After the radio show this past Sunday a few of us decided to check out the new ‘Suki Sunday’ at Pakpao. This is the Thai Sukiyaki that our co-host Chef Uno remembers as a child and was excited to sample the new offering. Uno made the comment that when she was very young her mother would make suki sauce and bottle it for sale to friends and neighbors. We were all excited to sample the cuisine and headed to the Design District.
We arrived shortly before 7pm and were told that the Suki Sunday was more of a brunch feature for the restaurant and cut off at 4pm, but after some puppy dog eye stares to the chef we were soon set up with our own Suki station. This was basically a double sided steaming pot, one side filled with water, the other with a rich broth to cook our meats and vegetables.
Consider the Suki much as you might shabu-shabu or hot pot dining. They are definitely related. You order from a long list of meats and vegetables (this can be a vegetarian dinner should you be of that persuasion) and are given tiny wire skimmers to cook your selections. We chose fish balls, sliced beef, squid and napa cabbage. The pot comes with celery leaves and noodles. The basic trick is to build your own soup, first cooking the various ingredients, then assembling your own bowl. After you have your bowl ready you add the suki sauce and you are ready for dining action.
The broth is enriched with each basket of food you cook, so the flavor builds to this strong and spicy slurry by the end of the meal. You will want to slurp up each savory drop, regardless of how full you are. It is that good. And for chef Uno, she said it was spot on and much like she would get at home. The celery leaves were a huge part of the flavor profile she remembers, and they made the bowls spark.
The suki sauce (Nam Jim Su Ki) is packed with great flavors such as sesame seeds, garlic, fish sauce, chile sauce, soy and so much more. You can find a recipe here.
Oh, the son-in-law eggs have a fun history. Also called khai luuk kheuy, you can find them at street kitchens and bus stations around Thailand. These are deep fried eggs are topped with a sweet tamarind sauce and crispy shallots. The story behind the name of the dish is that a mother-in-law will cook these for her son-in-law if she thinks he is being unkind to her daughter. It will remind him that his family jewels could well end up fried on a plate if he doesn’t clean up his act.
Our cost of the Suki dinner with a few appetizers and several Thai beers per person was about $20 a head. We will be back, but earlier in the day, for a perfect Sunday Funday. This is a fantastic was to share some delicious tastes with friends. Here is a cool related video.
Pakpao | 1628 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas | 214.749.7002