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Sound Bites: Northern Thai Cuisine Comes To St. Louis, A Look At The Latest Food Trends

Carmen Troesser
Khao Soi soup at Fork & Stix

St. Louis is home to many Thai restaurants but the cuisine of the Southeast Asian country of Thailand is diverse.

Roughly, there are four food regions in the country - northern, northeast, central (Bangkok) and southern, according to Phatcharin Wanna, the owner/chef of a new Thai restaurant in the Delmar Loop.

Wanna’s restaurant, Fork & Stix, features northern Thai food which she says is unique from other Thai regions because of the stronger flavors.  “The central uses more sweetness … and the flavor [there] is a little more mild than northern Thai cuisine,” she said.

At Fork & Stix in The Loop, Southern Thai standbys like pad thai and coconut curry play second fiddle to Northern specialties like pork belly-boasting Hung Lay Curry, lemongrass-laden sausage Sai Oua and the fantastic creamy Khao Soi soup (pictured). - Sauce Magazine

Wanna’s establishment drew the attention of Sauce Magazine, especially after GQ’s Alan Richman named a northern Thai restaurant in Washington, D.C. as his most outstanding restaurant of 2013.

In addition to talking with Phatcharin Wanna, host Steve Potter spoke with Stacy Schultz, managing editor of Sauce Magazine, about the latest food trends in St. Louis. 

Trendwatch is a new, once every three months feature in Sauce Magazine.  It’s a snapshot of the current dining scene in St. Louis.

“We’re hoping it’s a guide – an ingredient to look for at the market, a drink to order at the bar, a dish to keep an eye out for on menus,” Schultz said.

Potter and Schultz also spoke about some other up and coming food trends in St. Louis including mustard greens, cheese curds and a drink called Fernet-Branca, a bitter Italian liqueur.

Sound Bites is a monthly segment produced in partnership with Sauce Magazine

Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.

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