Thai That Binds

At Buckhead’s modern Thai concept, Chai Yo, contemporary elegance and classic sensibilities collide

For Chef DeeDee Niyomkul, no detail was overlooked when it came to creating contemporary Buckhead Thai restaurant Chai Yo, which, in addition to Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft, is one of several Atlanta restaurants she and her family own and operate.

Showcasing dishes that are equal parts artful and appetizing, Chai Yo’s menu is simultaneously an ode to traditional Thai cuisine and an exploration of modern techniques. “As an artist, I feel compelled to bring originality and beauty to the table,” says Niyomkul. “By utilizing French culinary methods with the incredibly diverse Thai flavors, we were able to capture something truly distinct.”

This vigilant attention to detail carries into the restaurant’s strikingly sophisticated interiors, which showcase a mix of leather banquettes, artwork by Bangkok artists, wood sourced from Northern Thailand and gold, geometric light fixtures. “My family and I canvassed the Bangkok markets, art galleries and mountain villages acquiring decor and furnishings that matched my vision of a sophisticated, sexy, modern and upscale restaurant,” Niyomkul says. “Every detail was thoughtful and meaningful, intended to satisfy Buckhead’s appetite for elegance and style.”