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Samui Brings Modern Thai Cuisine and Burst of Color to Vanderbilt Avenue

 Samui is bringing modern Thai fare to 15 Vanderbilt Avenue.
Samui Now Open on Vanderbilt Avenue
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FORT GREENE — A new Thai restaurant is bringing a pop of color to Vanderbilt Avenue.

A former rundown garage at 15 Vanderbilt Ave. was transformed into Samui, a modern Thai restaurant marked by a brightly colored, geometric mural by graffiti artist Andrea von Bujdoss.

The eatery, which opened Wednesday just across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will offer lighter and healthier Thai cuisine created by owner and chef A Napadol, who grew up cooking in her grandmother’s eatery in northeast Thailand, according to the restaurant.

The menu will feature dishes that have less sugar and sauces than other Thai establishments in the city.


The Chicken Kaw Soi (chicken curry with egg noodle). Credit: Samui.

Meals include turmeric garlic chicken wings with a sweet chili peanut dip, papaya salad with roasted peanuts, black potato fritters with cucumber relish, mussel pancakes with garlic chives and spicy grilled beef with lime and mint. 

Small plates range from $6 to $13, and entrees range from $17 to $32. 

House cocktails — priced at $12 each — include the Siam Martini (Maekong Thai whiskey, Chambord and pineapple), the Forbidden Cocktail (cognac, crème de vanille and white crème de cacao) and the Cool Samurai (cold sake and cucumber). 

There will also be a small wine list, plus a variety of local beers on tap and several bottled beers, including some Thai brands.

Napadol and husband Hani Albader, who live next door to the restaurant, recently bought the garage and converted it into the 109-seat restaurant, which is named after a Thai island.

The renovated space, designed by architecture firm StudiosGO, features exposed brick, 15-foot-high ceilings, copper chandeliers, a white recycled glass bar, turquoise velvet booths and white leather chairs. 

Hand-blown glass “barnacles” creep up one side of the bar’s back wall, where 3D projections of local artists’ work will be displayed. 

The restaurant’s soundtrack will be curated by Albader, who is also a music producer.

Samui will be open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.