Voted "Best Thai" in our 2007 Reader Restaurant Awards, Purple Haze has always enjoyed a high standing in the capital, and their popularity is set to grow with the arrival of Purple Haze Bistro. The swanky yet comfortable environment feels more New York than Beijing, as live jazz (Wednesday nights) accompanies the exciting Southeast Asian fare on the menu. A bowl of Vietnamese chicken salad– composed of vermicelli, slivers of onion, cucumber, carrots, crushed peanuts and shredded chicken dressed in lime and mint vinaigrette – was certainly a great way to begin the meal. As the meal went on, things got even better: The lime chicken curry came with delicate chunks of chicken bathed in a mouth-puckering sauce, while the seafood in pumpkin sauce– a sweet stew-like dish made with coconut milk – added a creamy texture without overpowering the flavors of the fresh seafood. The Filipino paella was also superb, but it couldn't outshine the previous two dishes. Service was friendly and drinks are reasonably priced.
(that's Beijing December 27, 2007)