Farmhouse Kitchen – Oakland

Since moving here last year, it has been a struggle to find reliable Thai food. Our go to spot is probably Sala Thai in Fremont, although Funky Elephant has recently taken the lead. When I heard Farmhouse Kitchen was opening in Oakland, the cool sense of hope slowly morphed into childlike excitement. And when I found out the F was taking me to Farmhouse Kitchen for my birthday the next day, I just about jumped and slapped the roof. I guess I do miss good Thai food. I heard about the location in San Francisco, but the Jack London area is much easier to get to for us East Bay peoples. It’s situated right along the waterfront, perfect for a nice view on the patio. Having just opened the previous week, we were ready to dive in.

The restaurant is playful, colorful, fun, and sleek all at the same time. I can see many celebratory balloons being lost up in the high ceiling and a process having to be made just for those occasions. On the left side as you walk in there’s seating at the bar.

When we visited the special of the day was fresh oysters.

Iced Coffee Thai Way – Draft – Nitro – condensed milk ($4.95)

Since it was the day of my birth, my fair lady said “order whatever you want.” So ordered is what we did, starting with drinks. Their iced coffee is just like a Vietnamese iced coffee. This was very tasty and had a nice balance of coffee and sweetness. A lot of times we have to dilute our Vietnamese coffee because it is either too strong or too sweet. This was just right for us.

Classic Thai Tea – Shaved Ice ($4.95)

Don’t be a noob like me and try to push down the ice. Apparently I feel asleep on this lesson in physics. The liquid needs somewhere to go if you displace it with ice and it will cause quite the mess when doing so. My Asianess was sad I wasted all this Thai tea I paid for. The taste of the Thai tea was also nice with a good balance of tea to sweetness. If I had to critique it I would say it didn’t need the extra large chunks of ice at the bottom.

Tom Yum Soup – Northern Style SPICY & sour soup with shredded chicken, mushroom, tomato, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and long coriander (7.95)

When they have the word spicy in caps, it makes me think their spice level is not for mere mortals. Cautiously we ordered it at a 5 out of 10 spicy level. For me it was just right. Just enough to smack me around a little, but not enough for me to stop punishing my mouth, spoon after spoon. We like our soups sour, and it could have used a touch more of it, but it was good nevertheless. The one deceptive thing is they charged us an extra $1.50 for chicken even though it says it comes with chicken. That is a little misleading and I hope they fix their menu to avoid the confusion.

Even though we payed $1.50 extra, they did pack in a lot of chicken.

Mieng Kum – Crispy crusted tiger prawns, traditional Thai leafy green wrapped with a zesty mixture of lime, ginger, onion, roasted coconut, & peanuts w/ tamarind sauce ($14.50)

So we couldn’t decide which entree to get and we opted to not get the Pad Thai featuring prawns. Instead, we got our prawn fix in the form of an appetizer. This dish we’ve never had before but are glad we rolled the dice. It was a little sour, and had nice texture from the mix of ginger, onion, coconut, and peanuts.

Nam Khao Tod – Thai fermented pork sausage, crispy red curry rice, ginger, chili, and peanuts with fresh Thai herbs ($14)

Little did we realize we got two different lettuce wraps. Oh well, at least we got our greens for the day. This dish wasn’t as funky as we wanted, but it still did the job. Another dish with no shortage of crunchy texture, it was so pleasing chewing into each and every bit.

It came with bok choy, romaine, and I think Thai basil to serve as your vessel for the filling. Everything we had exuded freshness, befitting the name Farmhouse Kitchen.

Hat Yai Fried Chicken – Southern style, fried half Mary’s chicken, turmeric & herbs, fried shallots, cucumber pickles, potato yellow curry, roti bread, and blue rice ($22.50)

Yes, yes, yes, yes yes! Talk about a plateful of food. Where to begin. First of all, any curry dish is a dish for me. I love curry and a chance to sort of kill two birds with one stone in getting a curry dish with all these other elements I’ll take in a heartbeat. The curry itself was fairly mild, with the coconut milk being silky smooth. Along with the roti, right there you have an appetizer…which we actually do get whenever we see it at other restaurants.

The fried chicken came out super crispy. I’m not 100% positive you are supposed to use the curry for the chicken as there is the sweet and sour sauce on the side as well, but the flakes of chicken skin coming off dipped into the curry was magical. The chicken was moist with the blue rice tasting pretty much like regular white rice. In writing about this dish now I can almost taste or smell a little yellow curry and chicken.

If you walk towards the back of the restaurant there is a super cute seating area with a bunch of flowers covering the ceiling and walls.

And even farther back right before you get to the bathroom hallway there is an open kitchen were the magic happens.

Thai Vacation – fresh coconut, black sticky rice, vanilla ice cream, coconut cream, peanuts, black sesame ($10)

I didn’t know about the visit to Farmhouse Kitchen as it was sort of a surprise, meaning not too much research took place on my part. Little did I know for birthdays, seemingly the entire staff drops everything they’re doing to bring out bells and starting singing happy birthday to you. Oh and bonus for me, they have a straw cowboy looking hat for me to wear. Those that know me know that I do not like attention. The F thought it wasn’t too bad. I can’t wait to reciprocate the warm fuzzy feeling that moment brought me. Call it love. The plotting begins…

As for the dessert, it was lighter than I thought it would be, which is great since we ordered a ton of food. There was a generous amount of fresh coconut and everything worked well together. I was picturing more black sticky rice and black sesame, but it still hit the spot.

Final Thoughts

If you like fresh tasting Thai food, look no further than Farmhouse Kitchen and give it a try. You will not be disappointed. The prices are a little higher than most Thai restaurants I frequent, but those places do not serve these types of dishes nor do they provide you with such a nice ambiance. We will certainly come back sooner than later to try more of their food. A’s sister and brother were talking about the nice meal they had at a place called Daughter Thai, also in Oakland. Apparently it is owned by the same group that operates Farmhouse Kitchen. Not only that but they serve some of the same dishes at Daughter Thai. My list of Thai places just grew quickly!

Anyone been to Farmhouse Kitchen and have any other recommendations? How about your favorite Thai restaurants in the bay?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine
336 Water St
Oakland, CA 94607
farmhouseoak.com

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