Fai Thai Kitchen, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2021
It didn’t take long for Fai and Nathanael Blais to get the action moved from the popular Fai Thai Food Truck into their new location at 522 South Gay Street. Barely more than two weeks after I wrote about the plans, the restaurant opened (softly) on Friday and operated through the weekend. Nathanael said it had gone well, with little more than the expected bumps.
When I stopped by on Friday night, I found a good crowd seated or ordering. Business seemed pretty well divided between carry-out and dine in. A friend had tipped me off on Friday night that they had opened and gave rave reviews for the food.
The restaurant is simply decorated and looks very much like it did before. Fortunately for the couple, the space was mostly ready to operate from day one. They said it had been a learning curve, moving from the truck to the restaurant space, but they were gamely making it work. Fai’s parents were in the kitchen, while Nathanael was at the register and Fai scurried about delivering orders and turning on her charm.
The menu is a bit difficult to read as I heard a customer comment and they realize that and intend to make it better. (It is easier to read in the photos here, but is has very small font.) You can also check out the menu for the food truck here and the two are essentially the same at this point.
I got an order of the spring rolls to go and enjoyed them at home on the balcony with a nice chardonnay. The were delicious. We’ll be back for the full treatment, for sure.
Beginning hours are Tuesday through Thursday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Sunday, noon to 8:00 pm. The restaurant is closed on Monday.