The hitmakers behind one of Boston’s best new restaurants in 2021 are ready for their next move.
Chompon Boonnak, the co-owner of Mahaniyom, a lauded Thai restaurant and cocktail hot spot in Brookline Village, tells Eater that the team has secured a location for a second Thai restaurant in the neighborhood, which they plan to open in late fall. It will be called Merai, which means alcohol in Thai, he says. It’s also a clue for the focus of the new spot: a top-notch bar program.
The menu is still mostly under wraps, but the food will be “more playful” than Mahaniyom, according to Boonnak. There will also be some fusion in play. “We will be using Thai flavors as a tool to celebrate different cuisines,” he says.
Boonnak declined to share further details about the new spot at this time, including the address, saying that the project was still in its early development stages.
Mahaniyom first opened in early 2020 and got the city’s attention with a menu of rare-in-Boston Thai dishes like kang kua kradook moo, or pork ribs tossed in a southern Thai chili paste, and kang pu, a subtle crab curry served with vermicelli noodles. Boonnak, an alum of cool-kid Chinatown hangout Shōjō, oversees the buzzy cocktail menu that includes drinks like a Sazerac with Thai tea-infused rye whiskey.
Industry accolades followed soon after the restaurant’s debut. Mahaniyom was named Eater’s best new restaurant of 2021. When the Boston Globe started publishing starred reviews again last year on a new five-star scale, the Thai stunner was among critic Devra First’s initial five-star reviews. It also ranked among Boston Magazine’s 50 best restaurants in Boston in 2022.