This is actually a review on my recent dining experience at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan. I was truly inspired to write after eating what was one of the most authentic (read: spicy) Thai dishes in New York. I hope you like it.
Delectable! On a nice, hot Memorial Day's summer evening stroll down Ninth Avenue searching for a classy joint to part our modest monies, we stumbled upon this storied franchise that from the Victorian exterior betrayed a uniqueness from the tens of other Thai restaurants that dot the Hell's Kitchen restaurant scene. Immediately seated for the three of us despite teeming with other guests, our glasses filled, waiter at service, and menus in tow, I perused the options that would satisfy my grumbling belly even though I knew half the dishes by heart. On a side rant, Thai food in America has regrettably commoditized to suit American palates, similar to Chinese-American cuisine and devolving into ethnic fast-food mediocrity. Just the other day I was lamenting the lack of authentic (by definition, spicy) South East Asian eats in Manhattan, when a self-professed foodie and fellow friend claimed that Room Service might sway my mind.
So clearly not interested in the ubiqitous Pad Thai, Pad See Eu, Red/Green/Yellow/Rainbow curries, my weary eyes fell on a page exclaiming "Eat like a Bangkokian". That piqued my interest and raised one eyebrow. And there it was, only the second to top option.
"Pad Noh Mai Entree - original authentic thai-style sauteed shrimp, minced chicken, fresh basil, thai chili and bamboo shoots with herbs, chili paste and garlic sauce" - so here's another Thai chop-shop claiming "original authentic Thai-style" when I didn't need any aggressive and redundant sales pitches. But, wait for it, here's the kicker: "very spicy. this place won't be adjusted to suit American tastes". Sold, on the first try. Blown, by the sheer and refreshing honesty.
My memories from last night are a little hazy, but suffice it to say that there was no shortage of superlatives sputtering out of my mouth in between gulps of water and a concocting explosion of flavors delighting the taste buds with every slow chew. The rice was a perfect complement to the curry base, soaking up the spices and delivering a soft, warm and succulent texture - the plate befitting a beautiful muse to find blissful inspiration from.
"Room Service" was served, and the verdict? A very happy camper indeed. Two years of hunting for no-holds barred, in your face, on your lips, and up your nose spicy South East Asian cuisine, and Room Service has finally delivered a knockout punch. Fortunately and unfortunately, it didn't come down to tears and gasping for air and the nearest available sugar packet. Down, but not out, I guess, I'll live to find another spice-filled adventure. :)