7 Spring St (between Elizabeth St and Bowery, Nolita)
Fatty Kat Eats: Red Curry Corn Cakes, Blowfish Tails, Khao Soi Kaa Kai, Whipped Coconut Ice Cream
I don't know about you, but I'm always suspicious of Thai restaurants in the city. You always expect tacky, futuristic decor and a menu with the obvious staples: green papaya salad, tom yum soup, pad thai and green curry. There's nothing wrong with that, but I don't feel any authenticity at these restaurants. I don't get that feeling I do when I walk into a rinky dink noodle shop in Chinatown or a Greek bakery in Astoria. Do you know what I mean?! I'm so glad this new Southeast Asian wave has hit New York City by storm (i.e. Pig and Khao, Somtum Der, Jeepney, Maharlika, etc.). I've read about Uncle Boons in the food blogs and seen lovely pictures on Instagram all summer.
@selenaselena and I had a difficult time deciphering the menu, because we had hardly seen or heard of any of these "exotic" dishes before. That's how we knew we were somewhere special. We started with the Red Curry Corn Cakes with a sweet chili dipping sauce and loved the colorful flavors and textures. The pickled cucumber and shallots also helped calm the palette after these corny fireworks went off.
These strange looking specimens are Blowfish Tails. Never heard of 'em? Us too. Who knew blowfish had tails, and who knew those tails were meaty and delicious? Our server appropriately referred to them as "drumsticks of the sea." The meat was incredibly juicy and tasted great with a zesty sprinkle of lime.
The Spicy Chicken and Banana Blossom Salad came highly recommended from our server and the world wide web. I don't think it was just us, but this kind of spiciness was on a whole other level. The unbearable heat made this mound of chicken and bananas the low point of our meal. We literally couldn't taste anything.
The Khao Soi Kaa Kai arrived to our table during an epic conversation. It was like the food gods were running parallel with our chit chat, and this was the peak. The golden curry was incredibly creamy and full of coconut divinity. I've never had egg noodles so thick and chewy before, and I loved it! The fried noodles on top of the dish worked well with everything below, from the cilantro to the chicken leg, but it did get a little busy when we were searching for our favorite things in the curry, mine being the soft noodles.
Uncle Boons serves 2 kinds of rice, jasmine rice and sticky rice. We went with the Sticky Rice, but it wasn't really that sticky. It was just good to have something soak up the heavenly curry from the Khao Soi. The brains behind the machine thought to wrap the rice in a little baggy to avoid sticky rice dishwashing issues. Impressed.
Uncle Boons only offers one dessert. It only needs to offer one dessert when that one dessert is a Whipped Coconut Ice Cream with dried coconut and peanuts. This thing is a mix between whipped cream and ice cream but coconut flavored and with crunchy stuff...so basically, my favorite thing in the entire world. You MUST try it.
Moral of the story? Try Uncle Boons ASAP, but don't order the Spicy Chicken and Banana Blossom Salad.