>> Raan Kway Teow | Eat the World NYC

04 April 2019

Raan Kway Teow


If you plug "raan" (ร้าน) into Google Translate, it spits out "store" in English. If you speak a little more in depth to a Thai person, they might include the word business and mention that it can naturally mean other things depending on what kind of business you are talking about. In this case, that word would trend towards restaurant, but somehow there is an enjoyable simplicity to store or business when followed by "kway teow" (ก๋วยเตี๋ยว), or noodles. At its core, this brand new Roosevelt Avenue Thai restaurant is in the noodle business.

The tiny space is actually located around the corner of 78th Street despite its address. All businesses on the block seem to share the same 78-14 address since it is all one building, but Raan Kway Teow is tucked away from the scramble of honking cars and screeching trains on the thoroughfare. It accommodates about 16 chairs at small tables meant for two or four, so limit your groups to your closest friends.

Before the restaurant gets noticed by a wider audience, for now it is a simple star of the Thai community, all coming to check it out from listings in Thai Facebook groups and word of mouth. On a recent visit, all ages of Thai folks were coming in to see how it stacked against other neighborhood favorites. A table of four 20-somethings laughed throughout their meal, a 30-something couple quietly savored theirs, and even an elderly couple ambled in and seemed to be enjoying themselves, striking up conversations with the tables close to them.

Our meal began with a simple look chin moo ping (ลูกชิ้นหมูปิ้ง, $8, above) denoted on the menu as "grilled pork balls." These get served in a sweet and slightly spicy chili dip.

Better yet are the curry puffs (กะหรี่ปั๊บ, $5, above and below), thin, flaky pastries filled with curried chicken and potato. A side of cucumber vinaigrette is served along with it for dipping.

After your initial hunger subsides from the nourishment of the appetizers, an appreciation of everything that is being accomplished in the space is in order. A brick wall is decorated by a random assortment of bowls, while in the back a gold-plated map of Thailand oversees everything. There is not much room for much else besides the service counter, which takes up a good chunk of space itself.

While much of the menu overlaps with all the common themes of soups, salads, curries, and stir-fries that populate every non-specialized Thai menu, this is a noodle business, and we recommend sticking to "Noodle Bowls" that they offer.

The kway teow beef num tok (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวนํ้าตกเนื้อ, $13, below) is the pig's blood soup that often gets translated to English as "boat noodles." They have a pork version, but you can also get it served with beef as shown here, although the blood stays the same. It arrives a touch on the sweet side, but this is easily remedied by the condiment caddy that should arrive at your table when the noodles show up. (If not, ask for it)

There are peppers on the menu to denote a spicy dish like normal, but no conversations take place during ordering asking for the diner's heat preferences. I like a noodle business that is confident enough to serve a dish as they think it should be served, but this could just have to do with the fact that the "sensitive" clientele has just not showed up yet. No doubt Hungry City will "fix" this within two to four months.

And thankfully that condiment caddy exists for those of us that want to make their dinner extra painful. The Thai dried red peppers are smashed in house and even come with a written warning of their potency.

I am naturally drawn to bowls of kway teow pork tom yum (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวต้มยำหมู, $11, above and below), a hot and spicy poem for your mouth. The version here is no let down, a symphony of different flavors all living together and never missing a note. It starts well past medium, but feel free to add more of those homemade dried chillies if desired, and plenty of the vinegar spiked with green peppers for more sourness.

Pye Boat Noodle's bowl of tom yum Sukhothai officially has competition.

Raan Kway Teow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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