For Generasian NOM’s first video of the semester, Jeff Wu, Diane Park and I visited Kati Thai Cuisine located along the northwest corner of 1st Ave and East 14th Street. Hyped and hungry, we were seated at the front of the restaurant and tried 3 dishes that the owner generously provided for no charge. While we waited for the food to come out, we took note of the pleasant decor and layout of Kati. An overhead banner and canopy mark the entrance with floor to ceiling windows that provide natural lighting and a clear view inside. Modern ceiling lights, small tables, and trendy booths that line the right side of the restaurant make for a compact and smartly designed floor plan. A wine rack by the back compliments the clean interior and provides a nice contrast to the minimalistic design of the entrance.
Not long after discussing our approval of Kati’s interior design, the first dish, Chicken Pad Se Ew, arrived in a white bowl. The familiar smell of soy sauce and oil instantly brought me back to past experiences eating Pad Se Ew in Asia and we quickly dug in. Lightly seasoned and served with broccoli, chicken, and egg, the sweet taste of soy sauce permeated throughout without overstaying its welcome. Not too oily, salty or sweet, the golden-brown noodles’ chewy texture contrasted well with the crunchiness of the broccoli and pieces of chicken. Personally, I would have preferred the use of Chinese broccoli and additional seasoning, but that wouldn’t stop me from ordering Kati’s Pad Se Ew again.
The next dish we tasted was Chicken Green Curry served with a bowl of white rice. Cooked with eggplant, green and red bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and Thai basil, the curry was decidedly our favorite over the Pad Se Ew. While the Pad Se Ew’s sweet flavor and soft texture eventually became repetitive, the various ingredients in the green curry provided various flavor and texture combinations. A taste of the broth revealed the main ingredients: coconut milk, green curry powder, and green chilies. The coconut milk’s creamy consistency and sweet flavor was accented by hints of spice from the curry powder and a small kick from the chilies. The bell peppers weren’t overcooked, maintaining a slight crunch that contrasted well with the softer textures of the chicken and eggplant. Thai basil helped cut some of the spice and enhanced the flavor overall. Kati’s green curry tasted best eaten over rice and would surely sate a hungry appetite.
Mid nomfest, our last dish arrived: vegetarian spring rolls. Served with a tangy sweet and sour sauce and garnish of shredded carrots, 3 petite spring rolls added a welcome crunch factor to our meal. Not too fried or oily, Kati’s spring rolls were a solid example of an appetizer done right.
As we wrapped up our meal, we discussed our impressions of the food and restaurant as a whole. Coming with no expectations, I was impressed. A combination of courteous staff, fast service, and cozy environment made for an enjoyable dining experience. All in all, Kati Thai Cuisine provides solid Thai food at a reasonable price, something any college student can appreciate. If you’re looking to satisfy a Thai food craving, definitely come through and taste the food yourself. If the walk to East Village is too much of a hassle however, you can always order delivery through Seamless.
Kati Thai Cuisine is located at 347 East 14th St New York, NY 10003.
Check out our first Nom video of the semester!