Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hey Ho, Khe-Yo !

It was date night and time for sweet, sweet romance at Tribeca's newest restaurant, Khe-Yo, a Laotian hotspot.  (Just kidding.  We were hungry though and time to try something new !)

New York seems to offer cuisines from every corner of the map, but Laotian food is definitely underrepresented.  Khe-Yo was fully bustling throughout the night though, exemplifying the high demand for this Asian fare.

My favorite thing of the night was the free appetizer (the best things in life are free!).  A big bamboo container, filled with sticky rice, is served with an eggplant mash and what Khe-Yo calls their "bang bang" sauce which, as you know it, is completely bangin'.

It's like a Vietnamese nuoc cham sauce on fire with copious amounts of bird's eye chilis, strands of fresh basil, and plenty of limey tang.  You ball up the sticky rice with your fingers, dip it in the sauce and it's spicy, mouth-puckering perfection.

(And yes, it's okay to eat the sticky rice with your hands.  The menu tells you to!  It's a flavor enhancer !)

The boy loved the coconut rice with kaffir lime sausage.  It resembles fried risotto balls and comes whole to the table, but the server will smash them down with much gusto (and bottled anger).

The coconut flavor was nil, but wrapping up the sweet, crunchy rice and flavorful sausage in the cold, crisp lettuce leaves still made for a great bite.

The bamboo-grilled ginger quail was a gorgeous, glistening sight for hungry eyes.  I know.  Most people hate eating quail because it's so bony, but girl,  Khe-Yo's got you covered.  This bird is surprisingly de-boned in the center.  I don't know how they do it, but I love that they do it.

The sticky skin is irresistible, the meat moist and wonderful.  It's a shame this dish is SO small.  And the sauce here is the bang bang + ginger.  Yeah.  It just got real.

The chili prawns with ginger scallion toast and Thai basil came as a group of four large prawn-friends holding hands together awaiting their gruesome fate.

The prawns were fine (similar to the lobster from Marc Forgione), but the bread was just herbaceous bliss.

With four prawns to a plate and ringing in at $26, this is a pricey plate, so I might opt for a different dish if I returned again.

The scene here is definitely fun, filled with ladies that love to gab, so grab some galpals and that sticky rice with your fingers and bang the night away!

Han's Nonsensical Rating: While the cuisine is Laos, the pricetag is definitely Manhattan.  Everything tastes good with the bang bang sauce - the succulent quail still has my mouthbuds wagging.  (I love imagining mouthbuds wagging.)

157 Duane St
New York, NY
Khe-Yo on Urbanspoon


  1. you had me at free sticky rice!!

  2. Um, your blog is my favourite thing to read ever. I don't know what struck me about this post specifically, but. It did.