Koong Chae Nam Pla at Chao Thai Too, Dish #4


Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, the tasty countdown leading up to our “Best of 2012” issue. Tune in each day (weekends too!) for a new dish from the Fork in the Road team.

Koong Chae Nam Pla is a dish undoubtedly influenced by Japanese cuisine, which is all the rage in upper-end restaurants in Bangkok, according to a Thai waitress I interviewed two years ago.

What you see is a sashimi of perfectly cleaned and deveined shrimp coated with lime juice and tossed with thin slices of bitter melon, which lends a quinine bitterness to the assemblage. The flesh of the crustacean is slightly sweet, and issues forth a slight “Pop” as you bite into it, and then resolves into a chewy creaminess. Mint leaves, sliced raw garlic, and green chiles chopped fine lend further strong flavor notes.

Look for a full review of Chao Thai Too in Wednesday’s paper. (I think it’s the best Thai restaurant currently open, and well worth the trek to Elmhurst.)

Chao Thai Too
83-47 Dongan Avenue
Elmhurst, Queens