Thailand: Ian Chalermkittichai, Kittichai
MENU: Spicy Thai beef salad with long beans, sticky rice, tapioca pearl
Ian Chalermkittichai’s food at his sizzling hot Soho restaurant, Kittichai, is a savvy modern take on authentic Thai, incorporating local and seasonal ingredients without stinting on the spice. For this summer menu, the chef tones down the flash to focus on traditional Thai classics, like this iconic grilled-beef salad—rare strips of grilled flank steak tossed with sweet-and-sour tamarind dressing and dusted with rice powder. Sticky rice is its natural companion. Everything achieves that elusive, cuisine-defining balance of sweet, salty, and sour—even dessert, a creamy tapioca pudding that soothes the salad’s delicious burn.
On the Grill
Spicy Thai Beef Salad with Long Beans
On the Side
A dry, floral white softens yet stands up to the spiciness of the Thai beef salad. Chalermkittichai likes an Alsatian Gewürztraminer, Pierre Frick, Grand Cru, Steinert 2001.
Where to Shop
Asia Market Corporation
(711⁄2 Mulberry St., nr. Canal St.; 212-962-2028). Thai specialties, including curry pastes and chili sauces, plus fresh herbs such as galangal, Thai basil, and cilantro root.