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Klong


Fat Guy
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I went to Klong for an early dinner tonight. My Tom Yam Gung was OK (it would have been better if they had used fresh mushrooms instead of canned straw mushrooms) and the Chicken Pad Prik was better than OK. It was not very peppery but had a complex gravy, and one thing I liked very much is that they cut their galangal in little strips rather than leaving it in big chunks. Obviously, they want people to eat it, and eat it I did. It gives the dish a fragrant, earthy quality. A waitress told me that the galangal is cut in strips like that in Thailand, and they want to make it as authentic as possible. Do they use bell peppers in Thailand? I had them hold the bell peppers (while explaining that hot peppers are fine), but bell peppers sure are listed in the menu descriptions of a lot of dishes. I can't fully evaluate this restaurant on one trip, but certainly, based on this visit, it's well worth my exploring their menu on repeated visits and deliveries. While I was there, five customers came, all Asians, with at least two definitely Thais (speaking Thai). Some will like the decor; others won't. On balance, I prefer something a little more restrained, but I really don't care much. The important thing is that it does seem to be at least a somewhat serious Thai restaurant in my neighborhood.

The food plus a pot of jasmine tea was just over $15, for a total of $18 including tip.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Do they use bell peppers in Thailand? I had them hold the bell peppers (while explaining that hot peppers are fine), but bell peppers sure are listed in the menu descriptions of a lot of dishes.

In curries, like panang, you often see chiles that look like bell peppers. But they are definitely not. David Thompson's amazing Thai Food suggests that they're prik chii faa, or long chiles. And they are only slightly spicy -- though occasionally you'll get a very hot one. No mention of bell peppers in his book.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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Just ordered take outs from this joint. It's the most God awful food ever. Or, at least the Tamarind shrimp was....floating in a bed of grease with the shrimp so overcooked that it resembled rubber. The broccolis weree so badly done that you can taste the chlorophyll of the brown vegetables. Topping in it off is the cold clumpy jasmine rice....the whole dish tasted of re-used oil. Biggest isult to injury-melted coconut ice cream. FG, whatever made you like this place sure ain't what I ordered tonight.

edit: the portions were so small I was still hungry after ward, then again with food so badly cooked it's a good thing that the portions were small.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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you were shocked when the ice cream was melted...and it was delivered?

it's sometimes hard to judge a restaurant by delivery, melted ice cream aside.  food has a way of overcooking and whatnot.  although greasy food is yucky and likely not a side-effect of delivery.

Delivery can hugely affect the quality of the food. There's one particular Chinese place near my house in Jersey that makes an AWESOME General Tso's chicken -- batter coating is nice and crispy, etc. But if you get it delivered, the plastic tub-like containers they use to pack the food in end up steaming it and the coating becomes a soggy disgusting mess. And that place is only 5 minutes from our house, tops. Rachel and I always go to eat at the restaurant because overall, their food is much better when you eat there than get it delivered.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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At the risk of sounding like a pedantic ass (a risk exacerbated by the fact that I have not eaten at neither Klong nor Sriprirahaphahi), I'd like to add my two cents...

Thai food in Thailand contains none of the fillers found in almost every Thai restaurant in America, i.e. broccoli, crinkle-cut carrots, bell peppers. These items are added, I assume, to satisfy a perceived American need for a "balanced" meal. As in, "What the hell? My Chicken and Basil only contains Chicken and Basil!"

Straw mushrooms are virtually impossible to find fresh, canned are the norm.

Large chunks of inedible flavorings (lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, bones, shells) are normal in Thailand.

Pad Thai is tasty, but not the best dish to judge a Thai cook's skill by. Thai food is very regional. If a cook is from Isaan, Som Tam might be the test dish; in the south - curry. My personal "common" dish is the aforementioned Chicken and Basil. (In Bangkok you often get this with a fried egg.)

Obviously comparing Thai food cooked in Thailand to that cooked in NY is fools game, and, again, I apologize for coming off as an ass. But maybe if we want to raise the level of Thai food in our country we could do worse than ask the right questions.

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Straw mushrooms are virtually impossible to find fresh, canned are the norm.

i got that impression, as most places in the US at least tend to use canned regardless of availablity. i happen to like canned in thai soups, and i'm a bit disappointed when i see fresh.

your input is appreciated. :smile:

Edited by tommy (log)
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may be I've been spoiled by the city, but I am used to decent take out food and ice cream that arrived in separate freezer bags, which may eb a bit soft when coming across town but not completely melted.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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At the risk of sounding like a pedantic ass (a risk exacerbated by the fact that I have not eaten at neither Klong nor Sriprirahaphahi), I'd like to add my two cents...

