Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Pukk - 75 1st Avenue (4th and 5th Street) (Thai)
Thai restaurants are not hard to find in New York. According to menupages, over 170 exist in the city, 22 of which reside in the east village alone. One of these is Pukk - a unique little spot specializing in vegan cuisine (from tofu tom yum to Thai iced tea with soy.) Small but stylish, Pukk wins major points for atmosphere - decorated in pure east village hip, complete with funky white and green tiling and clear jelly seat cushions. The service is warm, and the prices are right - running around $4.00 for appetizers and $8 per entree.

If only the food lived up to the acclaim. Many have praised Pukk's mock duck, prepared in meals such as Prik King Duck and Spicy Watercress. My choice of the evening was Perfect Protein Duck - a dish flavored with chickpeas, peanuts and onion. But despite the spices, the effect proved bland and far too mellow in flavor - especially for a cuisine as striking as Thai. Overall a disappointing meal, somewhat alleviated by the vegan dessert - a slim slice of blueberry cheesecake. Hardly authentic, but tasty nonetheless - with a creamy, satisfying texture.

Does Pukk pass the taste test? No - but then, I've long been spoiled by Sripraphai. Still - vegan thai is a great concept, and I'm glad they tried!

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