Kiyo’s cousins own my favorite restaurant I’ve been to in Seattle: Little Uncle. To be fair, I haven’t been to too many restaurants in Seattle since when I’ve gone, it’s always been to visit friends or Kiyo’s family, which translates to lots of time spent in people’s homes, not out. But, this Thai restaurant is just so freaking delicious that I don’t think many others could compare.
The original Little Uncle, open for lunch and dinner, is in Capitol Hill. Little Uncle Pioneer Square, the one I’ve been to twice, is the second incarnation of PK and Wiley Frank’s interpretation of Thai cuisine. PK is from Thailand, and after she met Wiley in Seattle they went back to Thailand for a few years. Luckily for the hungry people of Seattle, they came back. They say they cook food that they like to eat.
The Little Uncle menu is inspired by the indigenous dishes made in the street side stalls and family-run shophouse restaurants of Thailand. The Little Uncle version of pad Thai is by far the best I’ve had in the US. Simple, vegetarian, and gluten-free, it is made with rice noodles, organic eggs, tofu, tamarind, peanuts, garlic chives and bean sprouts. Little paper bags filled with peanuts, chili flakes and sugar come with the dish. I know it sounds weird, but these toppings work so well on the noodles. The sugar is counterintuitive at first, but it makes sense with the salty, bitter and savory elements of the dish.
Kiyo and I also ordered the poached chicken with garlic and chicken fat rice, winter melon broth, and spicy soy-ginger sauce. This dish was also simple and superb, but the pad Thai was just so delicious that it definitely stole the show. I loved though how all the different elements of this dish worked together, and the chicken fat garlic rice made you never want to go back to plain rice again. The sauce was sticky and sweet, perfect with the salt and fat of the chicken, rice and broth.
We were stuffed, but they gave us an order of roti stuffed with curried beef, served with spicy cucumber vinegar. These were soft with a crunchy exterior, and full of flavor.