Bangkok ChefStep Up to the Plate
September 9, 2018
Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: MANGO SALAD ($10.95 TAKEOUT)
With so many fascinating eateries continuously popping up around the island, it’s not always easy to choose a spot. Hence, many hungry diners often find themselves at a halt when it comes to picking the right place to appease that hunger-calling while also silencing a certain craving. When this predicament arises, look to Bangkok Chef.
A restaurant offering the people of Hawaii authentic Thai cuisine for 16 years and counting, Bangkok Chef always is a great choice. Customers can find everything from light bites of salad and summer rolls, to heftier servings like curries and fish patties.
Dining Out got the chance to chat with owner Patrick Chang at Bangkok Chef’s charming Moiliili location, where he divulged the franchise’s humble beginnings.
“We got started as a produce market at Nuuanu (location) selling fresh produce and Thai grocery,” he begins. “My wife is a good cook and she would cook lunch and dinner for ourselves. One evening, she was cooking Thai food and this customer came in and smell(ed) the aroma, and she was asking what kind of food was that.
“She (then) asked to buy it. While we didn’t sell it to her at the time, it gave us an idea of opening a Thai food (restaurant). So that’s where it all started.”
The couple’s first restaurant opened in that very grocery store in Nuuanu, and while the store is no longer operating, Bangkok Chef has grown to span across five locations on Oahu — Nuuanu, Moiliili, Ewa Beach, Iwilei and Manoa.
For newcomers and regulars, try Bangkok Chef’s latest additions, which Chang notes already are popular among visitors. These include Lemon Grass Grilled Chicken, Shrimp Eggplant Noodles, Panang Curry, Green Curry, Pad Thai (a customer favorite) and Beef Noodle Soup (Thai Style Pho). For 75 cents more, diners can have their favorite curry over smooth noodles. There are two menus to order off of, a takeout and dine in selection that vary slightly in prices.
What’s more, Bangkok Chef’s staff members elevate everyone’s Thai dining experience with their outstanding customer service. Server Kwan Sookla has been working at the Moiliili location for four months and is a big fan of the eatery, especially because she is of Thai origin herself. Among her “go-to” dishes she recommends are Pad Thai, Yellow Curry, Chicken Wings and lemon grass chicken.
Zest is best
Bangkok Chef’s winning sweet-sour house dressing steals the show, presenting a pleasing concoction of fish sauce, palm sugar, lemon and chili.
Bangkok Chef owner Patrick Chang says people can find various versions of this salad in Thailand, where it is a traditional Thai dish.
The main fruit of the dish, shredded mango, is accompanied by a medley of complementing fresh ingredients including shredded carrots, red onions, cilantro, lettuce and cashews.
Diners will be eating happy knowing that mango, which contains more than 20 vitamins and minerals, promotes a healthy complexion and increased energy.