In Thailand, New Year's is celebrated very differently than in Miami.
As part of the multiday festivities, Thai people clean their houses, avoid cursing, apologize to friends and family for bad behavior, and splash water on each other (very respectfully, we're told).
Miamians, by contrast, generally wait until the day after the holiday to apologize to friends and family (usually because of what happened during the New Year celebration). And the only time we splash water on each other is while trying to rouse an extremely inebriated friend. Plus, we always curse.
Of course, there are traditions that we can all agree on, such as dressing up, throwing a party, eating fancy food (noodles at the table are considered good luck), and getting together for drinks.
Khong River House is celebrating Songkran (Thai New Year's) from April 13 through 16 with a special food-and-drink menu. In addition, guests will receive "Forgive and Forget" confession cards on which they can write their deepest, darkest secrets and be rid of that burden forever (whew! thank goodness no one will ever find out we stole $20 from mom's wallet to buy a bottle of vodka to sneak into senior prom). What's being left out? The traditional water splash (though we won't tell if you gently splash your dining partner at the table).
Special dishes include steamed spiced chicken
with roasted rice powder in banana leaves with anchovies, scallion, red onion, lemongrass, galanga,
rhizome, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai bird chili ($12); traditional vermicelli noodles mixed with fresh pineapple and coconut milk with dried shrimp, Thai bird chili, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic ($20); and northern-style ground beef salad
with red onion, scallion, dried red chili, cilantro, and
honey comb ($23). For dessert there's sweet green pendent sticky rice with egg custard crème brûlée ($7), and of course there are Khong's bottomless drinks. Look, if Thai custom suggests we drink bottomless Death in the Afternoons for $50 per person or endless bloody marys for $30, so be it.
If you're an early-bird type of person (or you just want to get a jump on the dinner crowd), check out Khong's new Beat the Clock program. Weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m., you'll pay the time for a selection of wines, cocktails, beer, and bites. For instance, from 4 to 5 p.m. everything on the Beat the Clock menu is $4; from 5 to 6 p.m. they're $5; and so on. Get it?
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Beat the Clock offerings include Chang and Export 33 beer, Frisk Riesling, Umbrian Pinot Grigio, hot 'n' sticky Thai-style chicken wings, Korat beef jerky, Yaso shrimp, and spicy Isan flank steak salad.
We totally know you're thinking of ways to get out of the office early.