Last Saturday night we wandered down to the Columbia Street Waterfront, aka S. Brooklyn dock yards, to try out Pok Pok Ny.
What is Pok Pok Ny, you ask? Well, it’s the third Thai restaurant by Portland chef, Andy Ricker; who is making quite a name for himself in his quest to bring Northern Thai cuisine out of the mountains and onto our plates. Given the meal I had, I would say he is on the right path.
Ny is not actually for New York, but distinguishes a Thai business as being “in town”. Columbia Street Waterfront is definitely one of the “up and coming” areas in town. A bold move for him, or maybe just irresistible rent rates.
The tiny establishment was packed at 8:30pm with an hour and a half wait. They took my cell phone and proceeded to tell me I would receive 3 text messages. The first, confirming the table. The second, giving 15 minute notice and asking to press 1 if you still are dining. The third, your table is ready. Something told me this wasn’t your ordinary Thai food shack dishing up green curry and massaman.
I could describe the decor in the next few sentences, the mood, the atmosphere. But I am not going to. The only thing that matters about this place, is what is on your plate!
I have had great Thai food around the world, including in Thailand, and this meal was actually a food changing experience. I will never see Thai cuisine the same again. I will try everything on this menu. That never happens.
As all Thai should be eaten, family style, we shared three dishes and the most delicious sticky rice this side of Chang Mai. No morsel was left behind.
Yam Samun Phrai – Thai Herbal salad of shaved carrot, parsnip, white turmeric, betal, basil, lime leaf, lemongrass, sawtooth, fried shallots, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds and a coconut milk dressing.
Da Choms Laap Meuang – Spicy hand minced pork salad with aromatics, spices, herbs, crispy fried shallots and garlic.
Kaeng Hung Leh – Thai sweet pork belly and shoulder curry with ginger, palm sugar, turmeric, tamarind, burmese curry powder and pickled garlic.
We licked our lips clean and ordered the Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich, unlike any ice cream sandwich or dessert, for that matter, I have ever had. Coconut-Jackfruit homemade ice cream served on a sweet bun with peanuts, sweet sticky rice, condensed milk and chocolate syrup. Its a specialty of Thai street markets and unlike any flavor combination you could imagine.
I complained about the hour and half wait. Knowing what I do now, I would have waited 3. Andy Ricker is changing the game of Thai cuisine, as we all know, it with combinations of flavors and spices that speak of some long-lost Thailand. While I would go in search of this magical culinary mecca, I’ll just cruise down to Columbis St. instead, for now.
No reservations. No excuses. Just go.
127 Columbia Street // 718-923-9322