Metro, Food, Newton, Food Guide 2022

Mom-and-Pop Restaurant Four Spoons Brings Thai Food to Newton

Nestled among a number of other storefronts in Newton Centre, Four Spoons may not catch every passerby’s eye, but its flavorful Thai food and unique character are hard to miss.

Past a simple beige exterior is an entirely different world. Red lanterns dot the ceiling, casting a soft glow on families seated in maroon booths. Even when the restaurant isn’t bustling with patrons, the sound of trickling water harmonizing with a soothing flute melody creates an inviting environment for conversation.

“It’s a great place to just go and eat some good food and talk,” said Becca Petras, LSEHD ’25, who had visited the spot while on a date.

Four Spoons boasts an extensive menu of Thai dishes that fits all appetites. All meals offer vegetarian and allergen-friendly options and come in four heat levels ranging from mild to very spicy.

“As much as we wanted to share true Thai culture and food, we also think it [is] important to make ourselves accessible to our customers in every way we can,” said part-owner Apriak Chuenprapa. “For us, that is achieved through balance.” 

The restaurant’s vegetable crispy spring rolls, an Asian culinary classic, are baked to a perfect golden-brown color. The outer shell crackles to reveal a balanced blend of cabbage, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and bean thread noodles. Four Spoons adds its own twist to the classic, serving the appetizer with a sweet, delectable plum sauce.

Four Spoons’ pad thai treats customers with traditional stir-fried rice noodles, chicken and shrimp, bean sprouts, chives, egg, peanut, and paprika. It is the chef’s special sauce, however, that sets the meal apart as sweeter, thicker, and richer than typical pad thai.

The sizzling sound of the stir-fry precedes the dish itself, bringing bursts of flavor to each bite. Customers may choose tofu, chicken, seafood, beef, or duck to accompany the assortment of vegetables. The dish is best paired with a side of rice ordered separately.

From the artistry in its food presentation to the attentiveness of the waitstaff, it is clear that Four Spoons cares deeply about its patrons.

Residents of Asian descent make up 15.2 percent of Newton’s population, making it the city’s second largest demographic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The owners of the restaurant have a vision for embracing this growing population.

“Customers have shared how important it is that we spread our Thai culture and represent the culture of our customers and community, especially during the recent rise in Asian-American hate during COVID-19,” Chuenprapa said.

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged Four Spoons, as it did many other small businesses. The restaurant quickly responded by developing a more robust carryout system that is still flourishing today.

Chuenprapa said that, to the owners, the restaurant’s popularity meant more than its success as a business venture. 

“It meant that, as much negativity was in the air, Newton is still embracing and supporting our culture,” he said.

Four Spoons is open Monday-Saturday from 11am to 9pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 9pm.

April 24, 2022