After closing up shop in Pioneer Square in February, Little Uncle owners Wiley Frank and Poncharee Kounpungchart (PK to most) set about finding a new restaurant home for their most excellent Thai food. Turns out, that home isn't so far from their takeout window at 1509 E Madison.
This morning the couple sent word that the corner of 16th and Madison will be home to their new place. Seems only natural that the name will be Big Uncle. The building is a microhousing development known as Mad Flats; despite the name Big Uncle will be correspondingly modest in size. It's just 24 seats with counter service, and will be open for lunch and dinner. The menu, say the Franks, will gather their "growing repertoire of noodle dishes" all in one place.
Always on the menu: khao soi (curry egg noodles), dom yum wun sen (roasted pork cellophane noodles), guaydiouw nuea dun (braised beef rice noodles), and, of course, the signature phad thai. A cast of other appetizers, desserts, and such will evolve with the restaurant. Yep, there will be booze.
The original Little Uncle counter will get somewhat of a new persona, since it's just a half block from the new restaurant. Once Big Uncle opens, the walkup counter will shift its focus to rice dishes, like its popular khao mun gai, as well as some new rotating curries. The couple tossed out a few enticing-sounding examples: jungle curry with wild boar and wild mushrooms; geng liang, a vegetable and shrimp paste curry with seasonal vegetables and massaman curry made with Oregon water buffalo. All will come served over a choice of rice or kanom jin. Team Little Uncle is working on their own version of these thin fermented rice noodles (which have multiple spellings).
Good news for fans of Little Uncle's sibling Peeks Pantry line: The new space has room for the Franks to grow the product line (the curry pastes will play a major role in Little Uncle's new rice-focused menu) and there's even a space for "modest" special events. Duly noted.
Big Uncle should arrive this winter, perhaps December.