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Wondee Siam - What to order?

Hey everyone,

Going to Wondee Siam tonight for the first time. What do you recommend I order? From the other posts I read it seems like their may be a more authentic menu that is in Thai? Please fill me in.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. No-one replied to this, so I think I'll post here. I went to Wondee for the first time tonight, and I had possibly my best-ever Thai meal in Manhattan, almost certainly my best in the last 15 years or so. I told the waiter that we like not very sweet and Thai style. We got an excellent Yum Talay (seafood salad), the day's fish special (deep-fried red snapper with sweet/chili sauce), and a generous appetizer portion of pork with fresh turmeric/lemongrass sauce, an enthusiastic recommendation from the waiter (he said it was awesome, and it was in fact great). My only slight criticism is that the red snapper wasn't entirely fresh, but hey, it's July 4, so they couldn't have gotten it fresh today. The seafood in the salad (squid, scallops, mussels) tasted very fresh, which I presume is because it was frozen or on ice (a good thing). Everything was sneaky spicy - moderate at first, but ended up buzzing our mouths. The lemongrass was very fresh and all easily edible. Just an excellent meal, with delicious, balanced flavors. We parted with the waiter on friendly terms, with him telling us he hopes to see us soon and will recommend more Thai-style dishes for us. We told him we will indeed see him soon.

    One word of advice, relevant to exchef's question: Our waiter told us that if you want Thai style, you need to say that right away when ordering, because they cook very differently for Thai style than for non-Thai style. So while I can't go through a list of dishes to order, I can definitely recommend that those who can handle a good dose of chili should say they want Thai style dishes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      Thanks, this is very good to know, after many up-and-down reports from the various Wondees. Which location did you try?

      1. re: squid kun

        The original one, I think, on the west side of 9th Av. between 52nd and 53rd.

    2. From the "secret" menu or whatever they're calling the small plastic menu that sits on the table, get the dried pork salad with broccoli leaves. It's amazing!

      1 Reply
      1. Here's a link to the "Secret Thai Menu" and some reco's from it:

        1 Reply
        1. re: D...DF

          Thanks D...DF. It should help those seeking the real Thai stuff. I went there with Thai friends and I was surprised how good it was. Better than Sripraphai when Sri is having a bad day. But I suspect ordering Thai-style and off the special menu is key. We had pak grapaw moo (pork w/ chili and basil) and penang curry that I recall being very good.

        2. If they still have the soft shell crab special, definitely order it with the sweet/spicy mango sauce.

          1. Never will I order from the regular menu again. I ordered the Yum Moo Yang (Spicy Pork Salad) for lunch today. It was incredible. Spicy, big, and flavorful.

            1. Just had an absolutely excellent first meal at Wondee tonight. I was expecting good, and the dried pork salad with broccoli leaves was several notches better than expected. Extremely bright fresh flavor, plenty of heat, abundant sour/citrus flavor from the lime, pork was delicious...

              Had a duck salad from Zabb yesterday that was pretty good but not in the same league. As others mentioned in a recent thread, even with ordering it spicy and thai style from Zabb(I got a "4" for heat), at least from my couple of experiences there it is more of a one-note dish(heat). The Wondee salad had heat, but more importantly to me had a wonderful balance of interplaying flavor. It just instantly became one of my new favorite Manhattan restaurants, I'm looking forward to going back tomorrow.

              1. This is great... Thanks so much for the recommendations everyone! I have to get back there ASAP!

                1. Last night, a friend and I went to Wondee and got four things from the "secret Thai menu": the mieng ka na, som tum, kaeow taew lord, and yen ta four noodle soup (red soup).

                  The mieng ka na was outstanding. It reminded me a little of some mieng parcels I ate in Laos, but it was significantly crunchier and meatier than most of those. I said "pet pet" (very spicy) when we ordered and it came out appropriately spicy. So did the som tum, which was also great, equal to any som tum I've gotten at other excellent Thai restaurants in the U.S. (although obviously not as good as in Thailand simply because the papaya is fresher and much tastier there in my experience, but that probably can't be helped).

                  The kaeow taew lord (flat rice noodles), which came with ground chicken, shrimp, and squid, was good but it wasn't spicy and really could've used some spice. I guess I forgot to repeat the phrase "pet pet" when ordering the kaeow taew lord. The ingredients all tasted great though. I wonder how it would taste with some spicing.

                  And finally, when we ordered the soup, the server warned us that it contained fermented tofu, implying that a lot of Americans don't like that. We thought it sounded interesting and figured we'd try it, even though we knew it was a risk. Well, as adventurous eaters, you win some and you lose some. We lost this one. My friend didn't like the soup much and I *really* didn't like it. I don't know if there was blood in it, but it tasted the way that I imagine that blood tastes. My friend liked the tofu and fish balls in the soup though. The squid in the soup was tough and chewy, unlike the squid in the kaeow taew lord. Again, this dish wasn't spicy.

                  Overall, this was impressive. The mieng ka na was as good, or better, than anything I've had at Sripraphai. I want to go back to try the sausage salad and, if they have it, soft shell crab.

                  Note that this place is really small and there was a line at 7:20 on a Tuesday. We waited about 15-20 minutes.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Ike

                    Glad you liked it so much. Yeah the Mieng Ka Na really is exceptionally good, and consistently so. Its been about a week since my last visit, and I'm getting ready for another trip already.

                    1. re: Ike

                      I went back today as part of a party of 3. Larb gai (excellent), water spinach (very good preparation), tod mun pla (tasty, a little salty, one dining partner would have preferred more herbal notes), duck salad (excellent, with crunchy duck, and not quite like anything I've had before). I'd call this meal very good, not mindblowing like the last time. The food wasn't as spicy, either, though we asked for Thai style and spicy. It was tasty but I think next time I'll ask for more spice, if my girlfriend is OK with that. It probably didn't help that our other dining partner doesn't eat red meat or bivalves. I think that in restaurants like Wondee, you are probably likely to do better by showing an adventurous spirit.

                    2. great recs; and here i thought the isle of manhattan was lost. my last meal at zabb city (thinking it would rawk) was good but not awesome. will def. hit this place up.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bigjeff

                        You should definitely check it out, but prepare to be addicted--I went back three additional times in one week after my first meal there from the Mieng Ka Na cravings!