Shanee is the kitschy rebranding of what was once Soi Thai by the same owner, Sherry Papa. The menu has been snackified to represent a more tapas-like, sharing-style feel, still with Thai dishes, and with Thai-inspired cocktails by Drinksmith.
Shanee is the equivalent of “biyotch” or “girrrlll” in Thailand. Open all day til late night, the spot does breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as Thai teas and coffees.
The space which opens fully to the street and a small patio in the front is a collage of textures, colours, and ideas, decorated with their ubiquitous line drawing “Shanee girl” gleefully straddling a nuclear warhead in neon and paint, a graphic at the back reading “Shanee loves you.” All art is by Litre Food Studio.
Gooey fried cheese with tom yum sauce ($7), a smaller tapas dish, wins me over instantly. Papa says she got the idea from Italian fried rice and cheese balls.
Crispy rice balls ($5) are indeed almost like arancini, dyed with butterfly pea flower on the inside for a unique look and served with tom yum, tempura, and a delicious peanut satay sauce.
Vegetarian fried lumpia rolls ($5) are served ingeniously in a little cup of sweet dipping sauce, crunchy and a less typical long thin cigar shape.
Spicy pork krapao ($7) modifies a popular Soi dish to be more shareable, topped with fried egg.
Duck wings ($12) can be found with these rolls in the poultry section, and provide fall off the bone luscious dark meat slathered in a deliciously sticky tangy fish sauce, the same one that dressed grilled pork at Soi.
Pad thai slaw ($5) comes raw or tempura style, ribbons of beetroot, zucchini and carrot really nothing much like pad thai and a bit soggy when dressed with the provided sauce, but overall crunchy, umami and addictive nonetheless, especially if eaten with what should be inevitable speed.
Spicy glass noodle seafood salad ($7) is also dyed with butterfly pea flower, very spicy and very fishy.
Charred kalbi short ribs with rice balls ($14) provide one substantial option that could be more like an individual meal, served with slaw.
The Bambi ($12) also features butterfly pea flower, poured into the sweet and girly vodka, creme de violette, ginger and lemongrass syrup, lemon and cava cocktail.
A creamy, aromatic Thai tea or cha ron ($4.75) can be ordered hot or iced, and comes with a beautiful flower-like cookie made with rice flour, coconut cream and sesame.
Shanee is a casual, fun spot to satisfy cravings for sharing meals of Thai snacks any time of day, and might just be the perfect place for an unconventional brunch.