Thai Wars: Wondee Siam V vs Thai Market
Written by Bwog Staff
Brian Phillips Donahoe is a War Correspondent. His report from the reasonably priced Southeast Asian frontlines, i.e., 108th and Amsterdam, follows.
Halal carts and empanadas come and go, but a good Beef Pa-Nang stays with you. Regrettably, our Thai food options in Morningside Heights are limited, and (leaving aside Lime Leaf and its “Continental” pretensions) we really only have two choices. Practically across the street from each other at 108th and Amsterdam, Thai Market and Wondee Siam V admittedly have a lot in common. Their menus are virtually identical, both offer a two-course $8 lunch special (a godsend in these trying times), and the décor and ambiance of both establishments bring the words “adult contemporary” to Bwog’s mind. But differences there are. Come with us as we weigh our options.
Wondee Siam V:
Wondee is that old standby, and it’s generally more flavorful than Thai Market. Also, if you’re so inclined, their selection of duck dishes in infinitely preferable. That being said, the atmosphere is a bit staler than at its competitors. While across the street you might hear REM, Cyndi Lauper, or even the Jackson 5 blasting, the staff over at Wondee prefers that brand of light Thai pop music with which any inveterate fan of pineapple fried rice will be so familiar. And nota bene, they tend to go a bit crazy with the bamboo in their curries!
Read on for best dishes, and a breakdown of Thai Market, a good 15 feet away from Wondee.
– Massaman Curry w/ Chicken ($12)
– Thai Basil Beef ($10)
– Pad Thai w/ Chicken ($10)
– Duck Pa-Nang ($14)
How Best To Eat It: Delivered after a rough day.
Thai Market is definitely marketing itself as the neighborhood’s hip Thai restaurant. But this might be at the expense of quality. The Massaman inexplicably contains chunks of avocado (which, when hot and swimming in a peanut-based sauce, can be down right gross) and the Pad Thai is certifiably bland. Still, service here is better than at Wondee, and you’re bound to find something that you like on the menu.
– Pa-Nang Curry w/ Chicken ($9.50)
– Tom Kha Kai ($4.50)
– Pad Se-ew w/ Beef ($11)
– Gai Rad Preeg w/ Chicken ($9.50)
How Best To Eat It: At the restaurant when you’re feeling fancy. Maybe also have a beer.