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Dinner at Heng2 Thai Bistro

*NOTE: This restaurant has since closed.*

  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Atmosphere: small, no-frills
  • Attire: casual
  • Ideal for: 1x1/small groups, cheap eats, delivery
  • Reservations: via phone
  • Phone: (212) 765-7800
  • Website: www.henghengnyc.com
  • Location: 752 10th Avenue (btwn 51st & 52nd Streets)

*All of my photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

As luck and convenience would have it, Heng2 Thai Bistro was located just blocks from newlyweds, Megan and Hung's, apartment in Hell's Kitchen.  We met at the bustling restaurant at 7:30pm on Friday evening, and quickly realized just how lucky we were to be able to be seated immediately.  The casual space, not much larger than my 450-square-foot studio apartment, was packing a full house.

Heng2's casual and bustling interiorWe didn't have to wait more than a minute or two before being handed dinner menus and three cups of ice water.  I fought the urge to order a tall glass of Thai iced tea (iced tea blended with sweetened condensed milk), but in the end, I lost the battle.  For those of you who have never tried this beverage, it's probably hard for you to imagine the magical flavor compatibility that the earthy tea has with the sweet-as-honey canned milk.  So next time you have the opportunity, I hope that you order yourself a glass of this unique and addicting treat. 

Le menuThai iced-teaFor appetizers, the three of us decided to split: (vegetable) spring rolls and an order of chive pancakes.  Stuffed with moist crystal noodles and julienned carrots/green squash, the fried spring rolls were paired with a sweet and spicy chili dipping sauce.  Although they were fresh and delicious, I can't help but ask: is it even possible to screw up a spring roll?  No; not unless you try really, really hard.  The chive pancakes, on the other hand, were as addictive as cigarettes/crack/heroin (or whatever).  Had I not been so ashamed to order another round, ideally, I could have inhaled at least three more plates of these greasy, savory doughnuts.  The closest subject I can compare a chive pancake to would be the Chinese scallion pancake; only the Thai version is about 3/4" thicker and 100% oilier, with an interior that is as moist as freshly-baked banana bread, and as rich as a potato latke.

Vegetable spring rollChive pancakeFor my entree, I ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Yang Gang Kiew (a.k.a. jumbo shrimp with green curry sauce) accompanied by a side of sticky white rice.  The plump shellfish had been marinated with fragrant Thai herbs before being grilled via rotisserie.  A bountiful mix of sliced eggplant, bamboo shoots, string beans, basil and kaffir lime leaves dotted the entree's rich green curry sauce, which was strewn with notes of chili, coconut milk and cream.  Each forkful consisted of: sticky rice, a bite-sized piece of shrimp, and one of the dish's many vegetables-all of which were enveloped by a suffocating layer of the green curry sauce.  Needless to say, I finished every last bite, dredge of sauce, and rice kernel on my plate.

Jumbo Shrimp Yang Gang Kiew (shrimp with green curry sauce)From the friendly service, casual and relaxed atmosphere, reasonably-priced menu items, and its delicious and fresh Thai cuisine, I walked away from my dinner at Heng2 with a full stomach, a happy wallet, and an eagerness to return for a future meal.

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