Flatiron Lunch: Rohm Thai has a Lunch Combo for Every Day of the Year…Almost
Every Friday we go 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.
Sometime last spring, I walked by Rohm Thai and put it on my list for a future FL post. Throughout the year, it kept floating on the list, but I never made it a priority to try. Perhaps I feared it wouldn’t be as good as Jaiya. Perhaps it didn’t quite distinguish itself from the several other Thai spots in the Flatiron and Chelsea areas. A few weeks ago I was talking with friends who live in the Gramercy area about Flatiron Lunch, and they said I must go to Rohm. They go there regularly and started telling me about the great food. So to the top of the list it went.
I remember thinking when I first walked by that Rohm looked warm, cozy. My visit confirmed my impression when I overheated in my winter coat during the few minutes it took to pick up my to-go order. But beyond the temperature, Rohm’s interior was what I would describe as “cozy chic” with two mezzanine levels dividing the space to create a more intimate feel. I wouldn’t necessarily say it is romantic, but if you have a coworker you don’t want to give the wrong impression to, probably best not to dine in.
I ordered a curry dish and a noodle dish from the lunch menu for variety. There are 4 categories (noodle, fried rice, curry and sauteed) each with about 6-7 preparation options. For your “protein” options, you have vegetables and tofu ($7.50 or $8), chicken ($7.50 or $8), shrimp ($9), beef ($9) and duck ($10). That means, if I did the math correctly (not likely) you could eat here at least 2 times a week for a year and never have the same dish twice.
I ordered the Rohm noodle with duck ($10). It seemed to me that the entire duck breast was thrown into a deep fryer, and then chopped into 1 inch segments. So the duck stayed moist under a layer of fat and skin, but there was also plenty of crispy bites. And it probably lost some of its crisp on the walk back to the office. The dish was spicy even for me, and I noticed later the order ticket said medium spicy, so be careful with the potential heat at Rohm.
The Panang curry with chicken ($7.50) was also spicy, but it didn’t stop me from spooning up every last drop of the sauce. Obviously, the curry came with rice, but are they serious with the smallest rice container I have ever seen? The container was one size smaller than Chinese take-our containers I am accustomed to, and it is rice! They shouldn’t be skimping, since it is so cheap. I was very hungry when I got back to my desk, so originally, I thought it was an abnormally small container of curry to go with an equally small amount of rice. But after I thought about it for a while, I realized it was pretty standard amount of curry.
The accompanying salad was minuscule and disappointing. It consisted of about one leaf of romaine, a half slice of not ripe tomato, a couple slivers of carrot, and a slice of cucumber with peanut dressing. Good news is that the main dishes at Rohm are good enough you don’t need the salad.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Crispy duck breast for $10, yes, please!
- I am willing to take the Try-Every-Rohm-Lunch-Combo-Challenge this year.
- The dishes are spicy even when they are medium spicy.
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- What is this? Rice for ants?
- Not interested in a cozy environment for my lunch.
- Rohm is interchangeable with all the other Thai places in Flatiron.
Rohm, 27 East 20th Street btwn Broadway and Park Avenue South. (212) 228-7681 or (212) 228-7638