Take Notice of Noodies Thai Kitchen
As we’ve lamented in the past, there are simply far too many mediocre Thai restaurants up and down 8th and 9th Avenue. But with the arrival of Pure Thai Cookhouse, there’s been a welcome shift towards more interesting Thai restaurants, and Noodies Thai Kitchen is a continuation of that trend.
But first, a correction – as dynamh pointed out in our opening report of this restaurant, the name is indeed ‘Noodies’, and not noodles. As such, the cozy atmosphere is one of the restaurant’s virtues, and reflects tasteful riffs on their namesake. Artwork featuring a topless, buxom female figure adorn the handsome exposed brick wall. Another abstract piece decorates the restroom. The high ceilings are lit by Edison light bulbs, and the rear wall is covered with a colorful collage of bowls. But more importantly, the menu features an unexpected line-up of Thai noodle dishes that offer respite from the irksome pad thais and drunken noodles, while remaining at the ideal ML price point.
The lunch specials are offered from 12pm-3:30pm every day, and include a progression of salad, appetizer and entrée. During my visit, the appetizers were fried and steamed to order. The spring roll arrived at our table blazing hot and shatteringly crisp, although otherwise were conventional. Dumplings, stuffed with a good amount of juicy minced pork, were finished with a sprinkle of fried garlic for a little extra punch.
Texture wins out in a bowl of ba mee ($11), which included wispy egg noodles, slices of BBQ roast pork, (real) crab meat, bok choy, bean sprouts and crispy wontons. It’s served with a bowl of broth that’s mellow in its meatiness, but hints at tamarind and other spices and is meant to moisten, but not drown your noodles. All together, the flavors are a bit subdued (the addition of hot sauce is almost a must here), but the pop and crunch of all of the wonderful textures make it a bowl of noodles worth ordering.
On the other hand, kwaytiew neur sub ($10) features brawnier, richer flavors that would be perfect on a chilly autumn day. A terrific curry gravy coats your tongue as it does the broad rice noodles. Ground beef, chopped onion and sundried tomatoes lend additional depth and heartiness. I found it to be an enticing bowl of noodles, and far more interesting and satisfying than what I’ve tried at most other Hells Kitchen Thai joints.
Although Noodies may not unseat Pure Thai Cookhouse as my favorite in the neighborhood, they aren’t an unwelcome or repetitive addition to the Thai restaurant scene in Hells Kitchen. In addition to a ML friendly price point, they have an inviting restaurant and an ambitious enough menu to take notice of.
Noodies Thai Restaurant, 840 9th Ave (btw. 54th & 55th St). 646-669-7828