Months ago, just after critic Brian Reinhart had already visited and raved about the flavors coming out of Ka-Tip Thai Street Food, I tasted something I hadn’t experienced since sitting outside some restaurant in Bangkok years ago.
The soup, rice dishes and appetizers we tried were wonderful, but the first bite of the yum woon sen ($12) had me truly excited about Ka-Tip.
Today, the experience of this small restaurant at the Dallas Farmers Market is different, of course. As at other establishments, you get the meal curbside with items carefully packaged in brown boxes.
If you’re up for dining in open-air patios, there is now one here. It opened a few months ago, and it’s the only place you can dine “in” here now.
But there’s no need, because the food travels fine, especially that glass noodle dish with shrimp, onion, ground chicken, celery, tomato and black mushroom.
This dish, not unlike others here, indicates the owners are not afraid to use strong flavors that are common throughout Thailand — flavors that provide a funkiness that may be off-putting to some (so I’m told), but ones that bring together and highlight other ingredients to create dishes we crave.
The clear noodles are cooked perfectly, easily looping around your chopsticks and carrying bits of crunchy celery and large mushroom. Scoop the seasoned ground chicken on the end for a complete bite. Then, if you’re sharing with a household member, decide how you’ll split the large shrimp.
Getting your meal to go is easy: Order online, drive to the front (easily seen from a distance by the yellow umbrellas), call when you’re there, and they’ll bring your bagged meal with a mask and gloves on to your car.
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Taking it home from downtown in about 10 minutes was fine — even the perfectly cooked quail eggs that rested inside crisp, fried wonton wrappers for dipping in a sweet and just-spicy sauce. The gyao grob should be at least one appetizer you order with your meal ($5 for five).
An appetizer and the noodles is enough for two people, or the yum woon sen on its own is fine for one. But if you choose to get those along with most other dishes offered at Ka-Tip, you’ll be happy with those decisions.
Ka-Tip Thai Street Food, 1011 S. Pearl Expressway, Suite 190 (Dallas Farmers Market). 214-238-2232. Open for curbside pickup and patio seating 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.