Pad Thai in 'West Harlem'

October 3, 2008 3:54:25 PM PDT
In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we're traveling to Thailand without ever leaving Manhattan.The name of the restaurant means "the sea" or "ocean" in Thai. And while it's not located on the ocean, it's a stone's throw from the Hudson River. Talay opened in May, added to an area that's seeing a burst of new, rather larger restaurants and clubs. Talay is located at 701 West 135th Street in what is technically called Manhattanville, but many are referring to it as West Harlem.

Harlem has seen plenty of Latin restaurants, and even Thai restaurants, but Talay offers a little of both and an overlap. It's located along a stretch of 12th Avenue that had at one time been deserted. But now, especially at night, it's becoming a destination.

For Columbia students and neighbors, it's something different. The menu was the creation of Phet Schwader and King Phojanakong. Dishes like shrimp on sweet plantains, thai beef salad, tuna in rice paper and, for the traditionalist, pad thai.

Chef King, in a very hot wok king, sautes garlic, onions, chicken and tofu. To that, he adds an egg and rice noodles. The flavors come from oyster sauce and tamarind sauce. It all cooks in minutes.

Peanuts and bean sprouts give some crunch, and basil and lime finish off the dish.

It's a great way to get the evening started.

And Talay is open late, with a lounge upstairs to wind down after dinner.

Recipe for Pad Thai


  • Canola oil 2tbl
  • Onions, chopped 1tbl
  • Garlic, chopped 1tsp
  • Chicken, cubed 4oz
  • Egg, whole 1ea
  • Rice noodles, cooked 1qt
  • Water, 2oz
  • Oyster sauce, 2oz
  • Tamarind sauce, 2oz


  • Peanuts, chopped 1tbl
  • Bean Sprouts, 2tbl
  • Thai Basil, 5 leaves
  • Lime Segments 3pcs


  • Add oil to hot pan.
  • Saute onions, garlic and chicken.
  • Add egg and scramble.
  • Add rice noodles, water and sauces and saute. Plate and garnish.


    STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg

    WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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