Bangkok Chef Adds Full Service to Repertoire
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When the husband-and-wife team of Patrick Chang and Sansane Pornchairattanakun opened Bangkok Chef nearly 10 years ago as a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Nuuanu, their goal was simple: Offer “simply delicious” hearty Thai food full of fresh ingredients.
Fast-forward to present day, and Bangkok Chef continues to epitomize the couple’s dream. In addition to the original Nuuanu locale, Bangkok Chef has an eatery in Manoa, and as of February, a full-service restaurant just off North Nimitz Highway. According to Chang, the new location offers the ideal mix of great food and customer service.
“We have received really good comments from customers so far,” says Chang as he takes a quick break from greeting customers and clearing tables during a recent busy lunch rush at the Nimitz location. “While the Nuuanu and Manoa locations cater to takeout orders, some people prefer to have a sit-down meal and share food with friends. Now, we are able to cater to both.”
Chang also takes pride in Bangkok Chef’s menu that, while simple, offers a wide variety of tastes and authentic recipes the kitchen staff creates with pride. He says that “you can see the experience and passion for cooking. Like my wife says, ‘you give your heart and soul to the cooking.’ That comes through in the food.”
The Pad Thai ($7.25) provides an example of Chang’s rationale as the dish contains a simple mix of rice noodles fried with egg, chicken, tofu, bean sprouts and chives tossed together in a house pad Thai sauce. The combination of flavors and textures have made the dish one of the most popular items on the menu because, as Chang puts it, “the most popular item is so simple, but Another simple recipe that has customers coming back for more is the Cashew Nut Chicken ($7.25, add $2 for fish and $2.55 for shrimp). The dish incorporates sliced chicken breast stir-fried with cashew nuts, onions and bell peppers. The Panang Pork Curry ($7.25, add $2 for fish and $2.55 for shrimp) is another “tossed” dish that combines the unique flavors of sliced pork loin, potatoes, lime leaves, peanuts and fresh basil with a medium-spicy curry and coconut milk sauce.
“It’s not extensive like some other restaurants,” says Chang of the menu. “It’s simple and not confusing. When you look at the menu, you know what you want. That’s our goal: food that’s simple, affordable and delicious.”
Speaking of delicious, check out the Spring Rolls ($7.50 for six pieces). The deep-fried delights allow diners to delve into a combination of ground chicken, bean threads, carrot, black fungus, onions and taro wrapped in wheat flour paper and cooked until crispy and golden brown. The rolls can be dipped in a special house sauce, and come served with fresh lettuce and cucumber.
And, after the meal, dig into the House Delight ($3.95), a refreshing dessert that serves up mango ice cream over warm, coconut-flavored sticky rice dusted with crushed peanuts. Bankok Chef also serves a host of cold drinks — the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day — including Thai Iced Tea or Coffee ($2.45), both of which include milk and offer a unique take on the beverage staples.
“A lot of people we see on the street are talking about us,” says Chang with a smile. “That’s a great feeling, that people know us.”
- 900 North Nimitz Highway
- Honolulu, HI 96817
- 2955 E. Manoa Road
- Honolulu, HI 96822
- 1627 Nuuanu Avenue
- Honolulu, HI 96817
- (808) 536-8570 (Nimitz)
- (808) 988-0212 (Manoa)
- (808) 585-8839 (Nuuanu)
- 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Monday – Saturday
- 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.