Have you ever fallen in love with a restaurant? It happens to me sometimes, not very often, and especially for places I would have otherwise ignored if not for someone else’s feedback or my own curiosity.
Sky Ice is one of those places. Looking mostly like a dessert place, the ice cream counter overshadows its meal offerings we only realized existed after reading reviews online.
Asian food always makes me suspicious, and I personally come up with a very biased set of criteria which includes whether a particular dish is something I could easily replicate at home. If I can make it, you’d better not charge me too much for it, or else you’d better blow me away. This is why we were disappointed in the last famous Thai restaurant we tried. Maybe my judgement is just flawed. Everyone else seems to love that place, except of course all the credible Asians I’ve asked.
Anyway, Sky Ice was a warm and friendly meal with no shortage of happy exclamations. Gun, the owner who spends her days at the restaurant, served us and was kind enough to make sure we didn’t order too much food when our eagerness almost got ahead of us.
The famous no-carb pad thai (made with shredded papaya) was the most flavorful pad thai I’ve ever had, its sauce pooling at the bottom with flavors of chili and fish sauce good enough to dunk balls of sticky rice into and devour with abandon. The papaya gives a nice crunch and texture and takes in the sauce without drying out, a tragedy that kills nearly all the rice noodle pad thais I’ve had.
The beef panang, a standard on their menu, tastes like it’s been stewing all day. The spices have seeped into the tender pieces of meat and the sauce is going to make you order more of their sticky rice to take full advantage of it.
Sky Ice also makes its own ice cream that is now gaining popularity in local stores. With interesting flavors such as wasabi, black sesame, durian, mangosteen and lychee, the ice creams and sorbets are light and all-natural, definitely a treat for a dessert lover looking for something different in a cup or cone.
We loved it so much that we were back the next day to sample the dish we didn’t have space for the previous night. The Northern Thai Curry Noodles were the bomb, but as usual it was too good to make it to the photos. Next time.
Sky Ice is one of those small overlooked places that hide treasures for the mouth. You want to wish them all the success but at the same time you want to keep it a secret before it becomes so popular that you have to wait in line for an hour for your favorite treats. We hope that they’ll be around for a while and achieve moderate success so they’ll maintain the quality of their cooking and keep their excellent Thai chefs on staff.
Thanks, Gun for your kindness and hospitality. We’ll be back soon!
Sky Ice Northern Thai Cooking
63 5th Ave
(between Prospect Pl & St Marks Pl)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Neighborhood: Park Slope