A lot of people were saddened by the closing of Khao Noodle Shop but a lot more were surprised for a collaboration between Khao’s Sirisavath and Jimmy Niwa of Niwa Japanese BBQ according to a Dallas Morning News article from March 16. They say,
“Chef Donny Sirisavath has reopened his small restaurant on Bryan Street in Old East Dallas, but this time he’s serving fried chicken and beer instead of boat noodles and tapioca dumplings.
Darkoo’s Chicken Shack — a collaboration between Sirisavath of the now-closed Khao Noodle Shop and Jimmy Niwa of Niwa Japanese BBQ — opens Wednesday, March 16, 2022, and is offering a unique take on fried chicken in a city teeming with new fried chicken restaurants.
When Khao Noodle Shop closed, the two chefs decided to give fried chicken their own spin and partnered to create a playful menu of Lao- and Japanese-inspired dishes.
“We’re utilizing what we had that already worked well and putting it into a concept that is familiar for people,” Sirisavath said.”
Rosin Saez of DMagazine was kind enough to share her experience with the menu of the unexpected collaboration of the two chefs in a DMagazine article from March 17. She says,
“Buckets of drumsticks and thighs—called Lao Gai, “gai” meaning chicken—carry a distinct tangy-spicy flavor and, unlike other fried poultry out there, it’s not heavily breaded but remains incredibly crisp. It comes with fries or sticky rice. I’m partial to the sticky rice. For boneless options, the karaage basket with yuzu aioli is a great example as to what all chicken nuggets should aspire.
And don’t sleep on the sides: the Lao cucumber salad is something I could see on the Khao menu, but easily fits as a spicy-funky-delicious accompaniment to Sirisavath’s Lao chicken. The eLAOtes might be my favorite iteration of the corn dish, here with kaffir lime leaf, frizzled alliums, and ever-so-slightly tinged with fish sauce flavor.
As for drinks, a few beers (Beer Lao, Chang, and a domestic offering) and sake that come in juice boxes for adults. Yes, it is as delightful as it sounds.”
Darkoo’s will be in the same location as Khao Noodle Shop. While they are open every day, they will only cater for dinner services only with their newly designed indoor and outdoor seats.