Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thai Market

The best type of boyfriend is one that treats his girlfriend’s sister to dinner every once in a while. I’m a lucky girl—I get to be that girlfriend’s sister. Remain single and still get my dinner and drinks paid for? Yes, please.

So while Sonya cultured herself at a friend’s dance recital, Pat and I ventured up the Upper West Side to 960 Amsterdam Avenue to dine at Thai Market. He raved about it all day essentially since we left ’ino earlier, and I couldn’t wait to try out some delicious Thai food.

The décor of Thai Market was pretty interesting—definitely not what I expected for a Thai restaurant. It was very modern with sleek tabletops and just enough dim lighting that Pat could hide his phone and watch the game on it while we ate.

We started off with a couple of Singha beers (a Thai lager) and ordered some appetizers to share. One of the items Pat insisted we try was the Loog Chin Ping—Thai meatballs with a tamarind chili glaze. They were the perfect item for sharing. The cute, little meatballs came split in half and impaled on toothpicks and drizzled with the tamarind chili glaze offering a bit of sweetness and spiciness. I couldn’t wait to get my mouth around those balls. 

Next up was Yum Yum Thai spicy salad. We ordered the Yum Neau, which came with grilled skirt steak, mint, red onion, watercress, and roasted rice. The salad was my favorite part of the meal. Don’t get me wrong—everything else was fantastic, but that salad was something else. Pat asked them to go really spicy, and they delivered. There’s something about really spicy food that, once you get over that initial burn, you can’t seem to stop eating. It’s almost as if you think if you keep eating it the next bite will cool off your tongue. But it doesn’t. The flavors of the salad were so delicious I couldn’t stop, and the alternation between delicious flavors and intense spiciness is like a little dance of pain and pleasure on the tongue. I definitely need to learn how make this salad at home.

We also opted for one of the items on the specials menu—crispy shrimp pancakes. Just imagine a latke but even crispier and with shrimp incorporated into it. Delicious. And the dipping sauce that came it was one of the best I’d tried. It was light, sweet, and spicy, and it was the perfect accompaniment for the crispy saltiness of the shrimp pancakes.

For the entrée Pat ordered the Amber Shrimp dish, which came with shrimp, Chinese celery, onion, egg, and long hot pepper that was sautéed with yellow curry. I only tried a couple of bites but it was amazing and had a nice heat from the pepper and curry.

I ordered the Kow Moo Dang with roasted pork, Thai pork sausage, boiled egg, and moo dang sauce, served over rice. Sometimes I like to order what I know for sure will be good, and sometimes I take a risk—this night I took a risk. I was very curious was Thai pork sausage would taste like and was surprised to find that it was very sweet. The dish was sort of a yin and yang. On one side were slices of savory roast pork and on the other was the sweet Thai pork sausage, all brought into balance with the boiled egg in the center. The Kow Moo Dang sauce was also very sweet with almost an essence of maple syrup in it. While the sauce was quite tasty I needed some heat and tried it out with all the various hot peppers that served as condiments. Delicious.

Thai Market was a great place for dinner. The dishes were all high quality and authentic and yet the prices were not New York City prices—everything on the menu is completely reasonable. They don’t have a Web site, but you can check out the menu online. I highly recommend Thai Market to anyone in the city who is looking for a good place to enjoy some tasty, authentic Thai food.

Thai Market on Urbanspoon

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