Restaurant Week Winter 2011: Kitti Chai

Just one of the myriad advantages of living in New York is having access to some of the best restaurants in the nation, if not the world. Unfortunately, as a working college student on a budget, these restaurants are rarely, if ever, affordable.

Enter Restaurant Week: a bi-annual promotion where even the finest restaurants offer discount prixe-fix menus, allowing the average New Yorker to have a taste of haute cuisine. At a set $25 for lunch and $35 for dinner (tax and tip not included), these menus still err on the pricey side for students (although they are often less than half of the normal cost). However, as a foodie and a New Yorker, I figured it worthwhile to try at least one lunch and one dinner during RW, as it is often abbreviated.

kitti chai nyc

First up:
Kitti Chai
60 Thompson St
New York, NY 10079
(South Village)

Went with several floormates, sister (and her bf) to Kitti Chai, a high-end Thai restaurant in the Village for brunch (which turned out to be lunch) last Saturday. Here’s what I ordered:

roasted Japanese eggplant, bell pepper and pickled ginger salad

Appetizer: Roasted Japanese eggplant, bell pepper and pickled ginger salad
•This salad was a bit iffy. Although the taste was light and refreshing, the textures were off—eggplant mush rather than strips, interspersed with long pieces of red bell pepper, and alarmingly large strips of ginger (initial assumption was that it was bamboo shoots—slices were way too large for such a strongly flavored herb/root).

Pan seared Bronzini, Shanhai shoots in a spiced chili broth

Entrée: Pan seared Bronzini, Shanhai shoots in a spiced chili broth
•Fish was well prepared, with crispy skin and tender firm flesh. A delicious sauce, especially when eaten with the rice (served in communal bowls on the table—we found ourselves asking for more, a bit lacking in quantity).

Banana spring rolls with burnt honey ice cream

Dessert: Banana spring rolls with burnt honey ice cream
•The ice cream was spot-on, bursting with essence of burnt honey. Spring rolls tasty, though uncreative—simply bananas wrapped in phyllo dough, deep fried.

Overall impressions:
Initial chagrin at having to wake up at 10:30 am (the horror!) on a Saturday morning quickly disappeared once I entered Kitti Chai. Although the food was merely good, not fantastic, an overall artful presentation (of the dishes, the décor), made for a delightful experience. Perhaps not worth the full price, but a good RW venture.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Samantha on February 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    “a bit lacking in quantity”…glutton.

    Reply

  2. Posted by numnumnum on February 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    you can never have too much rice. it’s like the asian equivalent of mashed potatoes, got it?

    Reply

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