Hell’s Kitchen: Room Service

I took the weekend off from work to relax and rewind. Most of my friends, including myself, are leaving the city next weekend, so I figured I’d have an extended weekend with them this week. I’ll have to work double this upcoming weekend, but that’s fine.

I met up with three friends last night for dinner. One of them suggested going to Room Service, a Thai restaurant that I’ve been eager to try since I discovered it on Yelp a few weeks ago. Room Service has two locations in the city, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. If anything indicates quality and quantity in New York, it is having multiple locations. Spice, a popular Thai restaurant, has nine locations in the city. My beloved Cafetasia has two. And then there’s Holy Basil with only one, for good reason.

One friend had preference to the Hell’s Kitchen location because she had to leave after, so we made the trek there. I’ve always felt that Hell’s Kitchen is too far out of the way and has unreliable subway lines (ACE,123), but the neighborhood is loved by its residents. Personally, I’m more of a fan of Greenwich Village or Union Square, which both have amazing accessibility to multiple subway lines, as for I like to travel and go throughout the city. But there are some self-sustaining neighborhoods, like Hell’s Kitchen and Siberia Battery Park City that work for their residents.

We started off the dinner with two appetizers: Sesame Tofu and Flank Steak. Sesame and tofu are one of the few tasteless ingredients in the world, so the thought of ordering them together was a little stupid, but they turned out okay. We asked for soy sauce in addition to the sauce that came with the sesame tofu and proceeded to drown them in both. The flank steak was a complete miss. It claimed to have come in a “roasted jasmine rice sauce,” but that sauce tasted like balsamic vinegar. And I hate balsamic vinegar.

I ordered extra, extra spicy Chicken Basil Noodles as my entree. I was excited because I love spicy basil noodle dishes and I now had the opportunity to use my green chopsticks. It’s nice when Asian restaurants uses plastic (and sometimes ceramic) chopsticks instead of the break-apart wooden ones. There also seems to be something marketable in green features – Starbucks having green straws, Room Service having green chopsticks – both of which I think are really cool. The actual dish was tasty. I won’t say that it is the best chicken basil udon I ever had, because there was hardly any chicken, but it was not bad. It was only $8.90, so it isn’t like I could complain. It was a relatively large proportion and the flat rice noodles were great.

I recommend Room Service as a cheap lunch or cheap dinner. I wouldn’t order any appetizers though. You can get Pad Thai and Basil Noodles for $8.90 each. Leave a little tip and dinner for two can be about $20 dollars total for two.

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