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Cambridge Chicken Wing Joint Shifts Focus to Thai Food

Chick Chick Boom is now Pai Kin Kao, showcasing Thai food as well as ramen

Four dishes sit on a table: in the front, wontons line up on an oblong plate, with a shrimp salad, greens, and fried disc-shaped appetizers on the other plates
Dishes from Pai Kin Kao in Cambridge
Pai Kin Kao/Official Site

A Cambridge chicken restaurant has shifted gears to focus on Thai food. Chick Chick Boom (80 River St.), from the team behind the Mad Monkfish in Central Square, is now Pai Kin Kao, still with owner Jamme Chantler and chef Ginger Phomjun at the helm.

When they initially opened Chick Chick Boom in late 2017, Chantler and Phomjun focused on chicken, serving a dozen varieties of wings with various flavor influences, from Asian sauces to traditional American wing flavors. The menu also included noodle and rice dishes, which helped springboard the shift to Pai Kin Kao, according to Chantler.

“We decided to change the concept because the most ordered dishes were ramen and Thai dishes,” he told Eater in an email. “Chicken wings weren’t as popular. So now we will concentrate on building our business around what customers want, instead of what we wanted to offer.”

In that vein, Pai Kin Kao now serves a wide-reaching menu of Thai dishes, including larb; several types of papaya salads; noodle soups like yen ta fo and boat noodles; curries; noodle dishes like pad thai and pad see ew; and rice dishes like barbecue red pork with Chinese sausage on jasmine rice (khao moo dang).

In addition to Thai food, Pai Kin Kao is also serving several takes on Japanese ramen, including a spicy miso ramen with chashu pork.

Pai Kin Kao also offers catering.

A third of a mile away, Chantler and Phomjun’s older restaurant, the Mad Monkfish (formerly known as Thelonius Monkfish), also touches on several Asian cuisines, focusing on Japanese food — particularly sushi — but also offering Thai-style noodle and curry dishes and more.

Pai Kin Kao Official Site [Official Site]

Chick Chick Boom

80 River Street, , MA 02139 (617) 945-2977 Visit Website

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