Sunday, February 04, 2007


This is our second review of one of our favorite restaurants, Pukk. Pukk is a trendy, all-vegetarian (almost all vegan) Thai place located at 71 1st Ave between 4th & 5th in Manhattan. We ordered a ridiculous amount of food, fortunately we had our buddy Eppy (creator of ENnie award-winning roleplaying game, Dread) along to help us eat it all.

All Green Salad
This delectable salad was chock full of so many different ingredients I wrote them all down…and then promptly lost the list. Please excuse the abbreviated list that follows: lettuce, mushrooms, corn, beans, tofu, tomato, cucumber, mandarin oranges, red onions, ummm…that’s all I can remember. But they all worked really well together and the peanut dressing was perfect- not too peanut butter-tasting and not too oily. The combination of the dressing and the mandarin oranges was especially good. -Ev

Duck Salad
This is one of my favorite dishes at Pukk, even though it’s so spicy I have trouble eating it. Also, I’m not sure why it’s called a salad. If it was served warmer with rice, you could easily call it “Spicy Sweet and Sour Duck”. The key players in this dish were veggie duck, cashew, pineapple, a small amount of lettuce and, of course, the spicy red dressing (which I want to call a “sauce” since this salad was so un-salad-like). I think the great thing about this dish was the contrasts. The dressing was tangy and spicy, but this was contrasted by the earthyness of the duck, cashews and lettuce and the sweetness of the pineapple. The mix of textures is really satisfying, too. Overall, there’s a lot going on in this dish but it adds up to a very satisfying (and filling) starter. -Jim

Spinach Toast
Just when I though the mushroom puff was my favorite appetizer here, there comes along the spinach toast. This was somewhat of a misnomer because I was expecting something toast-like. Instead I was greeted by crunchy little fried goodybags full of spinach that were in a mildly spicy/sweet chili sauce. They were so YUM and almost creamy tasting. These are my new faves and you should definitely try them.-Ev

Watercress Duck
This is actually my favorite entrée at Pukk, but before you run out and order it for yourself, be forewarned that it might not be what you expect from a Thai restaurant. First of all, there are three ingredients besides the sauce: watercress, mushroom and veggie duck. That’s it. And the sauce is not your typical Thai sauce. It’s super savory and mushroomy, almost like a salty mushroom gravy (but not thick like a gravy). I think this dish has a very gourmet vibe to it. If the duck, mushrooms and watercress were separate on the plate rather than stirfried together, this dish could easily be something you might order at Blossom. But I’m glad it’s at Pukk, where gourmet only costs eight bucks. -Jim

Duck Massaman Curry
Jim always gets Massaman curries and they smell so good (and taste good too) but they’re usually too rich for me to get a whole order. Pukk’s Massaman was not only light but they give you a nice amount. Not too small, but nice. The curry was creamy and dee-licious and all the bits inside soaked up the flavors well. I especially liked the potatoes. If you’ve been curious about Massaman curry, but have been scared to try it, I think Pukk is the safest bet.-Ev

Apple Fritters
This dessert was, to be quite frank, a little weird. It was apple slices. Ok, that’s simple enough. And there was a light caramel sauce. So far so good. But the batter… very interesting. It was sesame-flavored, and somehow it just didn’t taste like something you’d expect to find in a dessert. That being said, it wasn’t a miss, it just wasn’t a hit for me. It was just… interesting. Not bad. But if I had the opportunity to order these again, I’d order the Thai Tea Cheese Cake instead. –jim
It tasted like a chicken nugget that the chicken fell out of so they jammed a squishy hot apple up there. Go with the cheesecake. -Ev

Blueberry Cheesecake
Speaking of heaven in your mouth, the Blueberry cheesecake is mayyyybe, just mayyybe better than the Thai Tea cheesecake. Maybe? I don’t know. It’s too soon for me to commit. I’m going to need several orders of both to reach my final verdict. In the meantime, order this and decide for yourself. If it was better, and I’m not saying just yet that it is, but if it was better, it would be because it had the same light yet uniquely flavored taste of the Thai Tea cheesecake, and had blueberries and whipped cream on top. Oh my god I just looked at the picture again. I want to lick the screen. This was really good. Possibly the best cheesecake in the city. -Ev

The Bottom Line
We looove Thai food, and Pukk is a staple for us. It’s veg, it’s tasty, it’s inventive, it’s cheap, the menu is huge and they have surprisingly good homemade desserts. Ok, the Apple Fritters were a little weird, but I think we can excuse them for that since everything else was pure awesome. Go to Pukk! And if you’re ready for a super-savory masterpiece, try that Watercress Duck. –jim
Pukk is one of my top five favorite restaurants in NYC. It’s a fun place to order lots of things and share. I think we should go there more often, Jim. -Ev



Anonymous Dustin said...

I went to Pukk this past summer while I was visiting NYC; I, too, thought it was amazing, and, yes, especially the "duck."

9:34 AM, February 11, 2007


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