Hopefully Dee Daa Balanced Thai Will Work Out the Kinks
I’ve been patiently waiting for Dee Daa Balanced Thai (44th btw Lex+3rd) to open, so much so that I even braved the opening day crowd shenanigans! One of our main questions was “What is balanced Thai?” According to them, it means “tastes good” and “good for you.” With all this talk of the newish Pure Thai Shophouse, I’d been craving some good Thai worse than ever- and quite frankly could care less whether it is good for me or not. Dee Daa may not take the best Thai in Midtown prize away from the west side, but with some work it could fill our east side Thai food gap.
For my first order there, I went with the Cashew Chicken Stir Fry ($7.50+tax.) When I think of stir fry, I tend to think a dish filled with Asian vegetables-snowpeas, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the like. I do not think rice. Rice should be under section of the menu with rice dishes. The dish was average, but I was underwhelmed mainly since I was hoping for something a little more colorful. Also, I believe the cashew flavor came from cashew oil, not actual cashews-real cashews would have added a pleasing textural difference. The dish was so far from what I expected, I actually thought that I’d been given the wrong dish and chalked it up to opening day kinks.
I gave them a week before heading back, this time for some Shrimp Pad Thai ($8). On the bright side, the ordering went much smoother and faster, and the Pad Thai didn’t taste like ketchup. The menu says “a perfect combination of sweet, tangy and spicy.” If you can handle the amount of chili oil they load this with, you might be able to taste the sweet and tangy parts. I couldn’t. I deduced that oil must have been the culprit since no evidence of red chilies was found in my dish. My entire mouth was on fire, to the point where I wanted to run across the street and get mango lassi or naan. I was disappointed to not taste the noodles, abundant bean sprouts, or the other aspects of the sauce. When I’m paying nearly $8.50 for my lunch, I better not have to get an additional item to supplement the portion, much less something to stop the pain of your taste buds on fire.
So… not a great start, but it’s early in the game. I’m not ready to give up though. Have you had anything good from Dee Daa yet? Let us know in the comments.
Dee Daa, 155 East 44th St, (646) 396-6500