On her 68th birthday, Thamee chef Jocelyn Law-Yone is giving Washington a unique gift. Following a Burmese tradition of serving others on a holiday that often celebrates the individual, Law-Yone has organized a one-night-only takeout feast that features three courses each from the women behind three of Washington’s favorite Southeast Asian restaurants.
Law-Yone, a co-owner at Eater D.C.’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year, is collaborating with Seng Luangrath (Thip Khao, Padaek, Hanumanh) and Patrice Cleary (Purple Patch) for a “Memories of Southeast Asia” dinner full of Burmese, Lao, and Filipino cooking. Law-Yone will spend her birthday (Monday, September 28) delivering courses to Thip Khao, where a limited number of customers will be able to pick up a nine-course meal of to-go small plates from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Preorders will be available starting at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 18, on Thip Khao’s Tock page.
“It seems like this is the time, before even the pandemic, where chefs and restaurateurs were really collaborating and sharing information and really wanting to eat together,” Law-Yone says. “We miss that. We miss seeing each other. I haven’t seen these chefs at all.”
Although they won’t be cooking together, the three chefs will meet at Thip Khao and share socially distanced seats at the same table. Boby Pradachith, Luangrath’s son and a chef at the family’s restaurants, will sit at a “kids’ table” with Thamee co-owners Eric Wang and Simone Jacobson (Law-Yone’s daughter). The meal will be streamed on Zoom, and the first 30 people to reserve takeout will get a link to participate in the virtual dinner party.
“There’s this Asian mentality, when you let your hair down you can really have a good guffaw, and that’s the medicine I really need right now,” says Law-Yone, a finalist for Rising Culinary Star of the Year at this weekend’s virtual RAMMY awards.
A dinner for two costs $100 before tax and a 30 percent service charge. Drink pairings cost $60 (for cocktails) or $80 (cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages). A la carte, zero-proof drinks cost $6 each.
Law-Yone credits Luangrath and Cleary for encouraging her on the journey to open Thamee last year. When the Burmese restaurant arrived on H Street NE, its vibrant presentations and uncompromising flavors showed off the same qualities that have made Thip Khao and Purple Patch standbys in their respective neighborhoods, Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant. All three restaurants are shining examples in a Southeast Asian food scene that has boosted national attention for D.C. as a dining city.
“They were very well established before I came onto the scene,” Law-Yone says of Luangrath and Cleary. “I cannot tell you how many times they had conversations with me for some two hours straight, like, ‘You have to do this. You actually have to do this. If you don’t, someone is going to [write] a recipe book and open a restaurant and call it Burmese.’’
One dish Law-Yone is excited to unveil is a Scotch egg that shows off multiple sides of her Sino-Anglo-Burmese heritage. The ground pork surrounding the egg will be mixed with lemongrass, lime leaves, garlic, and ginger. Law-Yone says it comes with a “really intense” hot sauce full of habanero, tamarind, and carrots. A main dish called Chin Baung Kyaw features sour hibiscus plants, bamboo shoots, and shrimp, with a chicharron garnish.
Here’s a look at the full menu provided by the chefs:
Jocelyn Law-Yone (Thamee)
Wet Thar Kyet Oo Kyaw: Burman Scotch egg in crispy rice nest
Kachin Ame Thar: Kachin pounded beef and spicy herbs with jicama chips
Chin Baung Kyaw: Sour hibiscus leaves, bamboo shoots, sand shrimp with pork rinds
Patrice Cleary (Purple Patch)
Ukoy: Crispy deep fried fritter with bean sprouts/sweet potatoes/shrimp
Pinakbet: Filipino stew with butternut squash/eggplant/tomato/okra/string bean/ampalaya/pork/shrimp paste
Ginataang Mais: Corn/coconut/rice pudding
Seng Luangrath (Thip Khao)
Som Muu Kadook Onh: Grilled fermented pork ribs wrapped in Lao olive leaves from chef’s garden with Asian pear
Moak Gai: Steamed chicken in banana leaves, taro stem, lemongrass, makrut lime leaves from chef’s garden
Khanom Sod Sai: Stuffed banana leaves with glutinous pandan mochi, caramelized palm sugar, shredded coconut, coconut custard