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Chopstick NY October 2013

Northern Thai Supreme in Williamsburg

Today, Williamsburg attracts young, stylish crowds, but it was still a mosaic of local small shops, warehouses and new businesses when Chai Thai Kitchen opened just one block away from the Bedford Avenue station back in 2003.  Pioneering the neighborhood’s Thai food scene, the restaurant has been serving up home-style Thai flavors all these years under the helm of a Thailand born owner/chef, Amornrat Fukuda.  With years of French cuisine experience, she modernizes authentic Thai dishes while staying true to her family recipes, rooted in the Northern Thai region. 

The menu includes all the American favorites like Pad ThaiGreen Curry and Tom Yum Goong, but Chai Thai’s specialty dishes are not to be missed. In the early autumn when warm and cold days still fluctuate, you should try Spicy Winter Melon Curry with Chicken.  The clear, soupy curry’s spicy and sour tastes with an aroma of herbs are so refreshing you’ll feel as if it’s cleansing your body…

 

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Chopstick NY June 2013

Back in 2003 Chai Thai Kitchen was part of a small group of pioneers that brought Thai food to what has become the rich culinary community of Williamsburg. After years of experience in French restaurants, Amornrat Fukuda opened the restaurant to bring innovative Thai flavors to the neighborhood. While the menu there still has all the American Thai classics, she is carrying on that pioneer spirit with the unveiling of new dishes that focus on her Northern Thai roots.

“My family has always cooked. I took the recipes from them and brought them here,” she says. An introduction to this trendy regional cuisine should begin with the Northern Thai Hors d’oeuvre: a platter of house made Thai sausage, crispy chicharones and spicy ground pork paired with a collection of fresh vegetables and sticky rice. From there go for the Crispy Catfish with green mango salad. The flaky fried fish soaks up all the flavor of the salad’s complex kaffir lime dressing. Without a doubt, a bowl of the Chiang Mai Noodles, named after the Northern Thai capital, will be a table favorite. Presented with a crisp tangle of noodles on top, juicy chicken chunks accent soft, flat rice noodles surrounded by a red, spicy, coconut milk soup.

Amornrat is a big cocktail fan so she enjoys creating exciting concoctions like the Honey Ginger Tini and the So Fresh made with vodka, lime juice and cucumber. Diners will also notice bottles of sake on shelves around the restaurant, which are selected for their ability to pair well with Thai food. The entire restaurant’s interior was designed by a Japanese architect, who infused the industrial nature of the neighborhood with Thai accents, producing an atmosphere that is truly Williamsburg..

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New York Magazine Review:

A collaboration between a Japanese architect and his French-trained Thai-chef wife, Chai is a stylish, soft-spoken David to Williamsburg’s entrenched Thai Goliaths, Planet Thailand and SEA. The field might be crowded, but there’s always room for keenly seasoned grilled-beef and roast-duck salads, served on artisanal Thai pottery. Sweet Chinese sausage, Vietnamese pork chops, and vegetarian duck add to Chai’s Pan-Asian appeal. — Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

NY Daily News:

“Travel the Asian continent in this stylish, modern space of dark woods, mirrors and a tiny pond at the front. Thai dishes like kao pad lychee (fried rice with lychee nuts, shrimp, egg and scallions, $7) mix with those from Japan, China and Vietnam (spicy pork chops, $8) on the surprisingly extensive menu.”

Shecky’s Review:

If the warehouse-sized Thai restaurants on North Sixth Street normally frighten you back to whatever take-out joint you used to call home, consider dropping into Chai Home Kitchen. Despite its small stature and unassuming décor, this sleek spot serves all of your Far Eastern favorites and, more importantly, has a gigantic selection of sake. The staff can be slightly inattentive, so think about ordering a bottle to wash down your meal with—it’s simply efficient! On a street piled high with dining and drinking options, this is one place that always seems to have a seat, and a drink, ready for whomever may stop by.