The last big (if not necessarily best) thing in Thai food to happen in Chicago was Sura, the space-age lounge in Lakeview that received more coverage than you could shake a stick at. Well, the folks behind Sura (and a collection of similar restaurants in New York) has opened Thai Urban Kitchen, or TUK (not to be confused with Vong’s Thai Kitchen, or VTK) in the Ogilvie Transportation Center. At the moment, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, and it’s in the first category where the menu really seems to shine. So what does TUK have to offer hungry commuters in the morning?
Well, how would you feel about starting your day with banana muffin eggs Benedict, with Thai basil, tarragon hollandaise and lardon, served with home fries and your choice of bacon, ham or sausage for $6. Pretty shocked that you have that option coming off the Metra, right? If you’re more of a starch person, consider the Thai-style coconut waffles with coconut rum banana sauce and lemongrass syrup, served with your choice of bacon, ham or sausage for $6. We love these sorts of light remixes of classic American fare, because it encourages some critical introspection about the way we eat. Mexican flavors have already firmly established themselves into the pantheon of breakfast dishes, and now that Thai’s involved, we can add lemongrass, kaffir lime and coconut rum to the mix. Will the commuters streaming into the West Loop enjoy it? Is that like asking, will it play in Peoria? We think so, and we think so.
By the way, they also have a substantial lunch pre-fixe menu, where an appetizer and entree (all the standards, but a bit fancier than normal) will cost $12 for chicken, beef and tofu or $13 for shrimp. And, hedging their bets, TUK also offers a sushi menu. And brunch! Lest we forget brunch, which has similar offerings as breakfast, but more poached egg-centric, to their credit.
Thai Urban Kitchen (TUK) [MenuPages]
[Photo: their logo, apparently]