Wondee Siam in Hell’s Kitchen. The space is tiny and we go far less often than I might like, but when I do, the Mieng Ka Na (dried pork salad) from their not-so-secret Thai menu is a must . . .
There are a bunch of Wondee Siam locations in Hell’s Kitchen but we’ve never stray from the original after hearing from some native Thai folks that it had the best cooks. Back when we started going to Wondee Siam their “secret Thai” menu was still sort of under the radar. You had to ask specially for the little card to be brought to your table. Thai food fanatics soon got wise to the offerings—sautéed Chinese broccoli or watercress with crispy pork, chive pancake, whole fried fish with mango salad—and blew it up on the internets. For a while Wondee Siam left the secret menus out in the open on every table, but the past few times we’ve gone you’ve had to ask for the menu once again. Maybe they discovered that their customers liked being in on the secret.
The salad consists of salty dried pork bits, peanuts, shallots, ginger, red onion, tiny lime wedges that you eat whole, peel and all wrapped up in Chinese broccoli. The salad comes tossed in a light, sweet and tangy dressing and the overall effect is all at once sweet and salty, spicy yet light. Just the sort of lunch or dinner I crave during the summer time.
792 9th Ave (btw 52nd and 53rd)