For our Hot Spot of the Week, we decided to check out the newly opened SE branch of Southern Thai spot Hat Yai. With counter service and checkered plastic tablecloths, this casual eatery is a perfect spot to grab a bite while checking out the great bars along the Belmont strip with friends. If you want to check out the menu, or see more information, you can do that here
As usual, we each got a cocktail to start. While the cocktail list here isn’t extensive (3 options and a seasonal special) we were both able to easily choose something that catered to our preferences. The Turmeric Sweet Tea was a lovely Thai twist on the classic, and was perfect alongside the fried chicken. The Tamarind Whiskey Smash made me seriously wish it were a hot sunny afternoon. If cocktails aren’t your thing, there is also a no-frills wine and beer list to choose from.
For dinner, we decided to share the famous fried chicken. We opted for the half-chicken portion so we could try several different dishes. The dark meat was, of course, the winner. Even the breast was tasty when doused with the Thai chili dipping sauce. We also shared the Goong Tom Gati, a shrimp and clam curry served with sticky rice. The curry was fine, but we wished we had gone with our instincts and ordered the special Jungle Curry. With trout belly and Chanterelles, it sounded outstanding. However, the person at the counter somewhat warned us off of it saying, “It’s a 9/10 on the spicy scale.” Sometimes in Thai restaurants, that would mean inedible, but once we had tasted the other curry, we felt that we certainly could have handled it.
Our surprise winner of favorite dish of the evening was the seasonal special pea tips. Simply sauteed and served in a light curry sauce, pea tips have been an exciting discovery for me in restaurants this year. They were my favorite of this evening, as well as another spent at delicious newcomer Eem a few months ago. After this experience, I know I will be ordering them every time I see them on a menu! Have you been to Hat Yai yet? What should we order next time?
What Hot Spot should we try out next? Let us know in the comments!