I’ve never been more delighted or as pleasantly surprised by a restaurant experience than I had at Ngam, an East Village Thai spot that’s been open for quite a few years. This place is by no means a hidden secret as it’s directly in the hustle and bustle off Union Square, and the chef has been on Iron Chef (wait, do people watch this?). Every dish is full of flavor and zing and each keeps getting better and better. Upon first glance, if you are not an adventurous eater, you could be intimidated by the unknown names decorated throughout the menu, but just start rambling off an order and there’s a good chance your stomach will thank you later. I suggest sharing a few apps and sides and ordering your own entree. The prices are pretty reasonable, too. Share the Pra Muk Yang Grilled Calamari. This is the biggest calamari you fried-only calamari eaters will ever see, and this is what it looks like before it’s cut. It’s actually tender. If you want something a little more comforting, go for the Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Fries. The Spicy Kale & Mushroom Salad is also fantastic, and a great way to get your greens of the day in. Ngam does a swell job of balancing the heat levels with the sweet flavor unlike some other Asian restaurants that drain tears from your eyes immediately.
For entrees, the “Ghang Kiaw Wan” Green Curry with Chicken is a show stopper. If you are craving a good Thai curry dish with quality meat and veggies, add this to your hit list. It’s plenty of food. The Lamb “Massaman” Roti Potpie is locally raised lamb shoulder, cashews, sweet potato, curry, roti bread and something craveable you’ll want to hit up during winter time. It’s a bit heavier, and I love the combination of the bread on sweet potato on lamb. You can work out later. One thing you absolutely must order is the Zucchini Pad Thai. This is one of those healthy dishes that you see bloggers make as an alternative to pasta and pad thai using a Spiralizer to easily cut up zucchini or squash instead of using the true carb. It’s alarmingly delicious and something I need to eat at least once a week. You can add meat as well to get that protein kick in there. They also have a Papaya Pad Thai option, but I like the zucchini better.
Green Curry Chicken
Oh and don’t skimp on that Kale Fried Rice. Hello, it has that trendy leafy green, so how can you say no? It’s made with farm eggs, carrots, sweet onion, heirloom tomato and scallions. You’ll want to mix this with whatever other dishes you order.Anyway, the other grand thing is that it’s terribly easy to get a reservation yet it’s crowded enough for a great ambience- now that’s magic. Ngam does absolutely everything right. They make you feel comfortable in an environment that is a tad higher than straight-up casual, offer outrageously good food that isn’t too oily or repetitive and leave you wanting to come back for more. Sounds like an ideal first date right? I wouldn’t hate it if this was chosen for a date spot.
You know those nights that you feel like you must eat some vegetables but you want something that’s a little more comforting at the same time? Ngam has it all, and will satisfy all of these feelings. Since they deliver, I wouldn’t take this recommendation lightly. Add it to your Seamless favorites ASAP. The only disappointment you will feel is that you didn’t order sooner. They also have cooking classes on Saturday’s at 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. where you will learn how to make Somtum Green Papaya Salad, Old School Pad Thai and Green Curry. Since they coordinate private cooking classes for parties of 5 or more, this could be a fun group date or birthday option to surprise your friends with.