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Second Chances: Pure Thai Shophouse

August 25, 2011

I have a personal rule of three when it comes to food (among many others that you will find out slowly and surely).  I will give food things three tries before writing it off and that includes restaurants.

I have had a prior encounter with Pure Thai Shophouse.  And let me tell you, it was not so delicious (clumpy overly pungent noodles) and I was left perplexed at the raving reviews for Pure Thai.  To clarify, I had actually ordered take-out and recognizing that take-out might not be the best measure of a restaurant’s true capabilities, I headed to Pure Thai for fresh start with this new darling of Hell’s Kitchen Thai mafia.

I kept MW, my coworker, in the dark about this prior history so I wouldn’t bias her opinions and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to know either if I were her!  The restaurant seemed inconspicuous enough, just another store front on the already cluttered 9th avenue.  We were ushered to a table in the back where most of the seats were.  The waitress was extremely friendly and eager to help us decide what to get.

I started off with a lovely jug of Thai iced coffee.  And yes, it was served in a little ceramic jug with crushed ice.  So blissfully creamy from condensed milk, does this even have any caffeine?

MW chose the Nakorn-Sawan Chicken Noodle Soup and I bravely decided to give, Ratchaburi Crab & Pork Dry Noodle, the dish of my last encounter myself (just in case we fell to the same fate) another try .  I happen to love eggs with noodles so a fried egg was a must add-on.

And boy was I happy with my decision as I slurped away merely moments later.  The ratchaburi came with hand-pulled egg noodles that was springy with a nice bite.  Instead of being overly drenched in sauce, the dry noodles came with various toppings including lump crab meat, tender BBQ pork slices, yu choy and cilantro.  I slid the egg over top and broke the yolk over the noodles to create a sauce.

MW’s noodle soup was also a success.  The five spice broth was full of ginger and warm notes, slightly verging on the sweet side, not at all overwhelming.  And from MW’s happy noises, I could tell that this was exactly what she was looking for that day.

Even though our noodles seemed differently enough from toppings to noodles to preparation, they did share one thing – a subtle yet powerfully distinct flavor that I wasn’t so familiar with compared to the typical Thai food that I knew.  I am so glad to have my personal rule of three.  This way, I never rule out great finds that might have slipped through the cracks somehow the first time.  And for now, I am just happy to have another go-to place for lunch near work.

Pure Thai Shophouse | 766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019 | www.purethaishophouse.com

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