Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen

31 W. 14th St. (Fifth Ave.) Send to Phone
Northeastern Thai flavors mix with pastry chef Pichet Ong’s sweet touch on 14th Street.

Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun.
Open late Fri.-Sat.

* Click here for rating key

Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen, New York, NY

Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen Restaurant Review

: Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen expands Pichet Ong’s restaurant group into the northern Esarn (aka Isaan) region of Thailand. It pairs Ong’s talents at combining savory and sweet dishes to creative and sometimes unexpected effect with those of Claire Handleman, from Del Posto and possessing an extensive background in Asian cuisine. Décor is as dramatic as that of Ong’s other establishments (Qi Bangkok Eatery, Qi Thai Grill), with a suspended statue of Ramayana supervising the dining and bar areas and extending to the floor below through a glass case. Dishes range from subtle to super spicy to truly unusual. Three versions of the famous green papaya (or mango) salads are presented, one with candied anchovies. Pork belly with snap peas is rich and a better choice than the crunchy grasshoppers and silk worms that are on offer. Hanger steak served with chiles, mint and peanuts is reminiscent of a Thai beef salad, but with a higher quality of meat and more fire. Meanwhile, grilled tiger prawns create a range of exciting taste sensations, mixing coconut, mint, mixed fruits and cardamom in a bold yet pleasing combination, complemented by the grilled coconut sticky rice cake. Ong has a penchant for Ovaltine, and here it finds its way into the mousse cake served with chocolate Thai chili sauce and bacon bark. Cocktails are creative: try the version named for Bangkok, a tangy blend of yuzu, Thai iced tea, and various liquors.
GAYOT has uncovered the best restaurants in New York for you to enjoy right now
Top 25 Restaurants in New York to Eat at Right Now

GAYOT's picks for the 25 hottest NYC restaurants include Italian hotspots, craft cocktail bars and eateries inspired by destinations around the globe.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.