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Thai groceries in Manhattan

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I've been meaning to experiment with some Thai cooking for a while, but I have no idea where to shop for Thai groceries. Can anyone suggest a place where I can buy things like kaffir lime leaves, galangal, thai basil, and so on?

I also have a specific curry paste brand I'm trying to find, it's called "Nittaya Curry Paste". I know it's available online but I was wondering if anyone knew any store where I could pick it up.

Thank you!

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  1. Bangkok Center Grocery in Chinatown will have the most extensive selection...

    http://www.bangkokcentergrocery.com/

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    Bangkok Center Grocery
    104 Mosco St, New York, NY 10013

    6 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Bangkok Center is an extremely small staore with limited supplies. Most of what you will need can be found in other Chinatown stores-I would not go out of my way for Bangkok Center.

      1. re: UES Mayor

        The OP was specifically looking for Nittaya curry paste (in the freezer section). Bangkok Center is the only place I've found that carries this curry paste in Manhattan.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          The OP might want to call ahead though language might be an issue on the phone depending on who's there. A week or so ago they were waiting for a new shipment (from Thailand) and it's often delayed.

          1. re: MikeG

            Anyone know how they make that tasty thai ice teas?? and why some are better than others and is there like authentic thai ice tea recipes and where i can get the ingredients??

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        You'll probably want to post on the Tri-State board for local recs. I do think that Bangkok Center has a good supply of things for cooking Thai food, and I don't recall finding kaffir lime leaves in Chinese grocery stores. Another place that might be helpful in Chinatown is the Vietnamese market on The Bowery, just south of Grand, on the East side of the street. There is another tiny - though jammed-filled- Thai Market on Bayard. However, I think it is more expensive than Bangkok Center, and the man who works there is a real salesman!

        As UES Mayor says, a lot of the Chinese store will have Thai staples such as fish sauce, curry pastes, noodles, etc., but I'm not sure about the fresh things.

        1. re: MMRuth

          The market on Bowery just south of Grand that MMRuth references above is Tan Tin Hung @ 121 Bowery. They usually have rau ram, Asian basil, galangal, and lime leaves. Another good source for Vietnamese herbs and vegetables is Ken Hing Food Market @ 27 Grand just west of Chrystie.

      3. I've seen Kaffir leaves at Kulystians (Lexington in the high 20's) f you want someplace further uptown.

        1. Wow... thanks a lot for the quick replies guys, you've been very helpful :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: gdi123

            http://chelseamarket.com/chelseathaiw...

            CHELSEA THAI WHOLESALE
            at Chelsea Market

            1. re: pbjluver

              I think they're good for things like rice noodles and fish sauce. But they definitely don't carry kaffir lime leaves, holy basil, galangal and Nittaya curry paste. I've been disappointed on a few occasions when I walked over there as it's closer to my apartment than Chinatown is. I probably would have had better luck at Kalustayan's.

          2. Revisiting this post:

            I also am in search of Nittaya red curry paste. So far only Bangkok Center Grocery seems to have it but, the problem is they never really "have" it. It is always "arriving in the next shipment." We bought some Nittaya Penang curry paste from Bangkok Center a few months ago and it is excellent. Much better and more nuanced than Mae Ploy. They sell it from a refrigerated section. Yet, even then they were sold out of the red curry paste. As for other Thai food items, it has the best selection we have found so far, much more extensive than Kalustyan's, for example, and their prices are good.

            Of course, if anyone is heading over to BKK, I would ask a small favor . . . .

            4 Replies
            1. re: comiendosiempre

              Have you tried Udom's Thai-Indonesian store on Bayard between Mott & Mulberry?

              1. re: Pan

                No, I haven't even heard of them . . . .

                I will call them today. Thank you.

              2. re: comiendosiempre

                Another place worth trying (less expensive, friendlier, larger selection than Udom) is Asia Market @ 71 Mulberry between Canal and Bayard.

                1. re: JoanN

                  I know the place you're talking about, and yeah, they're also worth checking.

              3. How much does the Nittaya Curry paste usually cost?
                I saw that you can order it on line:
                http://www.templeofthai.com/food/fres...
                But $11.99 (plus shipping, I assume) is a little pricey.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hungrycomposer

                  I believe Nittaya was about $8 per package at Bangkok Grocery. I want to buy a number of packages, both for me, and as gifts. Thus, with shipping, etc., the difference between BC and Temple of Thai can add up.

                  It is odd how Nittaya, while well known in Thailand, and in some other spots, is so hard to find in the States. Maybe there's an import opportunity for some chowhounds here. . . . .

                2. A brief update, though it may be against my self interest:

                  BKK Center Grocery finally got in the Nittaya red curry paste. After a couple of months of waiting. It came in early this week. We were just there and bought a few, including one as a gift for a foodie friend. Also purchased the green curry paste; we already use the Massaman version. They are far and away the best curry pastes we have ever found. We also loaded up on everything else you might need for Thai cooking, most all ingredients from Thailand. The products are sold at very good prices, for example, $1 for a can of Chaok coconut milk. A couple of dollars for tamarind paste, same for some beautiful jarred Thai chilis. Those are so red and beautiful they are like a picture. Nittaya pastes are now $10 each.

                  Indeed, the owner told me that a restaurant owner drives down from upstate when the Grocery gets its Nittaya pastes and buys ten boxes. (Ten boxes??) He said they use it as their house curry paste, much less work and cheaper than making it themselves.