Chao Thai - Elmhurst Queens
- Chris Kwok
The former cook (owners?) at Boon Chu have resurfaced at Chao Thai, which is right around the corner at Whitney and Broadway. Its the space of the former Chao Zhou Bowl.
The food was really good! The Tom Yum was clear - no tomato and very "clean" tasting - its flavors precise and balanced. Very interesting variation.
The Shrimp Thai fried rice was done extremely well. Great technique, producing perfectly wokked rice, egg and shrimp.
There were four condiments on the table: sugar, dried pepper flakes, hot peppers in vinegar and another pepper fish sauce concotion.
I definitely recommend a try. I am going to be back.
re: babar ganesh
The original poster is incorrect - the owners and cook at Boon Chu are still the same - I was just there 2 days ago and had the same great food as before - I walked by the new Chao Thai and went in and took a menu from the cashier area and tried to glance into the kitchen - couldn't really see any familiar faces.
But I can guarantee the same lady is still cooking at Boon Chu and she is cooking up a storm !
i went twice about 6 months ago and thought the food was very good though not on the sripraphai or zabb level. solid and not ameri-thai, but not brilliant or adventurous feeling.
i also thought that the place could improve from where it was and i'm going to try it again.
we went back last night and i'd say that it had improved. quite a tasty meal, and the menu is fairly adventurous.
i still think sri is the clear winner unless you want noodle dishes. i've been unimpressed with zabb.
I live very close to Chao and wish it was as good as Zabb, Arunee, and Sri...but I think it misses the mark more often that hits it. I think that NY times article sang its praises a bit too loudly...
I've had curries there that were pretty good, but after the reading the times review I thought I should try to larb...and MAN was it spicy. I like hot and usually can get all macho about it but this was absurd. It was painful. All heat and nothing else.
I think the two indonesian places up the street and the dumpling place on Whitney are much worthier of a visit.