Asian comfort food from Pure Thai Cookhouse and RedFarm

We had a quick dinner on Saturday night at one of the best Thai restaurants in Manhattan – Pure Thai Cookhouse.  Back when I use to work in Midtown West, I use to visit this place at least once a week for lunch.  Some of my favorite things on the menu are green papaya salad (their version is spicy!), ratchaburi crab and pork dry noodles, sukhothai pork noodles soup and pa-yao beef noodles soup.  On Saturday night, I had their chicken curry puff, ratchaburi dry noodles and pad see ew with beef.

Pure Thai Cookhouse – chicken curry puff ($6.50)

Pure Thai Cookhouse – pad see ew with beef ($11)

Pure Thai Cookhouse – Ratchaburi crab and pork dry noodles (all mixed up) ($12)

I love the pad see ew at Pure Thai, they make it with vermicelli instead of the flat rice noodles that most other places use.  I like this because it makes the noodle dish feel much lighter.  They also load it up with differnt kinds of veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, and napa cabbage.  My favorite dish at Pure Thai is the Ratchaburi crab and pork dry noodles, it consists of house made egg noodles, topped with roasted pork, lump crab meat, yu choy, scallion, and a sprinkling of white pepper.  When you get the noodles, you need to make sure you mix everything all up, at the bottom of the bowl, there is a slight savory, somewhat funky (because of the fish sauce) and sweet sauce spiked with pickled jalapenos.  It is SO GOOD.  I didn’t have dessert, but they usually offer only one option and it changes daily, if you see the mango and sticky rice, GET IT.  Another must have is their roti rolled with palm sugar and condensed milk.  Nom!

On Sunday, our regular routine is to go to Barry’s Bootcamp and then right after class (before heading home to shower), we like to bring our sweaty selves to either Taim, RedFarm or Ootoya.  This week, RedFarm’s patrons were subjected to our post-workout glory.  Our usual order consists of a selection of 3 dim sums and then one rice or noodle dish.

RedFarm – Crispy duck and crab dumplings ($12)

RedFarm – Shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings ($11)

RedFarm – Panfried pork buns with spicy sauce ($12)

RedFarm – Rice noodle rolls with XO sauce and shrimp

This week we had: pan-fried pork buns, crispy crab and duck dumplings, shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings and rice noodle rolls.  The crispy crab and duck dumplings and shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings are hands down my favorite two dim sum dishes at RedFarm.  Is it significantly more expensive then dim sum in Chinatown?  Yes.  Is the quality of ingredients and care of preparation much better?  Yes and yes.  The crispy crab and duck dumplings are built around a small crab claw and consists of bits of duck, veggies and of course, crab meat.  This is all shaped into a cute little fish and deep fried.  It is served with a yellow curry dipping sauce that is very flavorful and has quite a spicy kick to it.  The shrimp and snow pea leaf dumpling are also very delicious, the shrimp is nice and big and fresh.  The dumpling skin has a great chew to it and they give you the spicy chilli soy sauce that usually accompanies chinese style boiled shrimp.  The rice noodle rolls with XO sauce and shrimp is a bit pricey at $22 – but the rice noodle rolls have good “wok hay“, there is a generous helping of some pretty spicy XO sauce, the shrimps were cooked perfectly and very flavorful and I think the sunny side up egg was a nice touch to add richness to the dish.  Overall, a winner!