Review: Are we there yet? Inspired By Chalong NYC

There are elevator pitches at the beginning of meals, but after a peruse through the menu at Hell’s Kitchen’s Chalong, you remember how important these 30 second menu rundowns can be.

The Baerng Golae may be described as their most popular appetizer and it is deservedly so. Crisp little shells of coconut shaped like tacos are stuffed with shrimp just the way I want them; delicately grilled and delectably sauced. This is the type of dish where you take one bite and realize you need to order more. You may even consider booking your next reservation while you are still at the table. But just wait for the entrees. Your decision will be confirmed.

Trying something new is interesting. There is the future ahead and flashes of the promised land can appear in a bite. The mains at Chalong were like nothing I’ve had before and like everything I wanted them to be; eye-opening, tongue burning, and soul soothing. When you are developing new reference points for flavors, you aren’t sure how important they are going to be, but the Grilled Hor-Mok (Sea Bass in curry paste with Thai Basil, betal leaves, kaffir lime leaves wrapped in grilled banana leaf) is one of those dishes. It’s powerful. I’m not sure if I liked it. I’m not sure if I didn’t like it, or if I am or am not supposed to like it. It hits you in the head and leaves you dazed and confused. Worth it? I think so because you’re going to eat something everything once a while that leaves a lot of questions. And questions are good.

The other dishes were what I expected and what makes me come back for more (Mee Pum Riang (southern style pad thai) and Keang Kati (assorted seasonal vegetables in yellow bean curry ((((it’s hard to explain but there was tofu involved))))). These dishes are slightly new, way more than slightly delicious and are going to create new flavor memories.

Walk, run, do what you got to do. Their cute dining room is comfortable, elegant and ready for you.

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Dress: Thai Chic
Guests: Bring someone who can handle the heat