Hell’s Kitchen has always been home to a ton of Thai food options, some excellent, some mediocre, and some not so excellent or mediocre. Sorting the good from the bad can be difficult. A quick Google search of “Best Thai Hell’s Kitchen” returns a mess of results, and you won’t have much better luck doing the research on your own.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet from The Infatuation, since we like you: For the real deal authentic stuff, Larb Ubol is the move. Pam Real Thai is an extra-spicy fan favorite, and people do a good amount of freaking out over Pure Thai Cookhouse, which is really good. However, we’re partial to the little empire known as Wondee. When it comes to Hell’s Kitchen Thai, this is where the magic happens.
There’s a Wondee Siam, Wondee Siam II, and a Wondee Siam III, though that one has now shuttered. There was never a Wondee Siam IV, but there’s a Wondee Siam V on the Upper West Side, just in case you’re keeping track. Wondee I is the original, and they’ll tell you it’s the most “authentic” of their mini Thai empire, even though all the menus are practically the same. Confused? Don’t worry about it. All you need to know is that the food here is awesome. Follow the Food Rundown for the right way to do things Wondee-style, and prepare to get some spicy in your life, just a short walk from your Midtown office.
Wondee Siam I differentiates itself form Wondee Siam II partially because they have soup options. Tom Ka is the one to order, and we like to get it with shrimp. It’s a traditional Thai coconut milk soup with a bunch of vegetables and a hint of lime. A great way to kick off the meal.
Skip the spring rolls, you can get them everywhere. You know what you can’t get everywhere? Puff pastry stuffed with chicken, sweet potato, onion, curry powder, and white pepper with a cucumber dipping sauce. These things are incredible.
Ordering at least one item of the “Yum” section of the menu - aka the spicy salad section - is necessary. We always go for the chicken larb: minced chicken mixed with toasted rice, red onions, scallions, cilantro, lime, coriander, and chili. It packs lots of heat and all kinds of flavor.
Obviously necessary. Wondee’s is pretty simple and not so spicy that you’ll be feeling it the next day.
Crack rice. That’s what we call it. We’re pretty sure no pineapple fried rice is better than this one. Ask for extra pineapple.
Our absolute favorite of their curry dishes, which are all pretty damn good. We like to go chicken in this situation, or sometimes see if they’ll substitute snapper or another fish (even though on the menu it’s not an option).
They do duck well at Wondee, and our favorite dish to order is this Gra Prow, which features crispy duck with garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili paste and basil.
For real, the fried whole red snapper at Wondee Siam may be one of the best deals in town. $22 for a whole, delicious, perfectly fried fish, which will feed the whole table. This is the holy grail of eating at Wondee. Do it.
Flat rice noodles with mixed veggies and your choice of meat. This is the thing to order for delivery at your desk. It’s simple, and it won’t make you want to burrow under your desk for a nap after you finish.