Alex McCoy’s “Nok Noi” Pop-Up Brings Thailand to DC

Alex McCoy’s “Nok Noi” Pop-Up Brings Thailand to DC

Locally born and raised, Chef Alex McCoy has recently been traveling through Thailand and Southeast Asia with his team sourcing ingredients and taste testing for his new restaurant Alfie’s which will open this spring in DC. Fresh off a stint on The Food Network’s Next Food Network Star, and well known in DC as the creator of “The Proper Burger” and former Chef at Duke’s Grocery, Alex’s new culinary quest has our taste buds burning with desire…and heat, lots of heat. 

The good news is, if you take the heat, you can get in his kitchen. Alex and team are hosting a series of supper clubs around town he is calling “Nok Noi.” If you want to get on the list for upcoming supper club events, fill out the contact form at the end of this post! 

For a very reasonable price, you get 8-10 plates/bowls, and we aren’t talking small portions here either! So bring your appetite, an open palate (and don’t forget to fill out the form below or you won’t know when and where they are), and check out some of these dishes you’ll be feasting on!

Nam Prik

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A fun dish to start whereby you eat with your hands and use the cabbage as a wrap for the sauteed green chili, add some fresh herbs, roll and dip, take a bite of the boiled Thai eggplant and finish with the crunch of pork rinds. Or eat it however you want! 

Kai Jaew Muu Sab 

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Fried pork omelet, um, yes please!

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Super eggy and fluffy, we decided to spoon some over a bowl of sticky rice – oh yeah, you have sticky rice – along with some leftover herbs from the first course and some sauce prik. It all works together. 

Plaa Tuu Pao 

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Lemongrass stuffed fresh grilled sardines (although I thought they were more like Butterfish personally) with a delicious spicy sauce. Warning, these have bones, lots of bones, and if you aren’t sure how to debone them properly, you will end up picking them out of your mouth throughout this dish. Luckily, it isn’t hard. There is a center spine with small bones sticking out from it. Find the top of the fish, the backbone, gently scrape the meat down revealing the bones, and fillet the other side the same. Or…just ask Alex. But definitely save this sauce for future courses. Or pocket it. Your call. 

Nuea Nam Tok 

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Okay folks, heed this warning, this dish is spicy. I mean, seriously spicy. One dinner who was there said she “went upstairs and held her mouth under the faucet” after eating this. Just be warned. It’s essentially very tender delicious seared beef cooked to perfection, lime, fish sauce, pickled red onions, mint, and chilies. Lots of chilies, so make sure to save some sticky rice. 

Tom Saap Kraduk Muu 

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My personal favorite dish of the night. But make sure not to burn your palate out on the preceding one. Sweet and sour pork rib soup with beautiful and tender honeycomb tripe along with fresh herbs and other heavenly things. Wow! This was a show stopper for sure.

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The broth is subtly sweet with hints of sour, tangy notes that you know come straight from Thailand. The pork ribs are small and tender, you pick them up and suck them down with your hands. The tripe is honestly the best I have ever had. Not gamey at all, super tender, very flavorful. 

Pad Cha Hoi 

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Mixed mushrooms, basil, lime, and more chilies. Another spicy one here and very similar to the Nam Tok mentioned above. If you’re starting to get full and have to pass on one, pass on this one. 

Som Tam Lao is a beautiful and cleansing green papaya salad…that we forgot to take a picture of. Sorry!

Khao Soi Nuea 

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While this was easily my second favorite dish, the person I was with claimed this as her first. Housemade traditional noodles – as in, they are making them when we walked in – simmering in a Burmese curry broth with braised beef short ribs that fell off the bone. The noodles were tender, the broth was rich and flavorful, and the beef short ribs picked up the flavor perfectly. I can’t wait to sit at Alex’s bar with a cold beer and this rich soup on a hot day and pretend I’m in Thailand!

Gai Yang “Ubon Ratchuthani”

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Basically the best char-grilled chicken you’ve ever had. Marinaded in Thai spices and cooked to a crispy perfection. Everything you like about street food, the char and crispy bits on the ends, mixed with the most tender chicken imaginable is packed into this dish. Served with a duo of sweet and sour sauces! 

Full yet? If not, there’s some fruit and teas and other things at the end. Bring some wine, they provide traditional Thai beers, and enjoy yourself! The love and passion that Alex has for his cooking, for food in general, and for putting a smile on the faces of those he serves is unmatched in DC. 

Want in on the next supper club? Fill out this form to be added to the list!

 

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