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Fantastic meal at Ngam

c
carcrash Nov 5, 2011 06:55 AM

Modern Thai food, quirky menu, everything was really great. Green curry rice with baby back ribs, grilled pork skewers, fried wontons with avocado dipping sauce, one of the best pad thais I've ever had (supposedly the papaya pad thai is incredible, too). Happy hour menu is great and very reasonable ($4 well-portioned bar snacks, $1 oysters). Go soon.

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Ngam
99 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

  1. d
    doubledoc Nov 5, 2011 08:27 AM

    Thanks for reviewing this place. It it literally right on my corner, but the yelp reviews seemed all "shilled" out...

    Anyone else been there? Any other recommendations?

    6 Replies
    1. re: doubledoc
      c
      carcrash Nov 5, 2011 08:53 AM

      Hesitated for exactly the same reason. Five starrers were right.

      1. re: doubledoc
        e
        eastvillagegirl Feb 11, 2013 03:39 PM

        I went shortly after they opened and my meal was a horrible, greasy mess -- some of the worst Thai food I had ever had. Upon reading the above review, I will definitely give it another chance.

        1. re: eastvillagegirl
          s
          Simon Feb 11, 2013 07:56 PM

          yeah, my one meal there (takeout) was not good: tough old-tasting (hardish)soft-shell crab deep-fried and then stir-fried in gloopy brown sauce...it was pretty bad and never considered returning...

          the pad thai does sound very yummy though, so when my low-carb diet allows i'll go back and try that

          1. re: Simon
            f
            foodwhisperer Feb 12, 2013 04:46 AM

            The Chiang Mai dishes are excellent. I recommend you try the place again and eat their. Everything is very fresh. Best Thai food I've had in the US. I hope the next time I go, it is as good as this first time

          2. re: eastvillagegirl
            r
            Ricky Feb 12, 2013 06:09 AM

            I found the food overly sweet and greasy as well.

            1. re: Ricky
              f
              foodwhisperer Feb 12, 2013 08:10 PM

              Interesting. Nothing I ate was either sweet or greasy. Nothing I ate was fried. Grilled chicken. Khao soi, veggies, papaya salad.. Maybe I ordered their best dishes.

        2. c
          comiendosiempre Nov 5, 2011 09:18 AM

          Thanks for posting. it looks very interesting, we will head over and try it. The photos also look good.

          http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/1...

          1 Reply
          1. re: comiendosiempre
            erica Mar 2, 2012 02:19 PM

            Any other comments on this place that was covered in NYTimes this week?

            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/din...

          2. f
            foodwhisperer Feb 7, 2013 03:30 PM

            Thinking of going to Ngam. Is there a better choice? I don't want ZE food. If i can get Chiang Mai food that would be preferred. A good Khao Soi perhaps. Any recommendations. I may end up at Pig and Khao for their Khao Soi, but I'd rather try a new place that CH'ers thing is good Thai food.
            Kin Shop doesn't do it for me on this craving, although I do like many of their dishes.

            9 Replies
            1. re: foodwhisperer
              k
              kathryn Feb 7, 2013 03:42 PM

              Have you been to the Rhong Tiam Express on 21st St? I used to like their khao soi a lot when they were in the East Village.

              1. re: kathryn
                f
                foodwhisperer Feb 7, 2013 03:45 PM

                You're just on time Kathryn, You are the best. I don't recall ever going to Rhong Tiam Express. Good possibility that's where we will go. I did read that the chef at Ngam was from Chiang Mai, so their khao ski sounded interesting. I'll run these two by my eating partner tonite. I'll report back. Thanks for the quick response.

                1. re: kathryn
                  f
                  foodwhisperer Feb 7, 2013 07:14 PM

                  Ended up at Ngam. This place is amazing. Even though some dishes are "modernized" or "gourmetized", the main elements of the dishes are the most authentic and delicious i've had in NYC. The Chiang Mai dishes I especially recommend. The Khao Soi was perfect, they don't make it with chicken, they use lobster usually but we had it with shrimp and it was very much like they make it in Chiang Mai. The green papaya salad(somtum) was fantastic, they prepare it in front of you and it is way better than Zaab Elee's. The Ngam Autumn Harvest vegetables with a chili relish (nam prik) were very "Chiang Mai". There is no better pad thai in this city. The sticky rice is the real deal and steamed in banana leaf. Gai Yang grilled chicken with side of tamarind chili sauce was great. Eating at the counter watching them prepare the food was like being on "walking street". All the chefs are Thai. The owner/chef and two others are from Chiang Mai. One is from Southern Thailand and very proud of his pad thai.
                  This is now my favorite Thai restaurant. They will kick the heat up if you need them too. The heat on the Khao soi was slightly less than in Chiang Mai. The heat on the somtum was the same as in Thailand. Great place.
                  I didn't try the desserts. They had panacotta, a pumpkin pie with Thai spices, a pear dish with sticky rice. Next time I'll try them. A NYT article says the owner cooked for the Royal Family in Thailand and cooked in the Mandarin Oriental.

                  :

                  1. re: foodwhisperer
                    p
                    Pan Feb 9, 2013 04:08 AM

                    Thanks for the report. Do they have pears in Thailand?

                    1. re: Pan
                      f
                      foodwhisperer Feb 9, 2013 10:19 AM

                      In Thailand they have Noy Naong. It's not exactly a pear, a bit juicier and sweeter, but it is shaped similar to a pear.
                      We wanted mango sticky rice, but I liked that they said, it is not mango season, so mango now is not so good. So they will use the pear instead. Good thinking.

                      1. re: foodwhisperer
                        p
                        Pan Feb 10, 2013 12:41 AM

                        Yes, that sounds very sensible. Thanks for the explanation. I wonder what noy naong might be called in Malay.

                        1. re: Pan
                          talida Feb 11, 2013 02:37 PM

                          foodwhisperer - was the dessert made from custard apple? Sometimes called buddha's head, in the soursop family? My (Thai) family calls it noi-na and it does have similar taste to pear though much harder to eat with all the annoying seeds.

                          I've never had it with sticky rice, but sounds interesting!

                          1. re: talida
                            f
                            foodwhisperer Feb 12, 2013 04:50 AM

                            I didn't get to try the dessert, but I think they used regular US pear, which has similarities to Noy Naong. And yes Noy Na has many seeds. The desserts looked good, I will try them soon, probably this week.

                    2. re: foodwhisperer
                      howdini Feb 9, 2013 09:17 AM

                      Oh, this sounds fantastic, thanks! So close to me, and l never knew!

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