Queens is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with every inch of the globe packed into one borough. Here in Woodside, you have Sri Pa Phai, crowned as New York’s spiciest Thai restaurant for years.
The menu features a wide selection of dishes, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself flipping through several pages of appetizers. The variety never ends! The one that really jumped out at us was the Crispy Chinese Watercress Salad — a colorful medley of shrimps, squid and chicken and crunchy watercress on a bed of fresh vegetables. The squid is cooked in a sour, slightly spicy sauce that complements the salad very well. It’s the perfect start to a hearty meal.
The Lower East Side is amazing for its never-ending plethora of cheap, tasty dishes. When we discovered Pok Pok Phat Thai over the weekend, we couldn’t keep this to ourselves. We just had to share the goodness! Located on 137 Rivington St, this tiny outlet offers authentic Thai food, with marble counters protruding from the walls to serve as tables. Photos of Thai artists from decades ago consumed the walls, dating the restaurant back to an older period. It was a clean, cozy setting, nothing too overwhelming.
Pad thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes. It is also one of Pok Pok’s best-sellers. It would be a pity to go all the way to one of the city’s favorite pad thai spots and not try the signature dish. That would be like jetsetting to Asia and settling on McDonald’s. The pad thai arrived in all its steaming glory, garnished with chives, eggs, dried shrimps, peanuts, bean sprouts, chili powder and lime halves on a layer of banana leaf. Asian dishes are usually colorful, and the pad thai did not lack in visual appeal.
Thai Market: Step into the extraordinary Thai Market and you’ll easily feel as if you’ve been transported to the streets of Bangkok. Have a seat in the golden “Thai Temple,” where you’ll be surrounded by actual imagery taken on the streets of Thailand and upside-down umbrellas that adorn the tin ceiling. The market serves up an eclectic mix of foods, but one of the best is the Tom Yum Goong soup (a mix of lemongrass, tamarind tendril, shrimp, and mushroom).
Thai Market is located at 960 Amsterdam Avenue, New York www.thaimarketny.com
Kuma Inn is located at 113 Ludlow Street, 2nd floor, New York www.kumainn.com
Pad Thai Noodle Lounge is located at 114 8th Avenue and 16th Street, New York www.padthainoodlelounge.com
Rain Thai is located at 220 East 53rd Street, New York www.rainthainyc.comt
What makes a Thai restaurant stand out? They’re scattered all over the city so no doubt everyone has their favorite and yet, if you haven’t been to Room Service then you need to experience what makes this place a real stand out.
Let’s start with the Room Service Pad Thai. The glass vermicelli with generous servings of mixed seafood and shrimp, are tossed with brown tofu, mango, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, wrapped up in an egg white crepe. The delicate parcel is presented with an oriental flower that brings to mind the welcome surprise of a quality chocolate covered mint on the pillow of your hotel room.