Ngam – East Village, NYC

Never had duck in my pad thai before!

Review By: Stefanie Parks –

I originally added Ngam to my NYC wish list when I read about their Thai Burger on Blackboard Eats “10 Dishes to Eat Right Now” list. But then when I saw the rest of their menu, I moved it up to the top.

It was a little pricey for Thai food, but I mean how could I pass up Chaing Mai fries, Thai chicken wings, duck pad thai, the Dark Knight (black squid ink noodles with calamari and brussel sprouts and pepper sauce), and of course, their famous Thai burger. Well, obviously I couldn’t.

The Chaing Mai fries (Kabocha pumpkin, sweet potato, homemade red curry mayo, sweet and sour peanut relish) and the “Peek Gai Tod” brother Chai’s chicken wings (with Ngam’s house marinade, tamarind chili sauce, freshly picked apple) came out first. I guess I didn’t read the menu that carefully because I was expecting actual french fries, but these were so much better. They tasted like pretty much the best vegetable tempura that you’ve ever had… We didn’t know that they also came on the side of the burger, or we probably woulnd’t have gotten a whole separate order of them, but either way, I’m pretty sure we didn’t have any leftovers. I loved the wings too. They were spicy, but not too spicy for me (it’s a fine line), and I loved the dipping sauces that came with them (you know I love my dipping sauces).

The duck pad thai, the Thai burger (7oz hormone free beef patty, homemade “sai oor” curry paste, cilantro lime mayo, green papaya kraut), and the Dark Knight dishes all came out together once we had finished our appetizers. The pad thai was pretty typical pad thai, but adding the duck on top made this dish really stand out. I love duck and I’ve never had it in pad thai (I’ve never even heard of duck pad thai, for that matter), so that was a real treat. The Dark Knight was probably my favorite dish of the night. I always love black squid ink pasta (no idea why), but I’ve only ever had it in Italian dishes. This dish was very different and really just delicious. I pretty much licked the bowl clean.

I saved the Thai burger for last because this had been the dish that I’d been looking forward to the most… I mean, it’s famous! To be honest though, I didn’t love it. It was good, but not really better than any other burger I’ve had, in my opinion. Every other dish that I tried stood out so much more to me than this one did, and out of everything I tried, this was the dish I would least expect the restaurant to be known for.

All in all, except for a little dispute about the bill (which was quickly resolved the next day), we had a great meal at Ngam. Though I thought it was pretty expensive for Thai food, every dish did have a little spin on it that made it seem more worth it to me. But if it were me, I’d say skip the Thai burger and go for an extra order of The Dark Knight (or one of the other great sounding dishes that I didn’t get to try).