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Kittichai – Plate 90

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≡ Menu

Kittichai – Plate 90

Lawrence fed my snake some beer once; it was slithering this way and that. If you’re an Adam Sandler fan, it’s a veritable certainty that you get the joke (and yes, my snake was fine). The good thing was that was all behind us by the time we started our meal at Kittichai. I’m looking forward to hanging out with this guy more often once I get back into the city for good. Our resident NYC Food Guy was pumped to join me at Kittichai on this coldest of cold nights and boy did it deliver.

When I walked into Kittichai, I got the feeling that everyone was someone. It feels like that kind of place. Any other way I could describe it wouldn’t top that, so I’ll stop. One thing I will comment on was the massive rack on this black girl behind me that Lawrence had directed my attention to. Believe me, it was hard not to notice. She and two of her non-augmented friends were hanging out with a guy who had keys to a Lamborghini waiting at the valet stand. I don’t think there was an unattractive woman in the place, forget about the waitresses. Top notch stuff here. Definitely one of the top five meals as far as company and ambiance goes, and while I can’t put the food in that echelon, it didn’t disappoint.

Anyway, Lawrence and I had the $65 prix fixe – I would place it near the top of the list for value on 93 Plates.

Coconut and Organic Chicken Relish with Crispy Jasmine Rice CrackersCoconut and Organic Chicken Relish with Crispy Jasmine Rice Crackers

Lawrence and I disagreed on eating this one with or without the crackers. The regular white crackers were just OK, but the black sesame crackers gave it a sweetness I liked. You could really taste the coconut milk in this one. Super creamy. If you could find a way to make this at home, it would be a pretty impressive appetizer.

Sashimi of Hamachi, Squid Ink Salt, and Red Holland Pepper DressingSashimi of Hamachi, Squid Ink Salt, and Red Holland Pepper Dressing

I tried it with just the sauce and wasn’t psyched. Then, I tried it with the sauce, the scallions, the cilantro, and the mint, and I loved it. I have been telling people that I don’t know how to order (I now exclusively ask for omakase anything if it’s an option, even sometimes when it’s not) and reflecting on this, I don’t even know how to eat.

Fish Cakes with Cucumber and Red Onion ChutneyFish Cakes with Cucumber and Red Onion Chutney

Super crunchy, like the chicken at Mad For Chicken (link). Look at those things; they even look crispy. Those were oats on the outside of the fish cakes, and yes, the consistency was ike a rice krispy (I wonder if the proper spelling is ‘krispie’?) This one takes my favorite dish of round one.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, five courses, three items each, thai food heaven.

Northern Thai Beef Salad, Chinese Long Beans, and Roasted Sticky Rice PowderNorthern Thai Beef Salad, Chinese Long Beans, and Roasted Sticky Rice Powder

This one was like a salty bulgogi. I hit this one harder than Lawrence; he was psyched for the Chocolate Spare Ribs. I mean, come on. You’re not actually reading this sentence, you’re scrolling down to find the Chocolate Spare Ribs.

Banana Blossom and Artichoke Salad, Roasted Cashew Nuts and Chili JamBanana Blossom and Artichoke Salad, Roasted Cashew Nuts and Chili Jam

Nope, keep scrolling.

This was actually quite interesting. The cashews gave it a pleasing crunch and the microgreens, a distinct tartness. I don’t know what banana blossoms are, but I want to have them fried.

Chocolate Baby Back Ribs with Thai SpicesChocolate Baby Back Ribs with Thai Spices

Lawrence had heard about these things before we got here and he was psyched. When I looked at the menu, I was psyched. When we saw them come out, we were psyched. When we finally tasted them, we were, well … we were kinda meh. It’s an interesting concept, but I didn’t know what was supposed to be happening here. They left us asking why. Here’s the thing, they were still very good, the ribs themselves were fantastic, I just didn’t know what they were going for other than putting chocolate on pork.

