Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
So, I discovered Bangkok Cuisine last Friday and I admit that it is probably one of the most beautiful Thai places I have been so far in the City. With its decor that is an homage to the palaces in Thailand, you cannot miss the beautiful Buddha in the center, that separates the bar area that has few tables, from the main dining room. The owners (it is a family owned business that started in 1974 and has multiple locations) put a lot of details there, including a waterfall that would mask a bit the street noise and provide a calming white noise. It is a tough area for sure, especially because of the construction of the Second Avenue subway that hopefully one day will be completed, giving to the Upper East Side a chance to shine as an area to go for good dining that is surely missing today.
The restaurant, opened a year ago, is owned by Chef Tee Siriprakaisak and his sons Hop and Hap who have been working together in the restaurant industry for 10 years. I met with Hap who designed the place and was our host that evening, his dad being currently in Thailand. For sure, if you go to Bangkok Cuisine, you can get traditional Thai dishes, but, what sets apart this place is its fusion food that uses traditional French techniques, mixed with some Thai ingredients that they import directly from Thailand. And I got to try few of them...
But first, let's talk about drinks: of course, we got the classic Thai iced tea that is one of my favorite drinks, but I also wanted to try one of their cocktails and decided to order the mango mojito (Lueang Saranae), made with rum, mango puree, mint, lemon and some fizzy water. I loved the presentation and the fact that it was not too strong, making this drink a bit dangerous as you can drink it like tea.
We then started our culinary adventure. First were appetizers.
We started off with:
Authentic Thai Crepes: they were made with chicken, shallots and ground peanuts that were wrapped in a homemade steamed rice noodle skin. I loved it: the crepe itself was very good, but the best was the stuffing that was deliciously sweet.
Vegetable Spring rolls made with glass noodles, mixed vegetables and served with a sweet plum sauce. They were good: crispy and a bit greasy as I expected them to be, with a right balance of shell to filling.
Wings made with fried marinated chicken wings and served with a sweet chili sauce. I was curious to try it as I love chicken wings. It was good, a bit crispy and I liked the sweetness of the chili sauce that was not spicy.
Rectangular fried tofu, served with ground peanuts in a sweet chili sauce. This was ok for me and the sauce made the dish, the tofu being a bit bland. I admit that we ordered it mainly for Jodi.
Then, Hap proposed us to try two other appetizers. Well, I could not refuse, my curiosity taking over any common sense that would tell me it would be too much food. The first dish was the Duck Crepe, composed of sliced duck, cucumber, celery, scallion, mixed greens, served with French mustard and a tamarind sauce. I love duck and could not wait to try it; I was not disappointed. In fact, in a way, it reminded me a bit of peking duck, probably because of the association of the duck and cucumber and the sweetness of the tamarind sauce.
And then was the Thai style BBQ pork, a marinated pork skewer served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. The smell was incredible and very appetizing and the taste even better, having this delightful sweetness to it.
Then came the entrées. Jodi went for her favorite: tofu pad see ew, a classic dish that was very good.
As far as I was concerned, Hap proposed to try few of their fusion dishes. The first one was the roasted rack of lamb. The lamb, frenched, was served with lamb jus, Thai basil leaves, chili peppers, tomatoes and mash potatoes. The meat was perfectly cooked medium, tender and juicy, with that strong taste that makes lamb so particular.
The second dish was the Volcano duck, a crispy boneless half duck cooked in butter and served with carrots and celery tempura, egg and pad pong curry sauce. It was very good, the duck being perfectly cooked and deliciously crispy.
The last dish was the seafood Tom Yum pad thai that is sautéed rice noodles with shrimp, calamari, scallops mussels, eggs, peanuts, carrots, bell peppers, scallion, bean sprouts in hot and sour lemongrass. Well, for sure that was spicy! My mouth was a bit on fire and I was glad I had my Thai iced tea...Besides that, it was pretty good and there was a generous amount of seafood.
Last was dessert and Hap proposed to serve us a classic Thai dessert that I was glad he did as this is my favorite: mango sticky rice. The rice was black and purple: the black rice having a nice bite, while the purple one was soft. I loved the fact that it was moist, drenched in coconut milk, and the mango was perfectly ripe.
This was overal a fantastic meal, with definitely interesting dishes. Bangkok Cuisine has succeeded in creating a unique menu that goes beyond classic dishes that Chef Tee Siriprakaisak crafted with talent. It is for sure a spot I would go back to.
Enjoy (I did)!
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