Nestled in the heart of King Street, there’s a new Thai flavor coming to town. Thai Signature has opened its doors at 722 King Street, formerly the longtime home of Geranio Ristorante, and it’s aiming to bring some of Thailand’s best street food to American palates. It’s the cuisine that reminds owner Golf Wiwattanachaisaeng of home.
“Because I’m from the countryside of my country – not in the city – I like to eat street food, food from the countryside,” Wiwattanachaisaeng said.
And he wants to win Alexandrians over with it as well.
Some of the highlights of Thai Signature’s menu include the Crying Tiger, a traditional Northeast dish featuring grilled sirloin steak with basil and red onions served alongside a papaya salad and sticky rice. Or, Wiwattanachaisaeng says, try the E-Saan Chicken, a grilled marinated chicken dish also served with a papaya salad and sticky rice with spicy tamarind sauce and sweet chili sauce.
“The middle of Thailand, they like to eat a little bit sweet, so I recommend the Khao Moo Dang,” Wiwattanachaisaeng said. “It’s like a steamed rice with marinated pork with our spices and herbs. We marinate and we grill and we serve with a gravy, rare pork, and moo dang sauce.”
And for Thai-food fans looking for something a bit more familiar, Wiwattanachaisaeng assures diners he’s there for them.
“You can see some dishes different from the other restaurants, but I also have standard dishes also, like pad Thai, drunken noodles,” Wiwattanachaisaeng said.
And he says the curries are standouts, as well.
“I love the curry; we have very good curry, green curry and Panang curry are very good,” he said.
Thai Signature’s location on King Street was signed, sealed and delivered prior to the COVID-19 pandemic’s arrival on scene. And while Wiwattanachaisaeng says the timing of his lease wasn’t perhaps the best, he proceeded forth in preparing the restaurant for opening. Several months later, it’s done just that, in a new era of physical distancing and curbside pickup. And the restaurant is mindful of both facets.
Looking to pick up food to go? Order online and opt for curbside pickup. Or dine in, either in the restaurant or outdoors, with all the distancing and safety requirements in effect.
After Thai Signature’s soft opening, Wiwattanachaisaeng says the feedback has been largely positive.
“We’re getting better and better,” he said.
And, he says, he’s happy to finally have opened the restaurant’s doors in Alexandria.
“I love Old Town – not really city, and not really country,” he said. “…I love this area.”
IF YOU GO
Thai Signature, 722 King St.
Hours: 11:30-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11:30-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Try this: “For the appetizer, you must try the Thai chicken wing, pork stick, fried pork or fried chicken,” says owner Golf Wiwattanachaisaeng.
Hope Nelson is the author of “Classic Restaurants of Alexandria” and owns the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at http://www.kitchenrecessionista.com/. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.