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May 14, 2008 08:12 AM

Rhong Tiam - Great Thai in the Village

Went there the other night -- extremely impressed. Their tom yum (almost creamy in texture) may be the best on the island. If they are going for a more upscale vibe, though, they will need to expand the wine list.

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  1. i just got delivery from here and am very impressed as well. this is definitely the spiciest thai food i've had in manhattan!

    1. where is it?...and what is vibe like?...staff is all Thai?

      also, can you clarify the "creamy in texture" on the tom yum (koong/kai)?...i've had quite tasty versions where the broth is thick and rich because of the saturated fish stock (Food Loft in Bangkok serves it that way)...but if they are adding some random lipid i prob wouldn't like it...

      6 Replies
      1. re: Simon

        Yes, please clarify. Usually when I want creamy I go for Tom Kha instead of Tom Yum.

        Also, where is the place and do they have a website?

        1. re: seal

          after posting a found another thread below on the same restaurant describing the soup there: it sounds like they are combining their Tom Kha and Tom Yum recipes, which frankly sounds like something that i would hate.

          1. re: Simon


            they are in the west village

            1. re: emma

              When I checked the website out I see they have a location in East Village as well on 5th Street. Has anyone been to that location?

              1. re: MsAlyp

                i cannot say for sure, but i was told that was just a takeout location

                1. re: thew

                  See D...DF's post below in this same thread.

      2. I am a big fan of this place -- currently my favourite Thai place in Manhattan. They are one of the few that do the "Crispy Basil" dish right (with minced pork and diced Thai chiles). With regards to the soup, their Tom Kha is not spicy -- purely a coconut milk and galangal soup. The Tom Yum is creamy as stated by a previous poster, and much closer to the spicy Tom Khas I've had at other Thai restaurants than the more broth-like Tom Yums.

        1. I am finally converted. Their food beats other Thai in the area by a mile. The pad prik khing is great, the pad thai was a revelation, little browned bits of peanuts & egg, the shrimp not over-cooked. I tried the steamed shumai made of chicken and shrimp and they dwarf the same dish at similar ouposts such as Spice. I can tell the AC will be cranking this summer, so it's my new haunt. The people working here are very informed about what they're serving and respect it if you say, as I did, that you can take authentic spicing. I was never a fan of Penang, to which I note they're related. I wonder why this food is so much better than Penang Soho was...

          1 Reply
          1. re: sing me a bar

            ok...Sing, you know your stuff, so i'll give it a shot...*smiles*...(but i'll avoid the Tom Yum)...

          2. Looks like they have an East Village outpost now - found their menus under my door. Is the food as good in the new location?

            11 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              what is the address on the east side?

              1. re: emma

                I think it's delivery and take out only.

                Rhong-Tiam Express
                239 E 5th St
                (212) 477-5700

                1. re: kathryn

                  I'm confused. I live across the street from that address. There is no signage and no signs of life there (it's an incredibly narrow lot between Fish Bar and Jewel Bako/Degustation with a garage door type metal shutter over it). But it exists, according to Menu Pages, and I've noticed a Rhong Tiam van on the block in recent weeks.

                  My guess is that it's "Plywood" stages. I get SeamlessWeb from the RT in Greenich Village, so I certainly consider this a welcome addition to the block!

                  1. re: D...DF

                    Express = no storefront, just a kitchen?

                  2. re: kathryn

                    I called and apparently they only have one location... the other number is a fax

                    1. re: LRS

                      Their web site specifies otherwise:


                      Click on East Village, and up comes the address.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        I checked that out myself. I believe the East Village location is take out only.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          but has someone actually ordered from the east village location? i c

                          1. re: LRS

                            You know, I just realized that the new Thai place Kurve is around the corner...and Kurve has the same owner at Rhong Tiam. The plot thickens.

                            1. re: kathryn

                              Walked past last night -- Kurve was nearly empty, there were wait staff just hanging around, BUT I saw that the kitchen for Kurve is in the basement level, and the residential entrance said "239" on top. So Rhong Tiam East Village is using the Kurve address, and possibly the Kurve kitchen.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                This just in from Eater:

                                In two weeks, a large part of the kitchen downstairs will be dedicated solely to making takeout orders for Rhong-Tiam, which will be delivered (at nighttime only, and in a pink car) all the way up to 96th Street.