24 | February 15, 2018 | The orland park prairie Dining Out opprairie.com The Dish A culinary adventure comes to New Lenox Oy’s Thai Cuisine offers classic Thai staples at affordable prices Nuria Mathog Contributing Editor Long before they launched their new restaurant, coowners Bryan and Churairut “Oy” Hunsaker had a single goal in mind: to bring the flavors of Thai food to the southwest suburbs in a convenient, accessible way. For the New Lenox couple, the opening of Oy’s Thai Cuisine in January was the culmination of a longtime dream. “Oy has been cooking her whole life,” Bryan said. “She’s been cooking for friends and neighbors for the past 27 years, and everybody always tells me she should start a restaurant. ... We’ve talked about it for a long time, but we realized it was very demanding, so we didn’t want to do it until our kids were older.” Now that the couple’s youngest child is to graduate from Lincoln-Way West in the spring, the Hunsakers are investing their time and effort into their new business. “We want it to be a destination where you’d be comfortable bringing a friend or family member, but we want to have the convenience, as well,” Bryan said. “And I would say it’s authentic. It’s fresh food — we’re not pulling it out of the freezer and putting in the microwave. The preparation process is quite detailed.” The restaurant’s top-selling dish is Oy’s Famous Pad Thai (prices vary by protein), which features rice noodles stir-fried with green onion, Oy’s Thai Cuisine 1880 E. Lincoln Highway, New Lenox Hours • 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday • 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday Closed Sunday For more information ... Phone: (815) 462-9000 Web: www.oysthaicuisine.com Happy hour for Lincoln-Way students From 3-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Lincoln-Way students can pay $5.99 and get an entrée (choice of chicken pad thai, chicken fried rice, egg rolls or crab rangoon) and a soft drink in a can. bean sprouts, egg, crushed peanuts and Oy’s special sauce, which contains six different ingredients. “Her sauce is different,” Bryan said. “You won’t find her pad thai anywhere else. It is a different flavor, and people seem to like that.” Another popular dish is the stir-fried cashew plate, which comes with stir-fried meat, cashew nuts, white onion, green onion, water chestnuts, bell pepper and chili peppers, and is served with a side of white rice. “It’s really a lot better when you make it hot,” Bryan said. “You tell us you’re Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3. ... We might put in one more pepper Level 2 or 3, and the sky’s the limit for the rest.” He also recommends the tom yum soup — a hot and sour soup that contains mushroom, tomato, white onion, green tomato, cilantro, lemongrass and lime juice — can be served with either a clear broth or a creamy coconut milk broth. As far as appetizers are concerned, the fresh spring rolls ($5.95) — which can come with or without shrimp — are another top item on the menu. The rolls — made with rice noodles, carrots, lettuce, bean sprouts and cilantro wrapped in rice paper — are served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce made in house and filled crushed peanuts. Hunsaker said he enjoys all of the dishes served at the restaurant, but he is particularly fond of the pad ped — a “reasonably spicy” dish involving meat marinated in a curry paste and fresh green beans — as well as the red and green curries. He said he also would like to add a Thai version of a dish similar to pho, a Vietnamese noodle dish, to the menu someday. “The Thai [version] has a larger variance of vegetables,” Bryan said. “You have bean sprouts, sometimes carrots, a lot of cilantro, chopped onions.” For diners looking to pick up a quick meal during their lunch breaks, the restaurant offers a $7.99 lunch special, served daily until 3 p.m. The specials, served daily until 3 p.m., come with an entrée, steamed rice, two fried wontons and the soup of the day. Customers can choose to substitute beef for chicken for an additional $1, or add $2 for shrimp. The stir-fried cashew chicken ($10.95) dish at Oy’s Thai Cuisine contains stir-fried chicken, cashew nuts, white onion, green onion, water chestnuts, bell pepper and chili pepper, and comes with a side of white rice. Photos by Nuria Mathog/22nd Century Media The tom yum soup includes mushroom, tomato, white onion, green tomato, cilantro, lemongrass and lime juice, and can be served with a clear or creamy broth. Lincoln-Way students can take advantage of a special happy hour offer, available from 3-4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday that includes an entrée and a soft drink for $5.99. Ultimately, Bryan said he hopes customers will get a quality introduction to Thai cuisine — and keep coming back for more. “We’re here for at least five years — we’re on a fiveyear lease — and beyond that we just hope that people will come and that we serve food that they like,” he said.
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