Flatiron Follow Up: Rhong Tiam
Every Friday our man UltraClay goes south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
Rhong Tiam was the first of a wave of Flatiron openings that happened around the end of the summer. It didn’t get the attention of nearby Eataly, but given how few really good Thai options there are in the area, I’m still pretty excited about the place.
When I first visited Rhong Tiam, they had only been open a couple of days and while I was excited about the food options (especially the roti) there was much confusion to be cleared up. I stopped in for a follow up visit, hoping that the logistical issues had been dealt with and it would be easier to get to some of the previously unavailable tasty options on the menu. Check out the follow up after the jump.
First, the bad news. On my previous visit over the summer, my biggest issue was the menu. Sadly that’s still the same. It’s overly designed – listings are sort of all over the place, difficult to read and not super organized. Similarly, the staff, though very friendly, still doesn’t have the basics worked out. While I was waiting to order, the delivery guy was telling the guy behind the counter that somehow an extra item ended up in an order and that they had no idea who it was really supposed to go to. Later, I got offered the wrong meal because they couldn’t keep track of what I actually ordered. Someone get these guys an order numbering system, stat.
I started with a sample of the slider. The burger, $4, is bigger than a White Castle burger but smaller than what you get at Shake Shack. The bun is bigger than the beef, so it can feel a little hidden. It was tasty and left room for another course. A few of these might make a good snack, but to get enough for a full lunch, I’d certainly have to break the ML price range. You’ll probably be best off pairing it with one of the wraps as something different to break up all that yummy curry.
I don’t remember seeing the “Super Express Meals” offered before, but again, since the menu is so scattered, I may have just missed it. The combo meal includes meat and rice of your choice with a cabbage salad, half a boiled egg and a spring roll. The meat options all sound pretty tasty and includes the coconut lemongrass chicken that I had in the wrap last time.
I ordered the Tamarind Duck on jasmine rice. It definitely took more than two minutes and like I said, they offered me someone else’s order first. I’m glad I stuck with mine. It was pretty great. The tamarind sauce is sweet and slightly nutty, which works well with the duck’s flavor. The salad had a spicy aioli on it that was surprisingly good too. I would have liked more duck, but the portion served wasn’t bad. For some reason, there was also a single chicken nugget in the order, which was odd, but nice.
Overall, I really like the food at Rhong Tiam, but wish they’d get a little more organized. Either way, it really is the best Thai food in the area and service glitches or not, I’ll be going back for more.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- It’s the best Thai food around.
- The sweet, chewy roti shells are wonderful.
- The Super Express Meals pack a lot of different items into your combo pack.
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- They just aren’t that organized.
- The 2 minute Super Express Meal takes about 5-10 minutes.
- Also, you might get someone else’s order.
Rhong Tiam, 31 East 21st Street (btw. Park+Broadway)