Welcome to Padaek! We are a family owned restaurant showcasing Lao and Regional Thai cuisine through our menu and space. Our new expansion location in Arlington Ridge represents cultures through food, inspired by stories and family recipes from Chef's grandmother, aunt, and friends passed along in a refugee camp in Thailand. The integrity of Lao and Regional Thai cuisine is further demonstrated through the homestyle setting and art by a young local artist.
At our new Arlington Ridge location, we have 3500 sq ft of space with an open kitchen, full bar service, private dining, and an open and covered patio as well as occasional tasting menus for our exclusive Chef Counter.
We'd welcome you for private events, small parties, have options to order catering for your offsite events, and we are proudly looking forward to continuing to bring new and exciting Southeast Asian cuisine to Northern Virginia.
Chef Nyi Nyi
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Nyi Nyi comes to the DC area from Myanmar, by way of London. His culinary experience began in London and took him through concepts as varied as Japanese Raman, Mongolian, Classic European Pub, and Thai cooking traditions. After an immersive period in Thailand, Nyi Nyi was part of a team that was trained by Australian Michelin Star Chef David Thompson. Chef Nyi Nyi came with his wife to DC in 2009 and prepared French fusion cuisine for seven years until his search for Southeast Asian food led him to come work with Chef Seng.
Owner, Executive Chef
Chef Seng was born in Laos and fled the country during the Vietnam War. During her stay in the Thailand refugee camp of Nakhon Phanom, she learned how to cook from her camp neighbors and elders. At the age of 12, she was the eldest of five and took on the role of caretaker of her siblings in order to support her working mother.
In 2009, at the age of 40, she decided to go after her greatest passion, cooking. She took over Padaek, previously Bangkok Golden, in 2010, a Thai restaurant where she slowly added Lao dishes of her own. In 2014, she opened Thip Khao, a Lao restaurant in Columbia Heights and home of the Lao Food Movement. Thip Khao has been named one of the top 50 new restaurants in the US by Bon Appetit Magazine and Michelin Bib Gourmand every year since 2018. Chef Seng has been featured on TV at NBC Washington DC and was covered in many news articles, such as the Washington City Paper, Eater Magazine, and The Washington Post.
Chef Seng was named the Eater Awards 2015 Chef of the Year, and 2017-2018 James Beard Award Semifinalist (Best Chef Mid-Atlantic). In 2019 she opened Hanumanh in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington DC, which was added to the Michelin Bib Gourmand 2020 rankings. This space is now a new concept in Baan Mae ("Mom’s Kitchen").