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Best/Standout Dishes at Rhong Tiam

Noodle fanatic Jul 14, 2010 09:33 AM

Which are the standout "must-get" dishes at Rhong Tiam? What do they do particularly well? Has the quality remained the same since its move from the old location? I've never dined in the original, so would like to know what to expect. Does it still have 1 Michelin star?

The reviews on Yelp and Menupages seem to be very mixed, even though it gets mostly positive reviews on Chowhound, I wonder why this is... I guess I'll report back soon after tonight's dinner.

  1. k
    kathryn Jul 14, 2010 09:48 AM

    I'd do the khao soi and pork on fire.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      Noodle fanatic Jul 14, 2010 10:01 AM

      Kathryn - would you mind suggesting several more dishes please? I love your recommendations on this board :)

      1. re: Noodle fanatic
        kathryn Jul 14, 2010 10:16 AM

        The only few things I've tried have been...OK. Those are the only two that stand out to me.

    2. t
      thousandrobots Jul 14, 2010 10:11 AM

      I didn't really care for the food there -- although my choices were pretty uninteresting. A salad and pad thai. Both were watery and bland. I'd trust Kathyrn's recs though.

      Also, keep in mind that the Rhong Tiam that got the Michelin star is not the location that is currently open (which was formerly Kurve). Be prepared for a restaurant that, at least in terms of decor, may not not live up to your expectations of what a starred restaurant would be like. (Plastic chairs, etc.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: thousandrobots
        sam1 Jul 14, 2010 10:23 AM

        i recently went to the 'new rhong' (fka kurve) and i was disappointed...especially comparing it to my former meals at the original location. the space is super lame and has very few tables since the bar is so big. the service was ok but you can tell that the place is running on fumes...

        foodwise, the pork on fire was good...everything was...as kathryn said...ok.

        its a shame...it was the best thai in manhattan.

        1. re: sam1
          Pookipichu Jul 17, 2010 09:33 AM

          I still think it is the best thai in manhattan... much better than Pam and Wondee.

          Had the crispy catfish salad, 5 spice calamari, drunken noodle and pork on fire. Everything was more elegantly prepared with better execution. I can tune out the decor much the way I tune out the decor at a hole-in-the-wall dump.

      2. r
        rrems Jul 14, 2010 09:01 PM

        The pork on fire is exceptional, but be warned, it is extremely spicy. My favorites are the tamarind fish and barbecued chicken.

        1. s
          Simon Jul 15, 2010 06:47 AM

          the Michelin star merely proved that Michelin is laughably ignorant about Asian food...Rhong Tiam (in former and current locations) serves Thai food that is below average quality...however, the current space has nice windows, so it's not a terrible place to grab a drink...

          8 Replies
          1. re: Simon
            rrems Jul 15, 2010 03:44 PM

            I agree that it doesn't seem worthy of the Michelin star, but I have not had better Thai food than at RT. If you think the food is below average, where would you recommend as a better alternative for Thai food in Manhattan?

            1. re: rrems
              Simon Jul 15, 2010 08:01 PM

              i think most Manhattan Thai food is a pretty bad, but i did have a couple meals at Pam's Real Thai that were better than anything i'd had in Manhattan...and while i think Wondee Siam is hit-or-miss (mostly miss), i thought it was better than RT...(but i'll admit i did not have any of the noodle dishes at RT, which some people here have praised)...

              1. re: Simon
                Noodle fanatic Jul 16, 2010 07:08 AM

                Simon - do you know where I can find the chicken chunks wrapped in pandan leaf? (Sorry don't know the name of the dish).

                1. re: Noodle fanatic
                  Simon Jul 16, 2010 07:43 AM

                  hmm, i know i've seen it on more than one menu, but can't remember where -- should be findable though...although it's not one of my personal fav dishes, i remember eating it quasi-recently with a group, but it's possible it was in Paris or London or Shanghai rather than NYC...

                  ugh, my mind is a wine-soaked jetlagged blank...sorry i can't be more specific...

              2. re: rrems
                bigjeff Jul 19, 2010 05:05 PM

                Zabb in east village (near momo milk bar) was alright the last time I had it.

              3. re: Simon
                thew Jul 17, 2010 09:57 AM

                i disagree about the quality of the food at rhang tiam. i've spent a fair amount of time in thailand, (not that means much) and found RT on par with much of the better food i had in thailand.

                1. re: thew
                  Simon Jul 19, 2010 02:40 PM

                  this is a rather shocking statement...either:

                  a) my two (truly awful) meals at Rhong Tiam were complete abberations (unlikely, as many others have disliked it and had similar complaints)...or:

                  b) you ate at the worst restaurants in all of Thailand, because i've never ever (with over a year of living in Thailand) been served anything anywhere that was remotely that bad: every university cafeteria and mall food court and street stand from BKK to Udon Thani has served me far better food...(but this is also an unlikely reason, because, as a chowhound, you get the benefit of the doubt that you sought out and found good places in Thailand...and i'm sure you did :)

                  so...with neither of these scenarios sounding reasonable, i'm guessing that we ordered different dishes at Rhong Tiam and/or have different preferences in Thai food...

                  1. re: Simon
                    thew Jul 19, 2010 04:32 PM

                    i have not been to rhong tiam since they closed the lagurdia restaurant. but had some brilliant food there.

              4. p
                pv909 Jul 15, 2010 09:58 AM

                I haven't been there in a while, but there Kai Yaang used to be pretty good...

                1. Noodle fanatic Jul 16, 2010 07:09 AM

                  Sorry I didn't make it out to dinner that night due to rain. Will report back as soon as I have a chance to try it out.

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