Thaiku, a Seattle staple, reopened its doors on Phinney Ridge at 6705 Greenwood Avenue North, after being displaced for over a year. A mini version of its celebrated apothecary bar, Fu Kun Wu (named one of the “Best Bars in America” by Esquire magazine in 2006 and 2011), reincarnates with it too.
Thaiku’s resident bar Fu Kun Wu reintroduces several of its famed herb-infused cocktails like the Oolong Teani (black tea infused vodka, shaken with lemon and sugar) and the Radiant Flower (Schisandra berry, white peony root and gin tincture, shaken with lemon and mint)— a drink that quiets the spirit and calms the heart (it’s also been known to boost female radiance and sexual vitality), along with the limit-one-per-person, patented Yohimbe cocktails, which are mixed with a natural aphrodisiac. Beer and wine are also served.
“At the mai (new) Thaiku, we’re offering an authentic experience with food and culture that people would have to fly to Thailand for or go to a Thai family’s house to taste,” says general manager Unchalee “O” Ayucharoen, who was born and raised in Jantaburi province on the eastern part of Thailand. Ayucharoen also managed Thaiku at the old location.
Ayucharoen notes,”Our food is fresh and light, nothing is deep-fried. We have a number of grilled selections and various types of Thai salad options. We now serve seven different kinds of som tahm (green papaya salad), which is the national dish of Thailand— it’s more popular than pahd Thai there. We’re also proud to have several noodle dishes that are unique to Thaiku, and other familiar items that our loyal customers will feel nostalgic about.”
Old favorites on the menu include Khao Soi (egg noodles in yellow curry and coconut milk with chicken and pickled mustard greens), Pahd Thai in tamarind sauce, Sua Rong Hai/Crying Tiger (grilled marinated flank steak with dipping sauce), Pahd See Iew (fresh wide noodles in sweet soy with gai lan/Chinese broccoli), Mieng Kahm (bai cha plu/wild pepper leaf with fresh ginger, lime, chili, onion, peanuts and toasted coconut), among others.
The mostly women-run kitchen is led by chef Anne Sawvalak, who was born and bred in Bangkok, the capital and largest city of Thailand.
“I learned to cook from my mom, and the food that we are serving at Thaiku is based on recipes from our families in Thailand,” says chef Sawvalak.
Manager Ayucharoen adds, “We want to educate our customers on what real Thai food is like. And I think people in Seattle are ready for what we have to offer.”
“Mai” (new) Thaiku is located at 6705 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98103. Phone: (206) 706-7807. Thaiku and its bar Fu Kun Wu are open seven days a week: Sunday from 12pm-11pm, Monday-Thursday from 4pm-11pm, Friday from 4pm-12am, and Saturday from 12pm-12am. Happy hour is offered from 4pm-6pm. (Note: Happy hour and weekend lunch service starts the week of February 25th.) An intimate space, the new location seats about 45 people. Outdoor seating will be available during the warmer seasons. No reservations are taken— seating is first-come, first-served.
For more information, visit Thaiku’s website at http://thaiku.com and follow Thaiku on Facebook at http://facebook.com/maithaiku | Fu Kun Wu: http://www.facebook.com/fukunwu, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/maithaiku.