Hopefully Dee Daa Balanced Thai Will Work Out the Kinks

Dee Daa

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.

Chicken Cashew Stirfry

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.

Dee Daa's Shrimp Pad Thai

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


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    I really wanted to like them, but the portions are small and the prices are high (considering what you get). I got the drunken noodle which was good, and the salad, which was fine, but tiny. Pure Thai Shophouse is SO much better.

  • That facade looks like the entry portal of the Stonecutters Lodge

    Prepare for the Paddling of the Swollen Ass

  • I was looking forward to this place opening since it would mean I wouldn’t have to walk the 10 blocks to Thai Paradise. I finally tried it after giving it a couple weeks to let the new place rush die down, and ordered Chicken Masaman and I guess what is supposed to be Tom Kha Gai (Coconut milk soup).

    First off, I wouldn’t get soup to go. I typically like to bring my food back to my desk, and in the 2 block walk back to my office the bottom of the soup container was wet and dripping. The containers they use seem to be made of some kind of recycled cardboard, so maybe they don’t hold up that well.

    The soup was OK, but nothing memorable. A bit watery and honestly it kind of reminded me of an instant soup. The potatos in the chicken dish were crunchy and some of the pieces of chicken were really dry and tough. Other than that it was OK.

    I might go back if it wasn’t for the price. For almost 11 bucks, you can get the lunch special at Thai Talent which also comes with a free drink. And they have Khao Soi. Dee Daa is closer to my office, but I think I’d rather walk and get a more satisfying lunch.

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