LIFESTYLE

New in Fort Greene, Sukh is serving terrific Thai

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Patama Wattanasongsit and Kiattisak Auyyamathiti, co-owners of the sumptuously appointed Thai restaurant Sukh, which opened last weekend in Fort Greene, really commit to the bit.

Wattanasongsit is from Bangkok, in central Thailand, and Auyyamathiti is from Pattani, in the south, and both have traveled extensively in the north. So for their first restaurant together (Wattanasongsit also runs Nourish Thai, in Prospect Heights), they wanted to include dishes from all over their native country. And rather than leave it at that, they also created a whole old-fashioned-train-travel-around-Thailand theme complete with lavish sets, lore and a period soundtrack.

Is it a booth? A vintage rail car? Both? (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Sukh’s exterior is designed to evoke the entrance to a train station, and the booths inside vibe like private rooms on luxury rail liners, complete with curtained “windows” and overhead racks piled with vintage luggage. The music is mid-century jazz and standards, and a charmingly odd collection of vinyl is displayed throughout the place. Mitch Miller, Herb Albert, and … Bob Newhart? Sure, why not.

You get a broadsheet along with your menu filled with tidbits about the glory days of rail travel and which includes an awesome map highlighting cities and towns all over Thailand where many of the dishes at Sukh originated. And the motto of the place, printed on the staff’s spiffy uniforms, is “Take a journey of flavor and happiness.” All aboard!

Hor mok, a fish curry custard — those domes in back house three more, $19 (Photo by Scott Lynch)

The executive chefs here are Pattadon Rojanawit (born and raised in central Thailand) and Chanakan Promsowan (born and raised in the north). For diners, sharing a bunch of dishes with a crew from “stations” all over the “train route” is definitely the way to go. The Bangkok-style hor mok, for example, is delightfully plated, with each bite of fish curry custard topped with a bit of crab and coconut milk and hidden under its own little terracotta dome.

Kang pu (crab curry), $28 (Photo by Scott Lynch)

The kang pu is a lively bowl of sweet lump crab meat swimming in some fiery coconut curry. And the Sukh pad Thai is made with grilled chicken, which is apparently how they do it in Chanthaburi.

Sukh pad Thai (rice noodles with grilled chicken), $25 (Photo by Scott Lynch)

And the khao tom heang from Phuket comes with a whole mess of good stuff — crackling pork belly, Chinese sausage, plump whole shrimps, fried tofu — that your party can pick up and dip in any of the little bowls of sauces that have hit your table so far.

Khao tom haeng (pork belly, shrimp, sausage, fried tofu over rice), $28 (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Sukh’s showstopper is the pla tod samun prai, a local favorite in Trat, that’s basically just a crisp-fried whole branzino, splayed open and festooned with peppercorns and hot chiles.

Pla tod samun prai (fried whole branzino), $35 (Photo by Scott Lynch)

There are stir-fried noodles, a duck dish from Songkhla, a crispy omelet from Surat Thani, and grilled squid from Samut Songkhram. For dessert we were handed a block of taro custard paired with coconut ice cream and, surprisingly, fried shallots. Still not sure what I think about that.

Taro custard with coconut ice cream and fried shallots (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Wattanasongsit and Auyyamathiti are waiting on their liquor license — you can easily imagine a hopping bar scene developing here — but in the meantime the Songhkla-style Thai iced tea really hits the spot. Sukh is also open for lunch, with a shorter, cheaper menu, though you still get to sit in those first-class booths.

“I worked in Manhattan when I first came to New York, in 2009, and the people there can be crazy,” says Auyyamathiti. “I love the people in Brooklyn more. They’re like, more chill. And the culture is more cool.”

Sukh is located at 723 Fulton Street, at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Fort Greene Place, and is currently open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from noon to 10:30.

The post New in Fort Greene, Sukh is serving terrific Thai appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.



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