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Untable is both unconventional and unbelievable
Henry Street's newest Thai restaurant, Untable, is magical
There are over a dozen chile pepper emojis that follow the description of WHAT THE HELL Fried Rice, a full throttle flame thrower of a dish that includes crispy chili fried rice, tiger shrimp, sweet pork, rolled eggs and veggies. It arrives like a do-it-yourself pu pu platter of high heat carbs at Untable, which opened yesterday in the former Francesca’s Pizza spot on Henry Street in Carroll Gardens.
You mix the ingredients into the rice yourself — be sure to squeeze the lime too, which helps to slightly tame the heat (as does the sweet pork and the rolled egg). The chili situation is for real, but it’s not unpleasant. Sure, my lips buzzed, my face began to sweat, and my eyes teared up, but pleasure and pain are very closely related in this iteration of fried rice. I could not stop eating it. I highly recommend it.
Untable, “unconventional Thai food,” comes from former Somtom Der (Red Hook) chef Un who has wanted his own spot for a long time. He and a few of the crew (some of whom still work at Somtom in Red Hook – the parting was very amicable) have created a warm and inviting little bistro dedicated to exceptional and unconventional Thai.
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I loved the crab croquettes, like the best crab cake you’ve ever had, all sweet lump crab meat rolled up like an arancini (without the rice) and breaded and fried, tucked into a sweet chili sauce. The kids ate them and promptly said, “We need more!”
The Grilled Tiger Shrimp with cashews, Thai chili paste, ginger, garlic and herb salad was like eating fireworks, not only because my mouth lit on fire but because of the sparks of flavor – tart lime and crunchy nutty cashews, fresh grassy cilantro and basil, and succulent barely cooked shrimp. I thought it was just fantastic.
The best dish of the night might have been the Green Curry, with fall-from-the-bone braised chicken leg and thigh. It’s a creamy and vibrant sauce, a jewel-toned emerald shade of green, that arrives with a dish of black rice (no white rice here) that’s chewy and nutty like it’s been cooked with toasted peanuts.
The staff at Untable is incredibly sweet and inviting; Meen (say it like mean but she’s not mean), and a team of servers and hosts are clearly overjoyed to be showcasing chef Un’s menu. There’s a lot of love in the place, and a lot of people too – it’s packed already, but they take walk ins and there is a nice bar to eat and drink (BYOB for now). Stop in and dive into some of the menu pictured below. It’s a gem and I think you’ll just love it.
Untable is located at 529 Henry Street, near Union Street.