Just a little more than a month since Gaijin Izakaya's closure, Phuket "Cake" Thongsodchaveondee has announced a new concept opening at B Bistro + Bakery.
On June 29, Thongsodchaveondee will take over the Brickell bistro during dinner and late-night services with the concept Cake Thai Zab Elee.
B Bistro's Henry Hane and Cake have long been friends. The two chefs met while Cake worked at Makoto.
Hane says he made a call to Cake after he learned of Gaijin's closing. "There's a huge void of Thai food and late-night spots in Brickell, and the space wasn't being used at night. Cake is supertalented, and I'm a huge fan of his authenticity. We can definitely create something special here."
In the evenings, B Bistro will transform into a party-like atmosphere that Cake describes as a Thai barbecue with '80s hip-hop playing in the dining room. The menu will be directly inspired by the Isan region of Thailand; the chef compares the concept to New York's Pok Pok.
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The 32-year-old chef explains that dishes will be communal and that diners are encouraged to eat with their hands, similar to street food. Almost every plate will be served with a side of sticky rice. Each table will also hold a bowl of rosewater to cleanse guests' hands.
Some of the finger-friendly foods include duck laab — chopped duck meat seasoned with fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, chili powder, and toasted rice powder and served alongside lettuce leaves — and banana-leaf-wrapped grilled branzino.
However, according to Cake, his favorite dish on the menu is the grilled chicken, marinated with soy sauce, black pepper, cilantro root, and garlic and then drizzled with fermented honey. It'll be served with a nam jim jaew dipping sauce. Ranging from $11 to $30 per dish, prices will be similar to those at Cake Thai. The menu will rotate regularly, and local chef collaborations will be featured. Thai beer and sake will also be available during Cake Thai's hours.
Cake Thai Zab Elee at B Bistro + Bakery. 600 Brickell Ave., Miami; 617-943-0910. Monday through Thursday 7 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. beginning June 29.