Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland Has Me Hooked
OFF MENU IS SPONSORED BY BENDER’S BECAUSE THEY ARE BADASS. DROP BY AND MAKE SOME BAD DECISIONS WITH SOME GOOD PEOPLE!
Only two days later, I had found my way back to Daughter Thai Kitchen. Two days ago was my first time dining at the relatively new addition to the Montclair village/neighborhood in the Oakland hills. And it was everything I thought it would be and everything I didn’t think it would be. I didn’t expect it to be so fresh, airy and modern on the inside. With very few of the typical tourist souvenir tsotchke so many ethnic restaurants decorate their walls with, Daughter Thai has a sort of modern, chic, industrial thing happening. There are these over sized, copper colored, metal pendant light shades as the centerpiece of the restaurant and the main group table. Vaulted ceilings, high shelves, long wooden banquettes and large windows.
Although I was dining alone, I had ordered three entrees. And although I had ordered three entrees, that didn’t stop me from ogling the girl next to me who had ordered this grilled chicken dish that looked delicious. I had been thinking, no dreaming, about that chicken dish for two days.
The first round I ordered their Hat Yai fried chicken. Huge piece of flattened chicken breast dipped in a batter that was more like a fish and chip wet batter, coloured/flavored with turmeric. It locked in moisture, but gave the outside these crispy nibbly bits. Cha Ca La Vong is their Basa fillet with a turmeric and aromatic paste/marinade. Comes with vermicelli noodles, lettuce, herbs and rice paper so you can turn it into a little fresh wrap. Very light, but filling. You can walk away feeling satisfied, but not weighed down. Came with two sauces, one of which was more like a JAEW (paste/sauce) that tasted of chilies, garlic and fish sauce. It was delightfully spicy and pungent. I need more of that.
The chicken dish that I thought about for two days was the Kai Yang Chicken. Half BBQ Mary’s Organic Chicken marinated in turmeric and coconut milk. Comes with a side of green papaya salad, sticky rice, and two sauces. The sauces were both on the sweet side, one more so than the other. I much prefer that jaew paste/sauce. Sometimes papaya salad can get a little…murky. Some people will let the papaya sit in its brackish sauce all throughout service and possibly over night. But, this papaya salad was nice and bright, crunchy, fresh tasting and not at all murky. And just the right amount of heat. Not enough to push you off the edge, but enough to keep you diving in. It was a large portion and I finished it all.
Service is great. Portions are insane. I ordered three entrees, knowing I’d have leftovers for dinner. But, I did not expect two hubcap sized enamel dishes to anchor my little table. And a huge bowl of yellow curry. Everything is so aromatic and flavorful. The space is open and airy. There’s enough on the menu for more adventurous types and those standard best hits for when you bring a parent who is less adventurous. Definitely a ‘repeat once a week’ spot.
Daughter Thai Kitchen
6118 Medau Pl
Oakland, CA 94611