Photos: Andrew Bui
Rivers and Hills Hospitality Group, the team behind popular downtown New York restaurants Wayla and Kimika, have opened Wan Wan in NoLita [209 Mulberry Street, at Spring Street]. Translating to “throwback” in Thai, Wan Wan is inspired by old Phuket-style restaurants where Chinese influence from the influx of immigrants comes through in the Thai cuisine, creating something familiar yet unique in style.
Chef Tom Naumsuwan helms the kitchen at Wan Wan. Born and raised in Bangkok, Tom grew up spending time at the local markets where his mother would sell her fresh curries and homemade breads. He learned to cook by working with some of Bangkok's popular street vendors, before moving to New York. At Wan Wan, he has created a menu that focuses on lesser known regional Thai dishes to share, as well as a section dedicated to noodles.
The menu starts with shared plates such as Taw Hu Tod, crispy soft tofu with spicy peanut sauce; Nung Gai Tod, crispy chicken skin with garlic and sea salt; Moo Hong, marinated spare ribs with soy, ginger, and garlic; and Hae Gune, fried crab & shrimp tofu skin dumpling with plum sauce. Guests will also find Moo Tod Nam Pla, fried pork belly with fish sauce glaze; and Ped Krob Salad with shredded roast duck with kale, cherry tomatoes, green apple, and hoisin vinaigrette.
Regional noodle dishes include Guay Tiew Kua Gai, roasted half chicken with wok fried wide rice noodles and eggs; Sen Pla, fish noodles with seared branzino, veggie broth, and shiitakes; and Guay Tiew Ped, roast duck with thin rice noodles, baby kale and garlic.
Visitos will also discover lively cocktails (once the liquor license is secured) like the Pandan Colada with Coconut Cartel rum, madagascar vanilla, pandan, Coco Lopez, banana liqueur, and lime; and La Vie En Thai with lemongrass infused-Roku gin, champagne, hibiscus, house grenadine. In the meantime, there are non-alcoholic cocktails, such as the Koh Emerald with cucumber juice, makrut lime, dill, mint and soda; and Koh Coral with pineapple shrub, rosemary, strawberry and coconut water.
The 48-seat restaurant features an airy and relaxed design, with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, velvet-lined banquets and dark wood tables. Retro diner-style mauve checked floors, a 1930s antique art deco chandelier, and porcelain wall sconces elevate the style of the space while maintaining a cozy feel.
For more information, visit www.wanwannyc.com
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