June 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
Summer’s going by so quickly and with that realization comes the panic that there’s too much to do in too little time. Restaurants, exhibits, performances, meeting with old friends…why can’t we get 6 months of summer instead of 3? Luckily, some things, like eating out and gathering, go hand in hand. Case in point: a dinner with friends from high school at relatively new restaurant, Ngam, in the East Village.
There aren’t any assertions of authenticity at Ngam, just a focus on comforting, decidedly Thai dishes that nevertheless keep in mind the Western palate. My Thai burger, though a cooked bit too rare for my taste, had bright clean flavors – spiciness and slight pungency from the sai oor curry paste, acid from the green papaya kraut – to balance against the rich taste of the beef and a top-heavy sesame bun and came with a generous handful of addictive Chiang Mai kabocha fries and homemade red curry mayonnaise that Pomme Frites needs to riff and add to their repertoire of sauces so I can enjoy them really late at night.
M ordered an intriguing take on the classic pad thai which used long strands of green papaya instead of the usual rice noodles. I liked that the dish wasn’t overly sweet, a mistake more common than not at Thai restaurants trying to appeal to American tastes.
And X’s crispy chicken “laab” with sticky rice, though definitely not traditional in that it used larger nuggets of meat instead of minced chicken, had a healthy dose of fish sauce, lime, and cilantro.
All in all, Ngam is great for both classics and new approaches to traditional Thai dishes, and the restaurant’s vibe – artsy and rough around the edges – is great if you’re going with a group. Add the fact that they’re on Seamless and what’s not to love?
99 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10003