New restaurant makes Barclays the first NBA arena to serve Thai food

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BROOKLYN, NY — The Barclays Center has become the National Basketball Association’s first arena to serve Thai food to stadium spectators with the addition of a local restaurant.

Am Thai Barclays, a concession by chef Boonnum Thongngoen, has opened in the stadium’s new food court, which includes local eateries.

Thongngoen, who was also behind the popular iCook Thai Cook restaurant in Queens, runs Am Thai Bistro in Kensington.

“Back home in Thailand, we serve food at boxing matches, but nothing like that,” she said of the new Barclays franchise. “I’m excited to bring real Thai flavors to basketball fans in America.”

The Barclays restaurant will offer a playful version of stadium food, including a Panang Meatball Sub, a Thai version of the famous Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, according to the restaurant.

It will also include Thongngoen’s homemade kari pap, a vegetarian version of the classic Thai fried curry puff and a Thai fried chicken known as Admiral Boon’s Chicken.

Thongngoen, who learned to cook from his mother and grandmother in Thailand, has run Am Thai Bistro in Kensington since 2012. His restaurant Queens won praise from renowned food critic Pete Wells before closing in 2019.

Barclays Center’s stadium-style menu will also be offered on a limited basis at the original Am Thai Bistro, according to the chef.

“Not everyone likes basketball, but I know they’re going to love this sandwich!” she said.

The Brooklyn Market food court is located in the main lobby of the Barclays Center at 620 Atlantic Ave. Find more information on the Am Thai website here.

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