>> Pad Thai Kitchen | Eat the World NYC

04 May 2021

Pad Thai Kitchen


COVID-19 UPDATE: Indoor dining at limited capacity in accordance with NYS law and a covered, heated outdoor dining patio on 18th Avenue. Contact tracing and temperature checks for indoor diners.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Written and photographed by Monica Parks.

Bensonhurst’s 18th Avenue - alter-ego Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard - is a stronghold of Italian and, more recently, Chinese culture in Southern Brooklyn. Among the Hong Kong-style cafes and venerable pizza institutions lies a hidden gem: the innocuously-named Pad Thai Kitchen.

While there are solid takeout joints throughout the borough, Brooklyn simply does not have the same level of access to home-style Thai cooking as does Queens. Chef Nid - the owner of Pad Thai Kitchen - is the proprietor of a small empire in Brooklyn: she has hands not only in Pad Thai Kitchen, but also Corthaiyou, Jintana Thai Farmhouse, and Thai Farm Kitchen. You would do well to visit any of her institutions, but it is worth noting that Pad Thai Kitchen should be on any list of Bensonhurst essentials.

The restaurant’s name might lure you to old favorites, and those will not disappoint. Chef Nid has populated her menu with regional pad thai featuring various proteins from pork belly to head-on prawns to soft shell crab. A vegan paradise it is not - though the vegetables used are always crisp and fresh, and the dishes do not require animal protein to shine.
Should you ask, staff might steer you to gai yang ($17, above), a veritable multi-course meal served on a cutting board. The lemongrass-marinated grilled whole game hen is the centerpiece here, supported by a funky, tart green papaya salad and sticky rice. The prik nam pla - fish sauce, lime, and bird’s eye chili condiment - that accompanies this dish is not to be ignored.

Pad Thai Kitchen also excels in the appetizer department. Thai-American favorites like chicken satay abound, but do not ignore the peek gai yang ka min ($8, above) - crispy, fish sauce and turmeric-tossed chicken wings. The wings are small, but what they lack in size, they make up for in a satisfyingly crunchy, thin-skinned exterior and powerfully savory taste. While these are served with sweet chili sauce, they do not need dressing at all.

A treat not seen frequently among Thai standards is kao thod naem klook ($14, below) - crispy rice balls with tangy, sour Isaan fermented sausage, familiar to fans of Lao and northern Thai cuisine. Heavily aromatic thanks to the kaffir lime, coconut, and pork, this dish should be on any carb-lover’s radar.

Not pictured, but dishes sampled on prior visits and worth re-ordering include Chantaburi pad thai, “superpower” green curry, and moo yang BBQ pork. Pad Thai Kitchen also does a brisk beverage business, with many customers seeking beautifully layered Thai iced tea and Instagram-friendly, indigo-colored butterfly pea flower iced tea. On a next visit, the pandan leaf iced tea will be sought out before the rest.

📍 6218 18th Avenue, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn


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