Noodies Thai Kitchen: Cozy Place Offering Authentic Thai Food

Article by Pui See Tsang
Photo credit Niko

Located at 830 9th Ave in Manhattan, Noodies Thai Kitchen attracts crowds even during heavy rainy nights. It is well decorated, featuring colorful plates adorning the walls on one side and an exposed brick painting on the other. Its well-lit interior and wide-open entrance makes Noodies very noticeable among the busy city streets.

Kamolwan Kawpunna

The owner, Ms. Kamolwan Kawpunna, came from Thailand and opened the restaurant in November 2012. When she first came to New York, she was a student who learned how to cook homemade meals in order to save expenses. After a couple years, Kawpunna married and had three kids. Since she wanted to cook the best food for her children, she honed her cooking skills by working for her husband’s family in a Thai restaurant in Long Island. After all the experience she gained throughout the years, Kawpunna decided to put all her energy and love for Thai food into her own restaurant in Manhattan.

Kawpunna clearly treats her customers and workers as though they were her own family. She stays in the restaurant every day to ensure that the food meets her high standards. Currently, Noodies Thai Kitchen has three chefs named Udom Kanpunna, Santiago Flores, and Joseluis Flores. They all help to maintain the kitchen with the same dedication as Kawpunna.

Some of the most highly recommended special menu dishes include koong pun aoy (shrimp cake), Noodies hot wings, duck salad, and fried soft shell crab with basil sauce. Their noodle dishes are also a must try, as the name of the restaurant implies.

To accompany my meals, I ordered several drinks. The first drink I ordered is Thai iced tea, a classic signature drink from Thailand. It is a cold and sweet drink typically made from strongly brewed Ceylon tea, sugar and condensed milk.

The next drink I tried was jasmine iced tea, a really refreshing drink that smells like a jasmine flower.

Another drink I ordered was something I never tried before: YUZU lemonade. YUZU is a mixture of soda and lemonade that is not too sour or too sweet; it is a perfect combination of both flavors.

Wine enthusiasts should definitely order Sangria, a concoction of wine, chopped fresh fruit, and a small amount of brandy. Noodies Thai Kitchen offers so many different types of drinks that are perfect for their wide variety of dishes.

For starters, I ordered steamed pork and shrimp dumplings, fried mushroom dumplings, papaya salad, duck salad and Noodies hot wings.

Steamed dumplings are stuffed with ground pork and shrimp, and are mixed with minced shallots, water chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms. This dish is served with soy sauce and shaved ginger. Each bite of these delicious dumplings is interesting, crunchy and full of taste.

The fried mushroom dumplings are a unique must-have for vegetarians. The dumplings include a variety of mushrooms such as Italian mushrooms and portabella mushrooms with truffle salt. They are wonderfully crunchy and have a fantastic truffle taste.

Papaya salad is another popular dish in Thai cuisine. Noodies allows you to specify the level of spiciness when you order. This salad is made with fresh shredded papaya, long beans, tomatoes, peanuts, and dried shrimp with Thai chili and lime juice dressing. It tastes good and is beautifully presented.

A meaty alternative to the papaya salad is the duck salad. It consists of crispy duck and mixed greens with onions, cashew nuts, pineapple, carrots and chili paste. This particular salad comes with special Noodies lime juice dressing. It is spicy and juicy!

The Noodies hot wings are marinated with fresh lime juice blended with soy sauce, honey, garlic, Sriracha hot sauce and Thai sweet chili sauce. It tastes great with Thai Beer!

As the restaurant name implies, Noodies is proud of their noodle dishes, which are perfectly cooked with an ideal chewy texture. The noodle dishes that I tried were Pad See Ew, Kea Mao, Ba-Mee noodles and Tom Yum noodle soup.

The Pad See Ew with shrimp is a fragrant dish that is made with flat rice noodles, Chinese broccoli and egg with thick soy sauce. It is seasoned with garlic and a bit of black pepper. The shrimp was perfectly cooked – it is not too fishy, but not too tough to eat either. The Pad See Ew also comes with chicken, beef or pork, which can be chosen as alternatives to shrimp.

Kea Mao consists of flavorful thin rice noodles that are combined with ground shrimp, chicken, egg, chili, bell peppers and fresh basil leaves. It is a bit spicy, and not greasy at all.

Ba-Mee noodles are springy egg noodles topped with roasted pork, crab meat, bok choy and crispy wontons. The noodles come with a separate broth on the side. Unlike Chinese noodle soup or Japanese ramen, Thai people prefer to have the soup separately instead of mixing them together. The ba mee is light and tasty while the pork was moist and perfectly cooked.

The tom yum noodle soup is a signature dish in Thai cuisine. It was wonderfully presented with flat noodles, crispy veggies and tempura shrimp on the top. Unlike the Ba-Mee noodles, the Tom Yum noodles are served in the soup. It is savory and very rich in flavor. Their Tom Yum noodle soup is not as spicy as other restaurants make it because the chefs at Noodies understand that some people can’t handle spicy food. However, they were able to adjust the level of spiciness for customers like me, who want to experience the authentic Tom Yum taste.

Rice lovers will also be satisfied by Noodies Thai Kitchen’s diverse menu. Dishes such as their pineapple-fried rice is just as good as their famous noodle dishes. Pineapple fried rice is fluffy and light with chunky cuts of smoky ham and pineapple. The ground pork and shrimp are flavorful, and the pineapple is very sweet.

A highly recommended seafood dish is the soft shell crab, a Noodies Thai Kitchen specialty. It is a little known fact that fried soft shell crab is a very famous food in Thailand. The soft shell crab has a crunchy and tasty edible shell. It is an amazing dish that is sure to satisfy even people who have never had it before.

Last but not least, I had dessert. I can never resist the green tea mochi: ice cream wrapped with mocha (pounded sticky rice) with a red-bean paste on top. It is a very unique dessert that is very impressive and delicious.

Noodies Thai Kitchen has become a hot spot for many people to dine at the Hell’s Kitchen area. It is a great late night place to eat Asian comfort food after seeing Broadway shows. The waitstaff is very attentive and the dishes are served in large portions. Their prices are also very reasonable. I will definitely come back for more because Noodies Thai Kitchen has won me, as well as many other food lovers such as celebrity chef Guy Fieri, over.

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