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Indian/Thai/Vietnamese in New York.

I do not live in America. I am doing research on Indian/Thai/Vietnamese Restaurants in New York. I am getting mixed reviews from many of the sites/blogs I am reading. Some say bad Indian/Thai/Vietnamese food-overpriced-small portions, etc. So I am coming to the experts (you) to find out your recommendations. I have a few months until I come, so any help would be most appreciated as I prepare for my NYC Food visit. Thanks.

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  1. In New York City, Thai is best represented, followed by Indian and lastly Vietnamese. The Vietnamese food quality in the city is not good at all

    1. Where do you live right now, and why did you choose these cuisines?

      3 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        I live in Bermuda where there is hardly any great ethnic cuisines. I am a bit partial to these cuisines but am open to try anything. If you have any other ethnic cuisines to recommend, I surely would try them.

        1. re: Ottojr

          If you want to try the best I recommend a subway trip outside of Manhattan. I highly recommend Spicy Lanka, Sri Lankan cuisine in Queens

          1. re: Ottojr

            If you have a great interest in non-Western foods, I'd highly recommend taking a trip to Queens.

            You can even get a guided foodie tour.

            The LIRR leaves from Penn Station to Woodside or Flushing Queens and is much faster than the subway.

        2. This board is only for Manhattan. Post on the Outerboroughs board for the others.

          In the past 3-5 years we've had an entrance of quite good Isaan Thai food. Still no Vietnamese to speak of. Indian, meh.

          1. How about if we give the OP some names to work with

            Indian: Kokum, Chote Nawab, Moti Mahal
            Thai: Larb Ubal, Pure Thai Cookhouse, Pok Pok (Brooklyn)
            Vietnamese: Co Ba, Co Ba 53. Not a whole lot of great Vietnamese in the area
            Laotian - Khe-Yo
            Sri Lankan - San Rasa, lakruwana (both in Staten Island)

            7 Replies
              1. re: Ziggy41

                Most definitely add somtam der in the east village to this list. Terrific grilled meats (and grilled sticky rice) fried chicken thighs and spicy sour salty salads.

                1. re: tex.s.toast

                  I second Som Tum Der and Pok Pok for Thai. For Vietnamese, Bun-ker, but agree 100% that Vietnamese food is seriously lacking in NYC.

                  1. re: offtheeatenpath

                    It's been several years since we've eaten there, so I can't attest to the current situation, but we found that Pho Tay Ho on Avenue U under the el in Bath Beach, Brooklyn had a wide variety of excellent Pho as well as very good Vietnamese entrees. Surprised no one has mentioned it.

                    1. re: bobjbkln

                      we had a tasty and fresh meal at Pho Tay HO last saturday - it does have a more extensive menu than many NY vietnamese places. - the place was crowded at 3 pm on Saturday afternoon.

                      1. re: bobjbkln

                        It's better than most, but I'd only put it in the above average for NYC category.

                        1. re: Peter Cuce

                          agreed - and its so far out there that it hardly warrants a trip

                2. I've been to Thailand and Vietnam, and in my opinion you can get some Thailand-worthy Thai food in NYC (mostly in Queens), whereas Vietnamese food here is categorically inferior to much of what you get in Vietnam. (I've never encountered Vietnamese food in this country that even approaches the quality of what I ate in Saigon.)

                  Thai standouts include Larb Ubol in Manhattan, and Ayuda, Sripraphai, and Chao Thai in Queens.

                  I would argue that Indian food isn't too great in NYC. I've had much better Indian food in London and South Africa. There is some very good South Indian vegetarian food in Murray Hill (aka "Curry Hill") in Manhattan; for example, Pongal. (If you go, order the "mooru" spiced buttermilk drink.) There are also very good Indo-Muslim offerings in Jackson Heights (Queens), such as the Bengali Haat Bazaar and Premium Sweets (ne' Alauddin Sweet Meats), as well as a very good Lahori hole-in-the-wall on 73rd Road called Basera. There is a Little Bangladesh-type neighborhood in Brooklyn situated around Church and McDonald Avenues whose marquee restaurant is called Ghoroa. And there is a comparable Bengali place in the Bronx called Neerob, which for most people is a huge schlep.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: guanubian

                    I'd add Khao Kang to the list of visit worthy Thai and Bunker as my favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

                    1. re: Pookipichu

                      For modern takes on Vietnamese food I prefer Nightingale 9 in Carroll Gardens to Bunker.

                      1. re: Peter Cuce

                        Thanks for the tip, can you recommend what to try there?

                        1. re: Pookipichu

                          Sorry it's been a while and N9 has changed locations due to popularity (larger space), but all 3 modern spots opened at roughy the same time and I tried them all and found myself liking N9's take more.

                    2. re: guanubian

                      Agree on all points but wanted to point out that there's an Indian neighborhood in Glen Oaks, Queens. There's a Keralan restaurant I tried there - first visit was inconclusive because I visited with a vegetarian friend and couldn't try signature dishes.

                      1. re: Peter Cuce

                        Thanks for this! I had no idea and will check this out. Haven't so far found good Keralan here -- do you remember the name of the place?

                        1. re: guanubian

                          There are/were 3 Keralan restaurants in that neighborhood that may still exist.
                          Five-Star in Nassau County may or may not exist any more. I haven't been past in about 2 years.
                          Kerala Kitchen and it's newer incarnations -- Taste of Kerala Kitchen etc, changes owners so often that i can't keep track.
                          I've been going to Taste of Cochin on Union Turnpike but I've only been for their lunch buffet where they always Fish Molly (unfortunately they don't use kingfish), and two excellent Keralan vegetarian dishes that they rotate. Their palak paneer and goat curry, while not Keralan, are always good too.

                          1. re: el jefe

                            Southern Spice was excellent the last time I was there.