Flatiron Lunch: M Thai for Another Thai Option in Flatiron West

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.

After my posts about Pongsri and Regional Thai, FL’er Stevenp said it was worth the trek to 8th Avenue for M Thai. He even offered recommendations on specific dishes, so how could I not try it? Luckily, they deliver, so you don’t necessarily have to walk there.

M Thai interior reminds me of many other “hip Asian restaurants”. I can’t quite put my finger on the common elements, but I have noticed unnatural colored lights. When I figure out how to accurately spot and define this decor, you will be the first to know.

The lunch special options start at $6.98 for an app or soup or salad. Note “or” not “and” for those options.

For one combo, I ordered the tom yum soup to start. It was about twice the size of other tom yum soups I have ordered, but it also was much sweeter than others.

For my other starter, the papaya salad seemed like a good balance for the hot and potentially heavy food I was otherwise ordering. It was good, but not noticeably better than the competition.

On Stevenp’s recommendation, I went with the pad thai with chicken. While it wasn’t overly peanuty, which some people might prefer, it was missing some spice. When I heated up the leftovers, I added some Huy Fong chili garlic paste, and it helped tremendously. (Side note: I know this might cause a world war, but I don’t understand why everyone talks about sriracha, when the chili garlic paste clearly tastes better. There. I said it.)

For my other entrée, I went for stir-fried basil sauce with beef and vegetables. I was happy to see the option of a meat and veg combo for $9.98 instead of $6.98. $3 seems like a lot extra to pay, but I think it is totally worth it to get the right mix, and not just an onion or two. I don’t understand why this isn’t the default option when it makes the meal more diverse, better tasting, and a little bit healthier. This was a great version of Thai basil sauté.

Lastly, the item most strongly recommended by Stevenp was the sweet tamarind chicken wings. As he noted in the comments, they are totally out of budget, but totally worth it. I think they lost some of their crisp on the way back to the office, but the sauce was incredible. I loved it so much I was dipping my chicken from pad thai into it.

THE + (What people who like this place will say)

  • Incredible chicken wings.
  • Love the veggie and meat combo option.
  • Did I mention the sweet tamarind wings?

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • $3 extra for veggies is highway robbery.
  • The pad Thai didn’t have any spice originally.
  • Overly sweet tom yum soup missed the mark.

M Thai, 232 8th Avenue btwn 21st and 22nd Streets, (212) 229-9979


  • Glad you checked it out and thought it was good! Although the pad thai isn’t spicy, many of their other dishes have a lot of heat, like the spicy/drunken noodles, the papaya salad, and most of their curries. You can always ask for some heat–their spiciness is pretty warm. The wings are definitely better fresh/hot. And they do have a lot of options for the $6.98 lunch combos, as noted on the menu above. Spicy noodles are a high point if you like the heat. Oh yeah, their mock duck option comes in pretty large chunks; interesting stuff…

    BTW, they seem to have an all-day everyday happy hour special with 2-for-1 drinks. They have many tasty ones (lychee martinis, flavored mojitos, etc.) at (2 for) $9 each.

  • P.S> A friend also recommended Rin Thai, around the corner on 23rd ST just east of 8th. If you’re looking for more good spots to review, that may be an option. It would be an interesting comparison with M.

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