by Lauren Townsend for The Aha! Connection
Tum Pok Pok is authentic Thai street food in a bright, fun, and casual setting on Buford Highway in Chamblee. If you are familiar with Bangkok Thyme in Sandy Springs, Tum Pok Pok has the same owner, Adidsara Weerasin. From the second you walk in, you are transformed to Thai Isan, which is the Northeastern region. The food is fresh and very flavorful and spicy. According to the website, the menu “ranges from spicy papaya salads, Larb, Isan sour sausage, all-time favorite grilled meats, to mango sticky rice plus a more general menu that focuses on the local street food.”
My husband and I headed to Tum Pok Pok and loved it from the second we entered. The staff is friendly and helpful and you access the menu via QR code once you sit down. I asked our server for suggestions as I’m not well versed in Thai street food. I think you should always ask your server if you are unsure. Not being familiar with the menu or cuisine shouldn’t stop you from adventuring and servers are the most knowledgeable. Plus, they want you to be happy too.
The server first offered us lemon Thai tea. Thai tea tends to be pretty sweet and you sweet tea drinkers would probably transition easily. I thought it was tasty, but I’ll stick to water next time. All the menu items have English descriptions and photos (I know some people worry that they won’t know what they are ordering). We ordered Moo Pla Ra, which are marinated pork skewers with a smoky, spicy dipping sauce. My husband and I split the Pad-Kra-Pow Moo-Grop, or stir-fried crispy pork in Thai basil sauce served with jasmine rice and an egg. And, because he doesn’t eat anything that has lived in water, I ate the grilled calamari (Muak-Yang) served with Thai seafood chili lime dipping sauce. That sauce is so spicy and delicious and I actually asked for some to take home. It starts really fresh and basil-y and then SPICEY!
It is in a parking lot with several other restaurants, so peak dining hours may mean limited parking.
Tum Pok Pok
5000 Buford Hwy NE
Chamblee, GA 30341
Open daily 11-10