In another brisk changing-hands operation, Leelawadee– the Thai restaurant formerly at 52 7th Avenue– has now become Olieng. This is the second location for the family-run restaurant, which has been serving Thai food in Hell’s Kitchen since 2003, and if their Yelp reviews are anything to go by we’ve got a lot to look forward to.
The menu offers all you’ve come to expect from Thai eateries: the salads (papaya, ground chicken laab, steak, etc., $8.95-10.95), noodles (Pad Thai, Pad See-Ew, Pad Kee-Mow, etc. $8.95-10.95), the fried rice (basil, pineapple, mixed vegetables, etc. $8.95-10.95), and curries (red, green, yellow, peanut, Panang, etc. $8.95-15.95). They’ve also got delicious-sounding chef’s specials like the Yum Ped Duck Salad ($14.95), Pla Pattaya (deep fried snapper, MP), and Thai Ocean Curry with shrimp, calamari, scallops, and green mussels ($16.95).
I took a seat in their beautiful back patio to try out a lunch special (offered Monday – Friday 11:30 am – 3:30 pm). Entrees run from $6.95-8.95, depending on choice of protein, and are served with a small Thai salad. I went with the spicy Pad Kee-Mow– broad noodles with basil, chili, and mixed vegetables, also known as Drunken Noodles– and ordered a Thai Iced Tea ($2.50) to wash it down.
The meal was perfectly balanced; just the right amount of spice, suitable lunch portion, good ratio of noodles to veggies and tofu. The complexity of the flavor in the sauce was a nice surprise, and I’m looking forward to returning to see if the Pad Thai is treated just as well. For a quick something sweet, I finished up with their pumpkin custard ($4).
It’s a perfect dessert for those who don’t like their sweets too sweet– a creamy, not-too-heavy, and subtle treat to round out a delightful meal.
Olieng is located at 52 7th Avenue, between Lincoln & St Johns Places. (718) 638-1655. Open Monday through Saturday 11:30 am – 10:30 pm, Sunday noon – 10:30 pm. Free delivery ($10 minimum).