If there is one thing I have learned to appreciate in NYC, it’s good Thai food.
Working on 24th street, there are many Thai restaurants in my 10 block radius. Finally, I found one worth blogging about.
Ruay stands out for many reasons, but it’s quality of food and attention to detail are the top stand outs.
Decor is minimal and the dining space is small. But like all classic NYC spots, you know that you are coming here for the food, not the wallpaper.
Liquor is not available, but wine, beer and a fantastic sake menu make up for it. My friend Paul was my date for the evening and we decided to indulge in sake. We started with the Jokigen Junmai Ginjo Sake. It was dry, yet it had floral notes and a smooth, clean finish. Excellent start to the evening. Afterwards we followed with the Horin Dai Ginjo Sake (picture below), which is the smoothest sake I have ever had. The finish had a touch of lychee which was a nice surprise. Notice how the sake decanter is held in ice water….nice touch.
Paul and I started with soup, I ordered the Vegetable Tofu Soup and Paul ordered the Ruay Thom Kha Soup.
I will come back for the vegetable soup alone. Fresh, bright vegetables were abundant with tender squares of tofu. The broth was soul warming and well balanced. It was not overly salty and left me wanting more. It was garnished with crunchy fried garlic. Seriously, best tofu soup I’ve ever had.
I only got a few bites from Paul’s soup, but I was impressed. Chicken and mushroom sat in a broth that was a coconut milk, lime and fish broth. The combination gave it a savory sweet sensation with a well balanced acidity.
Next up, we had to try the Pork Belly Steamed Buns.
Two things stood out for me in this dish. First, the buns were light, soft, semi sweet and downright delicious. Second, the pork belly was AMAZING. Obviously this chef has a passion for pork belly and cooked it perfectly for this dish. The cucumber and scallions added a nice crunch in the apple chili hoisin sauce. I personally could have used less sauce for my palate, but Paul was licking the plate….so I guess he like it.
For our entrees we started with a drunken noodle with pork. I loved the fact that the drunken noodles came with the broth on the side. We were told that the chef wanted you to determine how “drunken” you wished your noodles to be. After tasting the broth I quickly added the entire bowl. The tender pork with the delectable broth and the homemade noodles were a home run. It was such a simple dish, but the ingredients were fresh and well balanced.
Then we had the Traditional Style Basil Sauce with Chicken.
This deliciousness comes with a fried egg on top. Once cracked open the yolk covers and completes the dish.
See? This is not your average Thai place….it’s a step up!
If this place is in your neighborhood, call me, we’ll have lunch. If not, it’s worth the trip.
**Out of a possible 5 stars, here’s what we thought….
Décor: 2 star Service: 4 stars
Beverage List: 4 star Food: 4 stars
Location: 3 star Overall: 4 stars
$10 – $30 per person.