Olieng Makes a Pad Thai Worth Stepping Out of Bounds For
I love Pad Thai and I’m always on the hunt for a tasty and filling version of the classic noodle dish. Hells Kitchen has no shortage of Thai restaurants, but only one of them got the two thumbs up from veteran Midtown Luncher, Talida of Talida Bakes. Talida’s parents are both from Thailand and I’ve seen her in action ordering dinner for a dozen food bloggers at Sriprapai, so when she told me that Olieng was her go to place for real Thai style Pad Thai, I had to give it a try.
Located on 10th ave between 45th and 46th Olieng is most definitely out of bounds and as much as I love Pad Thai, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s taken me months to follow up on Talida’s tip because it’s by no means a convenient lunch spot. A couple of weeks ago, however, I found myself a stone’s throw from Olieng after bailing on the seemingly endless free food line at Energy Kitchen for Tax Day. Pad Thai time!
Right now Olieng is doing a complimentary salad with lunch special purchase for dine in. According to the sign outside, the salad is on request, but they brought it to us without asking (we didn’t even notice the sign with the salad deal until we left the restaurant). The salad itself is fine–the peanut dressing is slightly sweet, but not overly so.
As for the Shrimp Pad Thai ($8), it was definitely more on the “savory” side than sweet. It had a good amount of peanuts and a nice sauce to noodle ratio–not too wet and not too dry.
My husband has spent some time in Thailand and is extremely picky about Pad Thai and he gave it his seal of approval and even preferred it to their Pork Pad Kee Mao ($7) that he ordered which while it had a really nice mix of fresh veggies came with a pretty bland and oily sauce. I wouldn’t go back for the Kee Mao, but I’d definitely make a return visit for the Pad Thai.
Olieng, 644 10th Avenue (Between 45th & 46th Street), (212)307-9388