There are a number of Thai restaurants throughout the city that it can be overwhelming to make a decision. To help weed out the lesser options, we recommend making a beeline to THEP New York in the Upper East Side.
THEP is a noun meaning angel or a god, which is how the team came together to build a menu fit for the gods fusing traditional Northern style Thai cuisine with new-age creativity in each flavorful dish.
If you come with a group, or if you are with a date who is super indecisive, start with the THEP Platter which comes with an array of excellent dumplings like their fried chicken and shrimp dumplings, and other delicious bites such as spring rolls and their “Golden Sachets” which are filo pasty puffs stuffed with crab meat, minced chicken, and vermcelli. The platter also comes with a variety of dipping sauce to correspond to certain items, but feel free to mix and match all the sauces at your pleasure.
My favorite appetizer is their Kra-Pow Puffs: super pillowy puff pastries and filled with minced chicken, string beans, mozzarella cheese and Thai basil, served with cucumber vinaigrette dipping sauce. Like a Thai version of an empanada, you can’t go wrong if you love meat and cheese melted together. Be careful when you bite in, these come steaming hot!
I love noodles and I love spicy, so I opted to try the Pad Kee Mao Drunken Noodles. The flat rice noodles are stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, Thai basil, and egg in a spicy chili sauce. For all your noodle, curry, and rice dishes, you are able to choose your choice of protein: chicken, beef, vegetarian duck, shrimp, squid, crispy quarter Long Island duck, mixed seafood, or veggies and tofu.
My Drunken Doodles were delicious but I definitely experienced FOMO when I saw my neighboring table ordered the Kanom Jean Nam Ngeow, a Northern noodle soup with rice vermicelli, minced pork, pork ribs, congealed pig blood and served in a spicy red cotton flower pork broth. Also, for a limited time, they offer a special Gigantic Pad Thai with Lobster Tail, presented in a large golden bowl with beetroot infused vermicelli noodles, egg, bean sprouts, chives, stir fried in a savory palm sugar tamarind sauce and served with an oven baked lobster tail with individual condiments of shredded mango, ground peanuts and lime. Definitely won’t find this at any other Thai restaurant nearby!
In addition to noodles, I am also a rice monster. THEP’s signature rice dishes include Pineapple Fried Rice, jasmine rice stir-fried with pineapple, onions, scallions, tomatoes, carrots, curry powder and eggs, garnished with roasted cashew nuts and cilantro; and their Crab Fried Rice, served in a hollowed-out coconut stuffed with jasmine rice, onion, scallion, egg and jumbo lump crab meat with soft shell crab tempura placed on the top. We ordered the Thai Sausage Fried Rice with jasmine rice, Thai sweet pork sausage, carrots, onions, scallions, and their special Yentafo sauce with egg, and as a bonus added some additional shrimp.
There are a ton of other items on the menu, which is why it is great to come with a small group or become a repeat diner. Their curries include a Red Curry with bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and Thai basil in a creamy coconut and red chili curry sauce, and Avocado Massaman Curry made with avocado, potatoes, onions and peanuts in a coconut and Massaman curry paste. Also try their Wok dishes like the Cashew King sautéed with roasted cashew nuts, onions, scallions, pineapple, bell peppers and carrots in a sweet chili jam sauce, or the Goddess Garlic sautéed with garlic brown sauce and served on a bed of assorted vegetables.
They also have a seasonal menu highlighting season ingredients, which is another great excuse to keep coming back to try new dishes. Most recently THEP featured a summer roll with thinly sliced carrots, beet, avocado, lettuce, cucumber, basil, and cilantro served with house-made hoisin dipping sauce, or a truly special Japanese-inspired Watermelon Furikake, refreshing and light diced watermelon topped with brown sugar, sesame and bonito flakes.
With all of the spices that you are eating, it is inevitable that you will want a beverage or cocktail. They serve a bold Thai iced tea, which is always a great choice, as is anything off of their cocktail menu. The Pom & Bubble is Francesc Ricart Cava with a pomegranate popsicle, which is a great choice for a hot day and also doubles as dessert.
My favorite cocktail was the On Cloud 9 made with farmers organic gin, St. Germain liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice, Elderflower foam and Peychaud’s bitter. Light and refreshing, perfect for any occasion. The THEP Mule uses vodka home-infused with Thai basil, Bruce Cost ginger ale, lime, and topped with fruit garnishes for a lovely summery feeling,
For dessert there is selection of gelatos and sorbets can be enjoyed with choices such as hazelnut, sea salt caramel and vanilla bean gelato, and coconut and pineapple sorbet. Lunch specials are offered Monday through Friday.
The space features big windows with lots of light that showcase the basket lanterns and greenery that adorn the walls and ceiling. There is also outdoor seating spanning both sides of the restaurant to take advantage of the al fresco dining season. For obvious reasons THEP is already becoming a popular neighborhood spot!
Mon. – Thur. 11:30am-10:30pm
Friday 11:30am – 11:30pm
Saturday 12pm – 11:30pm
Sunday 12pm – 10:30pm
Monday to Friday the restaurant is closed from 4pm – 5pm
Photos via THEP and by Yvonne Lee