Just weeks after 20-year-old Greenpoint staple, Ott Thai (970 Manhattan Ave.) closed its doors, a new Thai restaurant will open in its space. Little Tiffin, slated to start takeout lunch and dinner service on July 1, will be Bangkok-raised Brooklynite Monurai Bhakdina’s first restaurant.
Locals may already be familiar with Bhakdina’s cooking from her stand at Smorgasburg, Queen Cobra Thai, which she launched in fall 2012. Bhakdina specializes in Thai homestyle cooking, inspired by her own family recipes, many of which she learned from her grandmother, who worked as a chef for Thai royalty in Chiang Mai. The restaurant’s name comes from tiffins, the small Thai lunch boxes Bhakdina’s mom and grandma used at their restaurant in Thailand.
Bhakdina has lived in Greenpoint for many years with her partner, photographer Keith Sirchio, who has helped renovate the dining room and taste his way through the restaurant’s first official menu. “We’re just really excited to serve the local community,” Bhakdina says, “We’re hustling to get things open by July 1.”
Little Tiffin’s initial menu will center around seasonal flavors and eco-friendly packaging. Staples of American Thai cuisine, like chicken satay, tom kha soup, laab, pad see ew, basil fried rice, massaman curry and more are on the extensive menu. Specialties like khao soi gai (chicken drumstick curry with soft and crispy egg noodles), a whole crispy fish with lemongrass, and goong ob woonsen (glass noodles cooked in a clay pot with jumbo shrimp, ginger and Chinese celery) are also on the menu. For dessert, sticky rice with mango is available this summer.
Unlike Ott, Little Tiffin does not yet have a liquor license, but Thai iced tea. fresh coconut juice and frozen lychee juice are on the beverage menu, and several bars in the vicinity are offering takeout cocktails to supplement your takeout meal if you so choose.
Little Tiffin will be open from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. starting Wednesday, July 1. The restaurant will not be using delivery apps (to avoid high commissions) and orders for pickup or delivery can be placed directly through the restaurant’s website.