Sunday, May 15, 2016

V{IV} Thai

A little over 4 years ago, we tried out the lunch specials at a new-ish Thai place in Hell's Kitchen called V{IV} Thai. V{IV} stood out from some of the other restaurants at the time as it had a bit more "trendy" decor, but the lunch specials were still pretty reasonably priced. We got one rice dish and one noodle dish, but we both had the same problem once we tasted them. They were so incredibly salty that we had to send them back to the kitchen, and we hardly ever send food back. They made the dishes again, at a much better sodium level, and we were pretty satisfied with them. But with so many Thai restaurants in the neighborhood and the initial high sodium experience still in the back of our minds, we never found the time to go back and try them again.

A couple of days ago, I was looking for something for lunch that wasn't chicken nuggets from the freezer, and decided to give V{IV} another try. I had seen some interesting things on their menu, like nam prik ong (something we really liked out in Vegas), Chiang Mai sausage, and avocado massaman curry (which was also available for lunch specials). I ordered that curry lunch special, and then headed out in the drizzle to pick it all up.

Each lunch special came with a choice of appetizer, and I chose the fried chicken and shrimp dumplings, which seemed to be accompanied by a sweet chili sauce. I bit into the dumpling and was pleasantly surprised to see something that actually looked like shrimp and that it wasn't just mashed up meat and shrimp together. But that initial thought was followed by the realization that the dumpling was really, really salty. The sweet chili sauce masked it a little bit when I used it on subsequent bites, but it was still pretty salty.

The avocado massaman curry (with chicken) came in a big soup-type container with a side of rice, so I mixed it together in one of our bowls. I had been curious about what avocado massaman curry would be like, whether it would be any different from any other massaman curry, but it was really just massaman curry with half an avocado soaked in it. The potatoes, carrots, onions, and peanuts were fairly standard, and it tasted (as far as spices) on par with other massaman curry preparations we've had before.

That said, I had the same thought once I tried the curry as I did about the dumplings. Salty. Too salty for me anyway. I didn't think it was solely residual from the dumplings, since I drank a glass of water between them, but the dumplings probably didn't help. As I kept eating the curry, it seemed to get a little better, but I think I just got used to the salt. I ended up drinking a ton of water all day to counteract all the sodium. I don't know if it's just that I notice the salt more since we cook more at home (without all this extra, unnecessary salt) or if the folks in the kitchen there just have an entirely different idea of what is a good amount of sodium, but it just feels like we're not really on the same page. The food itself seemed to be fine, but all that extra sodium just made it harder to enjoy. I haven't had this problem with similar dishes from other Thai restaurants, so I'll probably stick with those and leave V{IV} for people who like and tolerate salt better than me.

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