Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Takeout from Qi Thai 04-27-2011

Location: 675 8th Ave.
Time: 1pm
People: SaSha and myself, Tea and spicy basil noodles photos courtesy of Tea Happiness

Feelings: Another Thai restaurant in Midtown? Pichet Ong, however, may be a different story. Renowned pastry chef, Pichet Ong's P*ong and Batch were indeed two of my favorite eateries, and I still am remorseful about their closing back in 2009. Batch's yuzu cupcake will forever be my lost love. When I found out that his Qi restaurant opened a new location in Times Square, SaSha and I stopped by for a quick lunch take out.

Thai restaurants in Midtown often suffer from cramped space and/or cheesy decor, but Qi is spacious and bright, and the white theme seems quite charming and clean and makes you forget that you are in Times Square. Tourists may feel intimated by the alluring and modern interior until they see the welcoming prices on the menu.

As many Thai lunch specials in the area, Qi's lunch special starts at $7.95 entree with chicken, tofu or vegetables with a free appetizer. The selection and portion of appetizers were impressive. They had five appetizers to choose from, and my chive corn dumplings were delicate and flavorful. SaSha also enjoyed her triple mushroom spring rolls, but both of our appetizers came already sauced in the containers, so they have gotten mushy by the time we tasted them.

My tofu pad se ew was well cooked, and the flavor was average comparatively to other Midtown Thai restaurants. It did not have the bold and authentic flavor Pure Thai holds, but I appreciated the fresh ingredients and understated flavor. They definitely cater more towards customers who are unfamiliar with Thai cuisine, so do not go to Qi expecting the Woodside flavor.

SaSha's spicy basil noodles with mock duck ($8.95) were a bit overcooked but decent nonetheless. The mock duck was better than most Thai joints. SaSha also ordered Thai iced tea, which came in a plastic soup container! On the menu, it says, "Add $1.50 for a small chicken tom yum soup or Thai iced tea with lunch (Dine in only)," so they might not have been prepared for the takeout beverage. It was still whimsical to see such a thing.

Bold flavor and rustic decor have been the trend in the restaurant scene, but Qi is into what seems to be the next trend--bright and spacious decor...and perhaps Thai iced tea in soup containers!?


BLee said...

Did they offer yuzu cupcakes on the dessert menu??

Yosh. O said...

no i didnt see any dessert! i might have to go back for dinner.

kim said...

Serious Eats NY just reviewed (graded A) Zabb Elee in the E. Village that you might want to check out. Authentic Thai foods.

I also checked out the Qi in Union Square. Affordable lunch specials, but generic Thai as expected.

Yosh. O said...

Authentic Thai in East Village! Must try. Thanks Kim!