With Southern Thai eatery Hat Yai now soft open for lunch and dinner six days a week, it's time to see just what this wildly anticipated restaurant is serving. The interior reveals a raw wood landscape similar to co-owner Earl Ninsom's Langbaan—the famous hidden restaurant with a regional Thai focus—and the menu below touts the glorious combination of Malay-style curry and fried things, whether roti bread for sopping, or fried chicken parts for dipping.
"The signature thing about the chicken is the herb and spice marinade," Ninsom tells Eater, "with cumin, white pepper, coriander, and fresh garlic. It always has fried shallots with it, too, which also season the oil." Ninsom says a single restaurant in the Southern Thai city of Hat Yai created the chicken about 60 years ago, and it has since become the most famous fried chicken in Thailand, now made in cities across the nation.
In addition to Ninsom, Hat Yai has three Thai chefs with serious experience in the kitchen, Taweesak Teesompong, Duangduean Tattaruji, and Amporn Khayanha, so you can bet on authentic flavors and Thai dishes less commonly found in the U.S., whether Hat Yai-style Soy-Cured Short Rib, Tumeric Curry, or Khao Yum, a rice salad with shrimp powder, toasted coconut, and herbs. You can even order up curry broth explicitly to dip that roti or chicken.
Without further ado, check out the full menu of Southern Thai dishes from the city of Hat Yai, now conveniently found at 1605 NE Killingsworth: