>> Eim Khao Mun Kai | Eat the World NYC

23 February 2014

Eim Khao Mun Kai

THAILAND

Recently opened in an as yet unmarked storefront is a tiny specialty shop serving one dish only, khao man gai, the Thai name for Hainanese chicken rice. This Chinese dish is so popular in the owner's home country of Thailand (not to mention Malaysia and Singapore), and can be found on street carts throughout the capital and countryside alike. They have recreated the food stall conditions in this comfortable modern space, with hanging chickens (oiled as their literal translation states) and an actual cart that is only used for ordering rather than preparation.


This is a specialty shop, so the only options here are quantity, in which the vast majority of customers will probably order Set #1 ($8.99, below), which includes the namesake and a small bowl of soup, as well as a complimentary soda.


The plate comes with a healthy portion of their delicious steamed ginger rice, which is also sold alone for $3 if you please, topped with the oiled chicken and complemented with a couple pieces of liver and offal to add some more serious tastes to the otherwise neutral palates. Also helping with this is the lovely dark sauce that is medium spicy, and a green pepper cilantro mix that comes on every table. The latter can really send the dish off the charts if used liberally.

While this is not the type of meal that is going to knock anyone's socks off, it is the type of comfort food that Asians and non-Asians alike can really enjoy. This was proven on the Saturday afternoon I attended, with all tables filled and a steady stream of diverse takeout customers coming and going.

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