Appetizer Crawl - New York City - Part 4

Qi - Bankok Eatery in the Times Square/theatre district.

675 8th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

Hotel Note: If in search of a hotel near Times Square, check out this hidden gem - Casablanca Hotel Times Square.

Most Broadway theatres are dark (closed) on Monday nights so it's a good time to enjoy the restaurants in the Times Square and theatre district without dealing with the hordes of people. It can get dizzying. The decor of this establishment? If Barbarella had sex with the King of Siam their lovechild would be Qi. The space is full of chandeliers enclosed in glass boxes, embossed white on white walls, clear Lucite chairs, and over-sized holograms of frighteningly exotic Thai dancers.

Lounge area.
It's quite jarring to leave the craziness of what's going on outside along 8th Avenue and step into this uber stark, almost futuristic restaurant.

6 foot tall temple.
My crawling partner, Bud Santora, and I chose to eat at the bar but diners are tucked into private cubicles along a sleek communal dining table. Privacy is created by book-ending tables of four with glassed in chandeliers.

But this is an appetizer crawl, I have to keep my eyes and my stomach in check because if I don't I'll order everything on the menu. First up - libations. Bud ordered a classic martini but I thought I should try one of their specialty drinks.

I had the Kyw-ai Lycheetini - infused lychee vodka with sake, pomegranate juice, and lime. Tastes just like candy! If Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City were still with us she'd probably ditch her cosmos and try this smart cocktail. Surprisingly, it wasn't too sweet. It had almost a Tom Collins tang to it (which I haven't had since my 18th birthday!) I actually wondered if there was any alcohol in it at all. Well, until I stood up. The menu offers classic Thai recipes and several Pan-Asian specialties.

On the left, we ordered the assorted fritters - crispy chicken and shrimp dumplings, Asian chive corn dumpling spring rolls, blanket shrimp and sesame tofu - served with a peanut and sweet chili sauce. Not sure I would call them fritters but it was a delicious mix of tastes and textures. I'm not a fan of tofu but the black and white sesame encrusted blocks of soy dipped in any of the sauces was gobbled up fast.

But the charcoal grilled tiger prawns with traditional "Nam Jihm Tala", a spicy chili lime and garlic sauce and "Nahm Pla Wahn" a sweet, salty, and fruity dipping sauce - were my favorite.

Dizzy Note: A beautiful and exotic restaurant, warning for those with sound and visual issues - the place really does echo and be careful not to look into the holograms for too long. You'll feel like you're falling down the rabbit hole.

Needless to say, you must check out the men's room. Or should I say, let him check you out! I wonder if there's a hologram in the ladies' room too?

Overseer of the men's room.


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