First Look: Aroy Dee Is Your Hip, Quick, Thai Option In The FiDi

Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen opened in a hurry, bringing us a mix of steam table thai and some made to order dishes. The restaurant took over the space on John St. formerly occupied by It’s A Pizza, and we’ve gotten a solid thumbs up for the food. The prices are pretty on par with other Thai spots in the Financial District that offer express options - Bennie’s Thai Cafe, Cafe Sage – but they don’t offer table service. Instead, you can sit at one of the counters along the walls or take your food to go. I opted for the latter and ordered up some pork panang curry ($8).

The first thing you should know is they do not skimp on the spices here. Not only did I take a couple of bites during lunch that left me coughing and reaching for water, it was also really well flavored. The red curry paste was long on lemongrass and other flavors, and made for good mixing with the white rice on the side. You get a hodge podge of vegetables including bell pepper and green beans, but primarily you get meat.

As you can see from the photo, the proportion of meat to rice is skewed toward the rice, but now you know that going in. I’d also have to say that the rice, scooped straight from a giant cooker just after noon, was on the dry side.

You also get a cup on the side, half filled with broth and some herbs and onion bits. It was actually pretty flavorful and welcome on a cold gross day.

It’s hard to tell after one lunch if Aroy Dee is better than the other Thai options in the area, but what I had was tasty enough. And if you eat there before March 31, they’ve knocked $2 or $3 off the price of their noodle soups.
Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen, 20 John St. (btw. B’way & Nassau), (212) 528-9922

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    Stopped by at about 1 p.m. today. They had a little bit of a bottleneck when I went in, but managed to regain control by about 15 minutes. Most of the customers were getting the noodles made to order. I went with the massaman curry ($8), and thought it was pretty legit. Despite being on the steam table, the potatoes stayed respectably firm. I always find massaman to be a little on the mild side (today is an “easy on the ole’ belly” day), but there were some decent nice touches — e.g., ginger was charred first. I’d definitely go back.

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