry rice (meat was also dry, but that, at least, was as it was supposed to be). The duck in the duck dish was overcooked and dry and the red curry was very, very sweet. I had brought friends for the first time and was very sad about the experience. The roasted pork with noodles came out second, so we didn't know anything was really wrong until the rest of the entrees came out. And then...everything had major flaws! So I guess this is an interesting point of discussion - what do do when you don't like any of the food??!! It's one thing to send back a dish, but the whole meal? Especially when the real answer is that you don't want to eat any more food coming out of that kitchen! So we didn't say anything to management (again, we had guests) and high-tailed it outta there. First time I haven't brough home leftovers from my meal :(

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Our lunch there a few Sundays ago was extremely disappointing. The only dishes that worked were the roasted pork with noodles (delicious; tangy and lighter than expected) from the street menu and the mango with sticky rice dessert. Everything else was inappropriately sweet and dry at the same time. Chili cod - overcooked, dry, hard fish and very sweet chili sauce. Pad se ew - floppy noodles, no burnt-wok smell/taste, and sweeter than normal. Jerked beef with sticky rice - very dry rice (meat was also dry, but that, at least, was as it was supposed to be). The duck in the duck dish was overcooked and dry and the red curry was very, very sweet. I had brought friends for the first time and was very sad about the experience. The roasted pork with noodles came out second, so we didn't know anything was really wrong until the rest of the entrees came out. And then...everything had major flaws! So I guess this is an interesting point of discussion - what do do when you don't like any of the food??!! It's one thing to send back a dish, but the whole meal? Especially when the real answer is that you don't want to eat any more food coming out of that kitchen! So we didn't say anything to management (again, we had guests) and high-tailed it outta there. First time I haven't brough home leftovers from my meal :(

I've not yet been to Rabieng but plan to go. The two previous posts have left me confused to say the least. Has anyone else been there recently?

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Rabieng is my favorite Thai place in the greater DC area, and I've had most of the dishes that struck out the other day dozens of times previously. This was the first time that anything was wrong with my meal in many, many visits for almost a decade. I'm inclined to double down and go back to get the same exact meal, maybe with a few words to my server beforehand about sweetness, etc., and I expect everything to be fine-great. So go and report back!! I'm assuming they had an off day/new cook, and they've definitely earned my benefit of the doubt over the years.

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A quick update. The "country beef jerky" at Rabieng last night was hard to stop eating. Crispy/chewy and kind of slow burn fiery. Northeastern chili chicken with eggplant, bamboo shoots,and a spicy (not super spicy) red pepper sauce was good, too. My husbands fish dish didn't inspire waxing eloquent, but he finished it off. He raved about the pork and shrimp dumplings and the wok-fried cashews.

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Had lunch here on Friday to check their Esan menu items. Started with the Esan Summer Sausage - it was good but different from the sausage at Bangkok Golden III. It's a little fattier, and sweeter, but not anything like a Chinese sausage in terms of sweetness. The other appetizer was Laarb Pla Dook - fried catfish with a chili-lime juice. The dressing was nice and tangy, much like the dishes at Little Serow. The catfish flavor is very distinctive - so avoid this dish if you don't like catfish. We also had the Esan grilled chicken - half a (small) chicken that's supposed to be grilled with lemongrass scent. All I tasted was curry seasoning, but it was decent. The dark meat was much tastier than the breast. Lastly we had the pork noodles in oyster sauce (raad-na) - nothing special. We couldn't figure out what else to order.

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I was just wondering if I've ever been to Rabieng - and now I know.  I didn't really recognize the joint because it's been 5 years and this time we sat upstairs....

We had some crispy calamari, shrimp & pork dumplings (siu mais), summer sausage, and a signature dish of "RABIENG’S ROAST PORK  (moo obb) - Tender pork loin roasted w/ five-spice, sweet soy & plum sauces, cilantro, pickled ginger & chili vinaigrette."

The calamari was nicely cooked with good salt/pepper flavor (could've been more aggressively seasoned though).  The shrimp & pork dumplings were not as good as siu mais at a good dim sum joint, but I know the kids will at least eat them.  The summer sausage didn't have that herbiness found at Padaek.  The roast pork was tender, but again could've been more aggressively seasoned.

On a Tuesday evening, it was pretty crowded but the service was friendly and efficient.  

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Ate here for lunch today and got two things:

1) Lychee "dumplings" with pork.  I put dumplings in parentheses because the pork was stuff into the lychee bulbs directly.  I really enjoyed eating this just because I love lychee but the dish itself didn't blow me away - perfectly good starter though.

2) Rabeing roast pork curry.  Now this was badass - extremely tender pork in both thin slices with some bigger chunks mixed in, with rambutan, and basil in a red coconut curry sauce.  The pork was very good, and I loved the flavor the rambutan added to the curry much more than something like pineapple.  The base curry already tasted a bit more complex than an average red curry but then they had a little holder with 4 different things you could add to it : crushed chili flakes chili vinegar, this darker salty brown sauce with some meaner looking chilis,, and a sweet smelling sauce that I didn't try.  The base spiciness level was already a nice medium but I opted to add some of the chili flakes and the salty brown sauce which really kicked things up a bit.  Definitely was one of the best thai curry items I've had.

Saw a lot of cool items on the menu for future visits.  I'm so close to Elephant Jumps at my apartment and Essan (McLean) which I love that I haven't ventured out much to try other Thai places but was glad I did today.

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