UPDATE 9/19/2019: Ka-Tip is now open at the Dallas Farmers Market featuring a selection of authentic Thai street food, all priced at $10 or less. Menu details are below.
Downtown diners can get their Thai on with the arrival of Ka-Tip, a new restaurant specializing in Thai street food, coming to the Dallas Farmers Market.
Ka-Tip, which refers to a small bowl in which rice is cooked, comes from husband-and-wife George and YuYee Kaiho, who are fulfilling a longtime dream to open a restaurant together.
George heads the bar program at Jettison, the companion lounge to Houndstooth Coffee at Sylvan Thirty. He made the list of top 10 bartenders in CultureMap's 2017 Tastemaker Awards. His background includes a childhood spent in Japan before moving to Texas when he was 18.
"I'm half Japanese and one of only two half-Japanese bartenders in Dallas," he quips. "YuYee is Thai. She grew up in a big family, and they always cooked a lot of food, with great home-cooking recipes you would only find in Thailand."
They'll do the classics like pad Thai that people expect, but their main focus will be on smaller plates.
"We call it Thai street food," Kaiho says. "It's more like small bites, with papaya salad and ground chicken — dishes that are unique to the Isaan region of Thailand that's neighboring Laos. You'll have a bunch of small dishes, tapas-style, that you eat with sticky rice."
They're going into a new space at the Farmers Market, which is still being built.
"We like the energy there and the fact that it's close to downtown Dallas," he says. "In the downtown region, there are few options for Thai restaurants."
Since May 2018, they manned a stand at the outdoor shed space on Sundays, where they've built up great word of mouth on their food,"smallwares," and furniture from Bangkok that will convey the utmost in authenticity.
Their prices are low with the most expensive item – stir fried noodles with shrimp -- at $14, and most items $10 or less. Dishes featured on their opening menu include glass noodle salad with shrimp; grilled pork salad with herbs; grilled pork with dipping sauce; and pad ka prow, aka spicy ground chcken over rice, all for $10.
There’s a green papaya salad for $7 and tom kha gai, aka coconut soup with chicken, for $5. Pork and shrimp dumplings are five to an order for $7. An order of three fried veggie eggrolls is $5, and a five-piece order of chicken wings is $6.
"Our goal is to provide a real cultural submersion in the sense that we'll be serving exactly what you would have in Thailand," George says. "I feel like we need more of this kind of stuff. It makes Dallas a better city."