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Galanga -- best Thai in Manhattan

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Galanga -- best Thai in Manhattan

Peter Cuce | Mar 15, 2004 09:48 PM

I had a great meal this evening at Galanga, a new Thai restaurant on W 4th, just east of 6th Ave. I was excited to check the place out, because a former cook from the formerly good Wondee Siam owns and manages it.
While waiting for my friend, I had a look at the menu, and was worried, because it's almost totally westernized. There are hardly any Thai dish names on the menu, most curries offer a choice of chicken, beef or tofu (no pork, sadly enough), and there are some fusion-y things that didn't sound right. Also, every place setting contained a fork and chopsticks, no spoon.
After we ordered, we had a chance to talk to the owner a bit, and she mentioned that they had experimented with offering more Thai-ish food in the early going and that the local crowd hadn't taken to it. For example, there's a dish called Chiangmai Noodles with Yellow Curry Sauce, with an ingredient list that's a dead ringer for Khao Soi, except for the lack of crispy noodles. She told me that people hadn't liked them, so they'd taken them out.
The corn fritters we received, while perhaps not particularly Thai, were perfectly fried and presented with cucumber dipping sauce, similar to the one usually offered with satay. Drunken noodles (Pad Kee Mow) were excellent, made with authentic ingredients, perfectly spiced, falling down only in the quality of the beef, which was a little tough. Mom Green Curry with duck was similarly good and came out Thai spicy, just as we had asked for it.
I'm looking forward to trying more things, although there are items on the menu I will most likely never order, such as the Honey Pork Chop or the 149 W4 Breast. However, I'm hoping that if like-minded people visit and ask for real Thai food, prepared Thai spicy, we can gradually convince the owners to serve the Thai food they wanted to originally. Curries and noodle dishes are $8 or $9, and the Thai iced coffee is a great deal at $2 for a huge glass.
Also, the back of the menu lists a $6.50 lunch special.

Galanga
149 W 4th
Tel: 212-228-4267
Fax: 212-228-4367
S-Thu 11:30am - 11pm
Fri-Sat 11:30am - 11:30pm

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