Pure Thai Shophouse is Now Serving Khao Soi
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Perhaps – but when it comes to Midtown lunches and good Thai food, I say go for the gusto. During my
rave first look of Pure Thai Shophouse, luncher wayne inquired if they served khao soi, and I shared his admiration for the dish (at the time, they were not). However I recently stopped by Pure Thai for lunch, and noticed that they are now serving khao soi as a rotating daily special. Pure Thai has quickly become one of my favorite Thai joints in the city, and khao soi is easily my favorite dish in any Thai repertoire. As it turns out, too much of a good thing, is a great thing.
Khao soi is a noodle soup of Northern Thai and Burmese pedigree, focused around red curry, augmented with turmeric and nam pla (fish sauce), and mellowed by coconut milk. Exact preparations will vary on the region and cook – but even a mediocre khao soi is pretty good. A good version will knock you out of your chair.
Unfortunately it’s a relatively rare menu item in many Thai restaurants, which is a shame because its a very likable dish. I’d previously claimed Rhong Tiam’s to be a fine version, Zach Brooks is a khao soi fiend, Danny is a big fan of the dish, and even our buddy Kelly Choi loves the stuff. And the version at Pure Thai met and exceeded my expectations of the dish.
This version follows the traditional khao soi blueprint, but distinguishes itself with lusciously tender chunks of dark meat chicken and the pleasing crunch of bean sprouts and crispy fried noodles, coddled by the ruddy curry and egg noodles. The curry itself is impossibly complex, hitting every single flavor receptor – a bit of sour, some sweet, intensely savory, deeply earthy, yet still light on the palate. In short, it’s an astoundingly good version. So good, that I pleaded with the waitress to ask the Chef to consider adding it to the regular menu. Unfortunately for the time being, you’ll have to call ahead (212-581-0999) and inquire if it’s being offered for the day. But it’s a call and a trip worth making.
Pure Thai Shophouse, 766 9th Ave (btw 51+52nd), 212-581-0999