138 West Houston St (Sullivan & McDougal)
New York, NY, 10012
Menu Details: Steamed Thai Chicken Dumplings, Shrimp Lemongrass Soup "tom Yum Googn", Fresh Thai Garden Salad, Panang Duck, Sorbet
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I have a premonition that Prem-On Thai won’t take very long to find a fervid following. This new Greenwich Village spot has got everything going for it: gorgeous presentations, excellent food, and modest prices. And, oh yes, let’s not forget superb design: from the sleek front room that resembles a high-tech airport lounge to the more traditionally pretty back rooms to the state-of-art bathrooms (complete with an unusual communal sink that practically requires how-to-use instructions).Review By: Brian Scott Lipton
The restaurant’s namesake chef, who previously handled the kitchen duties at local favorites such as Siam Inn and Sala Thai, has a sure touch for giving his dishes the right amount of spice and seasoning – neither overpowering nor underwhelming them. You’ll find the perfect portion of kicky chili sauce inside the addictively good hand rolls -- warm pancakes stuffed with crunchy fried pork and vegetables – but those seeking some extra fire can partake of the small bowl of sauce that is thoughtfully provided. A slightly assertive mustard sauce gives a bit of gusto to a pair of otherwise pleasant crab cakes.
Duck lovers can make a three-course meal of their favorite fowl here, but if they have to choose just one dish, they should pick the fabulous tangerine duck salad – served inside a scooped-out tangerine – in which the meat, fruit and vegetables create the perfect mix of taste and texture. And fear not, everyone’s favorite Thai dish, pad Thai, is here as well – and it’s quite good, with a generous portion of shrimp.
We heard wonderful things from friends at other tables about the various curry-based dishes, but we were equally thrilled with the crispy basil sea bass, brilliantly presented by serving the filet atop the whole fish bones. It’s pretty spicy – especially by Thai standards – but if your mouth can handle it, don’t pass it up.
Anyway, you can cool down with dessert; our favorite one being a trio of crème brulee, large enough for sharing, and each one interesting enough to provide debate over which flavor is best. (We voted for the ginger!).
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Entree Price: $15-20