May 26, 2017 By Jason Cohen
A husband-and-wife duo best known for selling Thai street food at flea markets have opened a pop-up restaurant at a Vernon Blvd bagel shop.
Eric Henshaw and his wife Emorn, owners of Khao Man Gai NY, have opened their pop-up at Bricktown Bagels, located at 51-06 Vernon Blvd., where they take over the space once the shop closes.
The pop-up is open from 6 pm to 10 pm (Tues.-Saturday) and the space seats 34 people.
The couple started in the food business serving Thai street food at flea markets. Then, 3 ½ years ago, they took up kiosk space inside The Falchi Building, selling their food to office workers. In 2013, they won a Vendy Award.
Eric Henshaw said that the opening of the pop-up brings them one step closer to their goal of opening their own restaurant in Long Island City. He said that four years ago such a concept was a pipe dream.
He said given the high rental prices, opening up a pop up was the logical path.
“With the real estate market being what it is, we felt that doing a pop-up like this is the better route to seeing a full brick and mortar restaurant,” Henshaw said.
Henshaw said that they now have access to a full kitchen, allowing them to broaden their menu. Khao Man Gai is best known for its chicken-and-rice dish.
Some new dishes include, Khao Man Ghai Tod, which consists of deep fried organic chicken served over herb-studded jasmine rice, with a sweet chili sauce, cucumbers, cilantro and soup.
Another is Look Chin Tod, which consists of a deep-fried quail egg wrapped in wonton, fish tofu and crabmeat that’s served with a homemade sweet-and-sour sauce.
Henshaw, a Long Island city resident, knew about Bricktown Bagels and other pop ups that were based there like Mu Ramen and Hansik. When Hansik, which offered Korean fried chicken, left the space in January, Henshaw approached the owner of the bagel shop about moving in. The two parties reached an agreement.
Henshaw said business has been good in the past month, but wants more people to come by and try some of the new recipes created by his wife. His wife is a Thai national.
He stressed that their food is not served in most Thai places, but instead commonly found on the streets of Thailand.