Soon, visitors to Boston’s Seaport District will be able to taste “a melting pot of Asian food” out of a shipping container restaurant called Thazia in front of the Innovation and Design Building (21 Drydock Ave., Boston), according to Thazia founder Panupak Kraiwong. (Kraiwong previously founded the exceptional Thai restaurant Dakzen in Somerville’s Davis Square, which won Eater Boston’s 2018 award for fast-casual restaurant of the year; he moved on from the restaurant two years ago.) Thazia is aiming to open on February 22, 2022, one of several takeout restaurants that operate out of shipping containers on the promenade of the Seaport building.
“Basically Thailand has been a melting pot of all Asian food,” says Kraiwong, and Thazia aims to unify different Asian cuisines with a strong base of Thai influence. Per Thazia’s website: “With the food culture constantly growing, our goal is to be innovative, but never lose our authenticity.”
It’s the next step in Kraiwong’s plan to “change the culture of Thai restaurants in Boston” by opening a variety of concepts that each specialize in one thing, as he told Eater back in 2019, during his tenure at Dakzen. “We’re trying to create a true environment of street food from Thailand, where every restaurant specializes in what they make, and customers can expect a real taste,” he said at the time.
Ramen, Kraiwong’s favorite food, factors heavily into the opening menu, melding with flavors of Thai cuisine and beyond. Given the limited kitchen size, the menu is fairly short, and it will change seasonally “as we try to create and introduce more aspects of our food,” says Kraiwong. To start, diners will find dishes like the ten yum, made with tom yum broth, ramen noodles, shrimp tempura, lime, egg, and crispy shallots; the IDB (innovation and design bowl), a brothless combination of ramen noodles, Thai barbecue pork dressing, chashu pork, wontons, egg, and scallions; the mi soul, with Japanese miso broth, ramen noodles, chashu pork, egg, microgreens, scallions, and dry seaweed; and several more options, with noodles, meats, toppings, and sauces likely changing with the seasons.
Kraiwong is working with chefs Faye Prapawicha, a Chickadee alum who was also on the opening team of Dakzen, and Sasirin Siwayawirote, who has over 30 years of experience in Thai cuisine and specializes in curry. “She will bring the original taste from southern Thailand’s style of cuisine,” says Kraiwong.
To drink, Thazia will serve By Emshika canned Thai tea and coffee. Founder Emshika Alberini also owns the popular Chang Thai Cafe in Littleton, New Hampshire. “Our brands have the same concept, so I think it will be a great collaboration,” says Kraiwong.
Thazia’s shipping container lease is for one year, but Kraiwong hopes to continue in the space and ultimately build the brand to the point where it makes sense to expand into a larger space in the future.
The Innovation and Design Building began hosting shipping container restaurants back in 2015, including outposts of Mei Mei, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and others. The current roster includes Al’s Cafe, serving sandwiches, and the Farmacy Cafe, serving smoothies and more.
Update, 2/22/22: This article has been updated to reflect Thazia’s new opening date — today, February 22.