Baked Chilean Sea Bass marinated in Yellow Salted Beans with Morning GloryBaked Chilean Sea Bass marinated in Yellow Salted Beans with Morning Glory

My favorite dish. Nice crispness on the fish, sweet chili, red curry, shallot and garlic sauce with the clincher; palm sugar. I wish I’d gotten more of the dish in here – the fish just looked super cool. The outside was sweet and crispy and the fish was extra juicy and tender. I don’t remember what Lawrence’s favorite was, but I think this was pretty high on his list, too.

Thai Seafood Bouillabaisse with Tiger Prawns, Scallops, and MusselsThai Seafood Bouillabaisse with Tiger Prawns, Scallops, and Mussels

Basil, onion, chicken stock, lemongrass, and kaffir lime – what a great combo. They knew this from a long time ago .. say, 3,000 years back. I really think southeast asian cuisine is the best in the world because of its roots and complexities. The only cuisine that comes close is French. Feel free to debate me on this. I don’t think this molecular gastronomy thing is a fad.

Sauteed Gai-Lan with Garlic and GingerSauteed Gai-Lan with Garlic and Ginger

I was suprised – this dish was one of my favorites in China and it was actually better than I remembered. How is that? No frickin’ clue.

Broiled Coconut Chicken Breast, Wok Fried Choy SumBroiled Coconut Chicken Breast, Wok Fried Choy Sum

The home stretch – these last three finished us off for the main course. I know you can’t see it in this picture, but it really looked dry, and then it came through with the succulence. Again, the coconut milk really set this one off.

Pineapple-braised Short Ribs in Green Curry with Thai Eggplant and Sweet BasilPineapple-braised Short Ribs in Green Curry with Thai Eggplant and Sweet Basil

We were just confused by this one. The green curry was awesome, the short rib was awesome, but the combo didn’t work for us.

Stir-fried Asian Vegetables with Garlic and Ginger-soy SauceStir-fried Asian Vegetables with Garlic and Ginger-soy Sauce

And our dinner comes to a close with something healthy. Two vegetable plates, I loved them both (vegetable jones). Look at how bright those colors are! Those are some fresh snow peas.

Banana Spring Rolls with Burnt Honey Ice CreamBanana Spring Rolls with Burnt Honey Ice Cream

I just compared the fried banana things at Bogota Bistro (link) to the ones at Sanford’s (link), but we have a new winner. The desserts here were amazing. The burnt honey ice cream was something else, and obviously, those banana things were crispy as hell on the outside.

Flourless Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Fresh CreamFlourless Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Fresh Cream

Finally, a flourless chocolate cake that made me say “wow.” You know what I was thinking when I saw this on the menu, but it was a whole different animal entirely. You can see the banana leaf in the picture; that was holding the chocolate cake, steaming it. I was overwhelmed; how can the rest of the flourless chocolate cakes be so blah and this steamed one be the bomb. It didn’t make sense, but I devoured it. Lawrence shared my sentiments.

Guest Writer: Lawrence Weibman

The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Kittichai for providing this meal.

Kittichai
60 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2000

{ 7 comments… add one }

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    City Mitten March 4, 2010, 4:58 pm

    I do love their chocolate cake. The presentation is cool and it's just delicious anyway.


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      Foodie March 8, 2010, 5:43 pm

      Seriously, banana leaf? It was awesome


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    Diana March 5, 2010, 12:19 pm

    Been reading the 93 Plates for a while now- love it!

    I'd love to eat with Kathy Chen- her columns on SE are always fun to read and she enjoys sweet treats!


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      Foodie March 8, 2010, 5:42 pm

      She was fun! We had some great sushi


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    Sarah March 5, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I would love to eat with the best blogger – Michelle Lapidos! Her style of writing is so witty, it always keep me coming back for more. And so does Kittichai!


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      Foodie March 8, 2010, 5:39 pm

      Ha! She's a pretty good dining companion. Loved the chinese sausage


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