by Steven Doyle
Chef Paul Singhapong is well known in Dallas for his time at Crescent Court Hotel’s Beau-Nash or perhaps more recently at Cru Wine Bar as opening executive chef. For craveDFW readers you might recall a handful of evenings where he delighted the city with a special Thai menu at Malai Kitchen in the West Village. Singhapong’s resume is rock solid and includes stints at the French Room, the Melrose Hotel and the Mansion on Turtle Creek working with the very best Dallas has to offer. When we spoke to Sinhapong last year he indicated he was retired, but indeed he now is enjoying his new restaurant CrushCraft Thai Street Eats, which opened for business just a few short months ago.
The space is decorated with interesting Thai artifacts, such as corrugated boxed that line the walls, all in the Thai language. Walking in you feel as if you had been transported to the streets of Thailand, which is exactly as owners Singhapong and Jack Nochkasem. It is the ever smiling Nochkasem that will be smiling as he make his way across the room, checking on guests and spot cleaning to ensure comfort.
The dishes are hearty, generous and packed with flavor. They are also extremely economical. I personally ordered three entrees and a few sides on one visit, and paid about what I would at any other restaurant for one dish. This is amazing considering the extreme quality pushed through at CrushCraft.
OG Phat Thai
CashCraft is also an extreme green restaurant, with recycled disposables, including the paper dishes that are easily converted into to-go boxes. Genius.
The staff is well trained to offer suggestions, and are cautious of spice levels. They will divert you to dishes that are more suitable for your palate, and are able to please the most aggressive chile eater in the crowd. The green papaya salad is notoriously spicy, and this one holds true to that fact. But it is also tasty and refreshing at the same time. A must order.
Suar Rong Hai
Look for the daily house specials, which have a tendency to low just after the regular lunch crowd is back at their desks. On a recent visit the special was a green curry chicken, which has a sweet piquant flavor derived from the chilies, crushed cilantro, lemongrass and ginger. If you see this on the menu, you will want to sample this. In fact, because the prices are so ,ow, you might wish to order several dishes, expecting to take home some flavor for tomorrow’s lunch.
CrushCraft is open late on the weekends, which will help those veering off the McKinney Avenue tract and in need of sustenance. This is also the perfect food to sit back on the sunny patio to sip a beer and explore all the tastes being offered.
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 11am to 10pm; Thursday – Saturday 11am – 3am