New Thai restaurant on Roosevelt in Woodside
On the way to the Chinese market at 57th and Roosevelt tonight, I was astonished to see that the seedy Chinese takeout next to the market had transformed overnight into a Thai restaurant. Grand opening was tonight.
I picked up a menu and it looked encouraging - they offer crispy pork with Chinese broccoli, gai yang (marinated chicken), jungle curry, and some interesting salads - duck salad, yum talay, yum woon sen, grilled beef salad. I'm sure they must have a Thai menu with some interesting specials.
However, they also offer stuff like "thai salad" with lettuce and peanut dressing, and suki yaki with "authentic Thai suki yaki sauce". (Weirdly, EGR Thai a couple of blocks down also serves suki yaki. Is it just coincidence? Or is suki yaki so popular in Thailand that Thais abroad regard it as comfort food?)
The decor is still recognizable from the Chinese takeout that was there until just a few days ago, but the new owners have clearly tried to fix it up a bit.
57-17 Roosevelt Ave (Roosevelt between 57th and 58th across the street from Donovans and right next to Long Cheng market)
Hours: 11am - 11pm every day of the week
If you stop by, make sure to try these amazing Filipino peanuts fried with garlic in the Long Cheng market next door. They're in the front on the left-hand rack with the Filipino rolls and dried fruits - look for a clear rectangular plastic container labelled "Nix Nuts" - absolutely fantastic.
Just tried dinner from Uthai tonight and I am happy to report it's a great addition to the neighbourhood.
I got the gai yang (grilled chicken) which was moist and savoury with a pleasantly sweet chili dipping sauce on the side - made with half of a little, very chicken-y tasting chicken - perfect with some sticky rice and green papaya salad.
We requested the papaya salad medium spicy - the dressing was a little sweet for my tastes, which disappointed me, but it was otherwise nicely put together. Next time I want to try the duck salad or the larb and ask them to make it really spicy and a bit more sour.
My husband got one of the fried rice dishes, prig khing - it came with chopped long beans, chili sauce and slivers of kaffir lime leaf. This was a promising dish - he requested it medium spicy (he doesn't like spice as much as I do), and it was gently hot with a fragrant roasted chili flavour that boosted my impression of the place as making food with care.
We don't eat out often, and when we do, we usually go to Sripraphai for Thai - but I really liked Uthai and hope to see good things from it. I'm definitely going back to try some more dishes soon - it would be brilliant if they were good with noodles, which aside from drunken noodles and kao soi, aren't good at Sri.
Has anyone tried EGR? Went in during the first week and got a temporary delivery menu. The woman was really nice. I was confused by all the crazy sandwiches!
I actually liked that seedy chinese place that used to be there. China Number 1 I think it was. When I first moved to the area a year ago I ordered delivery and for seedy chinese, it was really good. It was my cheap chinese place for a few months then the quality dipped pretty bad, and it's not like it was transcendent to begin with.
Thailand is full of "sukiyaki" restaurants. Strangely, what they call "sukiyaki" in Thailand has almost nothing in common with real Japanese sukiyaki and is a lot more like shabu shabu or Chinese hot pot. A lot of these places make a big deal about their own special sukiyaki sauce.