hubs and i got bored on saturday night and decided to go in search of authentic thai food in the outer boroughs. we’ve been to sripraphai many times before (yes, we’re addicted to the watercress salad and duck green curry), and wanted a different point of view. we jumped in a car, fought our way through some manhattan bridge traffic, and found ourselves in elmhurst (which is just around the corner from sripraphai’s woodside location).
chao thai is a hole-in-the-wall. if i didn’t know better, i’d have mistaken it for just another asian take-out joint. the food, however, is an entirely different matter. we started off with a duck salad. it was less greens and more strips of duck that were re-fried (not greasy at all), and tossed with pineapples, red onions, papaya , scallions, thai chilli peppers and drizzled in a sweet and tangy salad dressing. probably one of the more “duck” focused duck salads that i’ve had — the usual fare is a lackluster iceberg salad with a few pieces of greasy duck on top.
we then ordered 3 dishes as an entree: a chili lime steamed sea bass (my favorite and the waiter’s recommendation after i attempted to order yet a 3rd basil sauced dish — the flesh of the fish is tender but firm, and it’s got this refreshing chili, lime garlic sauce), prad prik khao (minced pork sauteed in basil sauce — very flavorful, and not a bit dry), and a pigs feet sauteed in basil sauce (i love this dish, i love the gelatinous texture of slow stewed pigs skin and fork tender tendon, but i worry about my cholesterol levels with each bite) . i’ll admit that we haven’t quite gotten the ordering down a science (it was our first time there), but everything was truly delicious and generously portioned. we ended up taking much of it back in the form of leftovers, and ordered a delicious papaya salad to enjoy the next day.
the next time we go, we’ll have to test their soft shell crab, curries, noodle soups that another table seemed to be happily slurping away, and mango sticky rice!
ooo chao thai, when can i visit you again?
85-03 Whitney Avenue
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Open daily 11a-11p