OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!
That will be the theme of this post. Keep reading…it will make sense.
For my second Restaurant Week dinner, I chose Kittichai, the popular Thai place in the Thompson Hotel in Soho. Pretty typical interior – lots of bamboo, koi fish, floating tealight candles on lilypads in a fountain in the middle of the restaurant (ok maybe that is not too typical?), and a cocktail list filled with lychee and ginger infusions. Not saying any of that is bad, just saying that my first impression was "nice, but nothing out of the ordinary".
In terms of the menu, I thought theirs was good for all three courses – and I highly recommend looking online for the RW menu if it's available and if you're a picky eater. In my case, I can usually find SOMETHING that I will like out of the options given, but some of my friends are picky and I always tell them to look at the menu online before I book anything. That said, there are certain things I will NOT deal with…and there's no way of knowing about it beforehand…
But before I get to that (let's see how long I can drag this out), let's start with appetizers, or in this case, small plates of cilantro. Most of you who read this regularly know that I despise cilantro. I have come to tolerate it because sometimes you just can't escape it (guacamole is a good, delicious example), and with Thai food it's usually pretty rampant. I ordered the Japanese eggplant with roasted red peppers and pickled ginger; Rudy (my hateful date for the evening) got the chicken salad with coconut. Chicken salad is the way to go here if you're not a big fan of eating giant stems of cilantro. If I deconstructed my dish, it would have been fine, but there was SO much cilantro and ginger it was basically all I could taste. The chicken salad was good and I liked the coconut; it also had a bit of cilantro but it wasn't overpowering.
Now. The moment of truth. I ordered the prawns in Thai curry sauce as my main dish. Sounds good right? Well it was….minus the shrimp heads. I ALWAYS forget to ask this but I really need to start because some Thai/Asian places don't remove the heads from the shrimp and I'm sorry it just freaks me out. Those little black eyes staring up at you with their feelers poking out everywhere…AHHHHHH. Can't do it. I didn't even let the plate hit the table before I said "I'm so sorry but can you take that back and have the chef chop off their heads? Thanks. And I'm not kiddng." Rudy was shocked and appalled at this request, but we don't care what he thinks. "Why can't you cut them off yourself?" he asks. "Because I can't." That was the end of it. Let me also point out that for all intents and purposes, I have tried to be ok with this and cut them off myself, but I just can't. I will eat shellfish, but I have issues with certain aspects of it. Lobster for example, if it's still in the shell, I can't eat it – someone will have to remove it for me. Before you judge, let's take a moment and think of the people out there who don't like their food to touch or put ketchup on spaghetti. Everyone has food quirks.
The steak was a good option for those of you who don't like shrimp (with or without heads) – with a spicy shallot crust served over long beans and a side of rice. I also forgot to mention that once the heads were removed from my little crustaceans, they were delicious. The sauce was a mildly spicy curry and the shrimp were pretty big despite the fact that they were headless.
You know what my equivalent of heaven is? Fried bananas and flourless chocolate cake. Numsss. The fried bananas were actually "banana spring rolls" served with a "burnt honey" ice cream that was amazing. I think I liked the ice cream on it's own, but dipping a warm, fried banana into it is even better. The flourless chocolate cake was dense and dark, in a good way. I assume it was made with a high quality dark chocolate, because it had that taste of mostly bitter, slightly sweet, and all deliciousness. Some people don't like the consistency of flourless cakes, but then again some people don't like shrimp heads. So there you go.
60 Thompson (btwn Spring and Broome)
Opentable Link: Kittichai