Thai food in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been mostly forgettable, so the arrival of Qi Thai Grill, a collaboration that includes Chef Sripraphai Tipmanee of Thai mecca SriPraPhai in Queens, has stirred some buzz. Her pork trotters (pictured) sound like reason enough to drop by. One of a half-dozen small plates she's contributed to the menu, it's marinated in spices; sautéed with chiles, sweet soy, and herbs; and topped with fried basil. "Nice balance of Thai tastes, along with interesting textural chunks of meat and collagen," observes Silverjay, a Chowhound who was especially struck by an herbal, piquant note from green peppercorns. Spicy beef tendon salad (larb enn) is on the mark in texture and balanced flavors, if a bit lacking in funk.
Another star chef, Pichet Ong, has a hand in both two-month-old Qi Thai Grill and its sister restaurant Qi Bangkok Eatery in Manhattan. Better known for Asian-accented desserts—he was the original chef at Spot, a 'hound hangout for sweets—Ong brings savory grilled dishes to Qi Thai's menu. Among them are duck skewers with yuzu hoisin sauce, cinnamon pork with crispy pork belly, and pork ribs with an Ovaltine glaze. A selection of "fusion-Thai-inspired" noodle dishes, stir-fries, salads, and curries rounds out the menu, Silverjay reports. The vast space is "pretty swanky" in a Williamsburg/warehouse way, he adds, and the restrooms have people talking.
Qi Thai Grill [Williamsburg]
176 N. Ninth Street (between Bedford and Driggs avenues), Brooklyn
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Photo from Qi Thai Grill / Facebook