If there’s one thing that Nate and I love, it’s Thai food. It’s flavorful, it’s light, it has a ton of variety, and, most importantly, it’s centered around our favorite thing in the entire world — carbs. Since we’re almost always craving Thai food, we decided it was about time we try @Chilli Thai Bistro, a cozy spot on Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton, right near BC’s campus.
@Chilli has a huge menu featuring everything from classic Thai restaurant staples (chicken satay, dumpling soup, Pad Thai, etc.) to more inspired fare that thinks slightly outside the box (like the Thai beef jerky or the Som Tum, a Thai street food-inspired salad with green papaya, shrimp, carrots, tomatoes, and crushed peanut all tossed with a chili lime dressing). Many of @Chilli’s signature dishes have some sort of spicy kick to them (appropriate for a restaurant named after Prik Chi Fa, or the Bird’s Eye Pepper, a mainstay of Southeast Asian cuisine with a heat level similar to the most pungent jalapeño peppers), but there are also plenty of options for pickier eaters like me who can’t handle spice.
We decided to share an appetizer and two dishes. We started with the Golden Puffs — four giant crispy triangles filled with a deliciously aromatic blend of potatoes, onions, scallions, and curry powder. The outer shell was thin and crispy, the perfect complement to the gooey, savory, curry-infused paste on the inside. The Golden Puffs came with a slightly thick, very sweet chili sauce that further enhanced the flavor and consistency of the puffs.
We also ordered Nong’s Fried Chicken — Southern Thai fried chicken topped with fried garlic and garnished with fried shallots. Thai fried chicken is a popular street dish in many areas of Thailand, and after one bite of @Chilli’s version of it, I can understand why. The chicken was crispy, juicy, and tender with a pleasant garlicky undertone that puts most Southern BBQ joints to shame. Plus, portions at @Chilli’s are huge — we got a small order of the chicken thinking that we’d both just get a taste to see what it was like, and the order came with a half-chicken on the bone, fried to perfection and smothered in garlic and shallots.
We closed the meal off with Pineapple Fried Rice, which came with shrimp, chicken, egg, grilled pineapple, and a melange of vegetables (including onions, peas, carrots, and sweet corn). The rice came tossed with curry powder, which gave the dish a slight, but perfectly manageable kick.
The sweetness of the pineapple combined nicely with the savory flavor of the rice and veggies and further helped to prove my point that the addition of grilled pineapple makes literally everything better.
We left there satisfied and extremely full, and justified the fact that we had no leftovers by saying that we were burning calories by walking home instead of taking the T (#logic?)
TL;DR: If you’re looking for authentic and delicious Thai food that strays from the beaten path of most Thai restaurants in the area, then @Chilli’s Thai Bistro won’t disappoint!
P.S. – If you’re looking for a great place in Brighton, Tasca Restaurant is right down the road on Comm Ave!