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Dive in to this Southeast Asian cuisine

A La Carte

February 16, 2020

Story By: Caroline Wright |

Mango Salad ($10.95). PHOTO BY: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

In 2001, Bangkok Chef opened its doors as a humble produce shop in the little strip mall at the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Hialoa Street.

Almost 20 years later, Bangkok Chef is now a successful restaurant franchise with fi ve locations on Oahu, offering some of the freshest, most delectable Thai and Southeast Asian fusion cuisine to be found anywhere in Hawaii.

With eateries in Ewa Beach, Manoa, Iwilei, Moiliili, and the original location on Nuuanu Avenue, Patrick Chang and his wife, head chef Sansane Pornchairatanakun, have grown their little business into a thriving operation with an excellent reputation for quality and value.

“My wife is from Bangkok, where her family runs a restaurant, and she’s a very good cook,” says Chang.

Interior of Bangkok Chef’s location on King Street. PHOTO BY: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

That’s an understatement. Plates here are fresh and authentic, every bite a delight, and can be ordered at any level of spiciness you prefer. The restaurant’s top-selling Pad Thai ($9.95; No. 1 on the menu), with chicken, egg, rice stick noodles, bean sprouts, and chives, is stir-fried with Bangkok Chef’s very own sweet and tangy Pad Thai sauce.

A mouthwatering alternative to the ever-popular papaya salad, Bangkok Chef’s Mango Salad ($10.95; No. 27 on the menu), is served with shredded green mango, Chinese parsley, cashew nuts, olive oil and a special dressing. This rare treat is offered only when the ingredients are obtainable and perfectly fresh. If it’s available, order a plate — it’s simply delicious!

Lemongrass Grilled Chicken with Jasmine Rice ($10.95; No. 40) is another irresistible dish.

Pad Thai (9.95) PHOTO BY: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

“Unlike in local barbecue chicken, the herbal fragrance from the lemongrass penetrates the meat and gives it a unique taste,” says Chang.

Offered at shops and food carts on almost every corner of Southeast Asia, Beef Noodle Soup ($11.45; No. 41) is a savory and healthful bowl.

“The broth derived from boiling beef bones for at least four hours is what makes a beef noodle soup a beef noodle soup!” explains Chang.

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