You didn't come off like an ass at all!

Just two comments:

Straw mushrooms are virtually impossible to find fresh, canned are the norm.

Large chunks of inedible flavorings (lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, bones, shells) are normal in Thailand.

Lemongrass is definitely not inedible, when fresh! Galangal isn't truly inedible, either, given that I ate some yesterday.

But as for the canned straw mushrooms, I hate the canned taste. At the very least, maybe there would be some way to get rid of that taste by throwing out the water in the can and soaking the mushrooms in fresh water or some kind of marinade. But a better idea would be to use any kind of decent-quality fresh mushroom. Tara Thai, a local (1st Av. between St. Marks and 9th) place I used to like, did that. I don't have problems with all canned items, but canned stuff that has that "can water" taste bugs me, whether it's mushrooms, baby corn or, to a lesser extent, bamboo shoots.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I got delivery from Klong tonight. Green Papaya Salad (Som Tom on other menus, but my pronunciation was not understood) and Duck Rama Dish. Very nice Som Tom with some bite; the duck was not as peppery but the sauce was nice. (It's a peanuty sauce.)

Mindblowing? No. But good delivery for an evening that's so far turning out very dreary for Yankees fans...

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Ate here on Friday night with a group of 6.

Unfortunately, (although they think of themselves as having high tolerances) my compatriots were not amenable to requesting that dishes be prepared with a more authentic level of spiciness...and the menu-standard preparations were rather bland in the heat department.

Shared many appetizers.....standouts were all the dumplings, the salmon rolls and fried calamari (although an American dish it was prepared superbly....cooked correctly and the breading was light and lacking in grease....it didn't need the too sweet dipping sauce)....

the tamarind red snapper was one of the best preparations of this standard I've had.

noodle dishes were better than any I've had in Manhattan to this point (Wondee Siam being the previous winner)

the bill -- after tax, tip and alcohol -- $22 a head.

oh, one other thing -- I'm getting really tired of the chopsticks on the table at every fricking Thai restaurant in NY....they don't do this in fly-over parts of the country...why do they have to do this for supposedly sophisticated NY'ers?

Edited by Nathan (log)
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a friend of mine who lived in Thailand (who i happened to dine with at Klong) tells me that people in parts of thailand do use chopsticks, mostly for noodle dishes. i asked the same question when i saw the chopsticks here, although i was hardly bothered or annoyed by their presence or the gesture.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had dinner at Klong tonight. Its pretty good.

Green Curry Puff---had a nice fresh taste.

Shrimp Paste Soup---good complex flavor, with some heat.

Tofu and Shitake Mushrooms, quite good, but probably an American influenced dish.

Roadside Noodles with Chicken. Might be the best noodle dish I've had in NY.

Mandalay Basil---this is a mixed seafood dish. Quite good, spicy, at least two types of hot peppers. Quality of seafood was pretty good.

It's quite different cooking from Wondee or Pam's. More subtle I think. This looks more like a fake asian bar when you walk in, but the food is quite good and I think more traditional than you would expect. It also seems to be well run. Hostess is Japanese, and she said everyone else working there is Thai.

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Quick 2 cents: I tried Klong on Thursday for a meal at the bar after Fat Guy's effusive recommendation. The chicken larb was pleasantly spicy, contained ground roasted rice and had a not unpleasant coconut note i can't say i've noticed in a larb before. Perhaps the chicken was poached in coconut milk? I'd get it again.

The Mandarin steamed fillet of sea bass ("with plum, ginger, black mushroom, celery, and scallions with a hint of lemon"), unfortunately was just all wrong. The fish wasn't fresh, it was overcooked, and there were no discernable flavors, Thai or otherwise, just a muddy, vaguely Asian note. OK, this is hardly a textbook Thai dish, but it was poor all the same.

I'd give Klong another go but for a low key, unpretentious (Manhattan) Thai spot with clear, bright flavors, my vote goes to Galanga on W4th between 6th and Macdougal. Less sceney than Klong (not that I mind a scene, as long as it's backed up with great food, like Kittichai) and just as good value.

I'd love to hear what other eGulleteers think of Galanga.

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