Ahh, veggie dumplings, how you taunt me. Why is it that the more I get of you the more I want? So it was on Saturday evening, when AV and I continued our search for the best dumplings Manhattan has to offer. This time, we hit up Tai Thai in Hell's Kitchen (which we've been to before) to try their dumplings.
The dining room was its usual minimalist self, and the servers were frazzled but friendly. A few big groups filled the small room with raucous chatter, but as with most Thai restaurants, we were there more for the food than for the ambiance.
And food we got! We both ordered two dishes and asked our server to bring them both out at once. Our salads came slightly before the dumplings, but the lag was only a minute or so.
First, the salads. AV went for the Thai salad, which was the standard lettuce-carrot-tomato-onion mixture. Fortunately, Tai Thai's peanut sauce/dressing is superlative, which made this salad delicious. I will note AV did not enjoy the fried tofu garnishes, but I tried a piece and it was yummy. So there.
My papaya salad was excellent. It was a good size and the perfect balance of crunch, sweetness, and limey tang. One of the best I've had.
And then-- the dumplings. We each ordered a plate of the vegetable gyoza. These were pretty much perfect, with whisper-thin skins and a white mashed-veggie filling that was completely indecipherable but fantastically delicious. The ginger sauce: Perfect. The fried garlic garnishes: Well, make sure you pack your breath mints (that stuff LINGERS... even after the movie we took in post-dinner, my breath was still exceedingly garlic-heavy).
We both left sated and happy. In my not-so-humble opinion, I think Tai Thai's dumplings are some of the best I've come across, and the same definitely holds for their papaya salad. And all our food came to just over $20. Score! I'm a huge fan of Tai Thai, and this time around it certainly upheld its well-deserved four Offset Spatula rating.
693 Ninth Avenue, between 47th and 48th