New Thai Fast Casual Spot Gai Opens in Midtown

New Thai Fast Casual Spot Gai Opens in Midtown


Spicy Fried Chicken Gai-Zaab (©Farah Lopez)



Fish Cheeks in NoHo is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the city. Living uptown I don’t get to NoHo very often to enjoy this legit Thai spot as much as I’d like. So when I heard that the Chef Chat Suansilphong from Fish Cheeks was opening a new spot in Midtown—steps away from my office—I was over the moon. Gai Chicken and Rice is a 400-square foot take-out/delivery eatery that just opened serving Thai fried chicken and Hainanese-style steamed chicken. The beloved dish is adapted from a recipe from Hainan, a southern Chinese province, by Hainanese immigrants in Singapore. It is considered a national dish in its home country, but has established itself as a culinary staple in many other countries including Thailand. Serving fried chicken with gingered rice, and spiced sauces is a Thai variation of this dish.


The menu offers two types of fried chicken: Crispy Fried (Gai-Todd) served with a sweet chili, sauce, and Spicy Fried (Gai-Zaab.) The spicy version is coated with a powder made from toasted rice, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, chili and lime powder, and served with spicy jeaw sauce, made with lime, chili and fish sauce. I rushed over there on opening day and got the spicy fried (GAI-ZAAB) crispy boneless chicken thigh with white rice and daikon radish soup. Theres also the Steamed Chicken, traditionally known as Khao Man Gai, is accompanied by a ginger chili sauce, and you can choose between white and dark meat. All items are $11.95 and served with gingered rice and daikon radish soup (containing chicken stock.) If you’re in Midtown, run dont walk and check out this dope new spot. It's the perfect lunch portion and the chicken is jam packed with flavor.


(©Farah Lopez)


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