Uncle Boons’ Khao Soi Kaa Kai, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Later this year, we’ll pen our Best of New York issue, our annual love letter to what’s great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you’ll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

No. 95: Khao Soi Kaa Kai from Uncle Boons

“The kitchen is going to think I only sell this dish,” confided the bartender at Uncle Boons after we asked him to divulge his menu favorites. “But I just really love the Khao Soi.” We noticed then that at least two other parties at the bar of this packed Nolita restaurant were enjoying it, and after watching them slurp noodles from white bowls for a couple of seconds, we decided to take him up on the recommendation. It was a good call: Flat egg noodles swim in a thick and intensely layered golden curry that’s heady with garlic and chiles, sweet with coconut, and tart with lime. A float of pickled mustard greens adds subtle spice and depth; a handful of deep-fried noodles imparts crunchy texture. The soup is crowned with a leg of tender chicken encased in a crispy, feathery coat and comes plated with an angry looking red chile paste good for taking the dish up another notch, which is especially ideal if you’ve started sipping one of the spot’s Chang beer slushies, a drink that’s particularly suited for putting out the flames.

Hungry for more? The rest of the dishes in our countdown:

No. 100: Carnitas from Taqueria Lower East Side
No. 99: Steamed mussels from Tartine
No. 98: Cookie Monster ice cream from Malu
No. 97: Havana salad from Coppelia
No. 96: Clay Pot Catfish from Falansai

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