BANGKOK CUISINE

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

107-18 70th Road
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 261-4005


Bangkok Cuisine, a laid-back and hip-esque restaurant with a decidedly un-hip name, occupies the far end of Forest Hills' restaurant lane on 70th Road, right next to the new, trendy-to-a-fault MoCA. There are so many Thai restaurants in the neighborhood that they seem to blend into each other to the point that it's hard to pick one real winner, and such is the case here. Bangkok Cuisine is just as good as the others, maybe slightly better. So because the food of Thai restaurant X is pretty much on par with Thai restaurant Y, I usually decide where to go based on what kind of mood I'm in at the time.



Bangkok Cuisine has a modern interior, like a wannabe Spice but without the budget, so I tend to go there with newcomers to the area. I like the vibe and so do they. Plus, the chef, who sometimes delivers the food to your table, is dressed like he used to be a member of the Hell's Angels, chain and all, which is just plain awesome.



Let's talk about Bangkok Cuisine's cons and then work our way into the food. Bangkok Cuisine is more expensive than most of its competition, and sodas are in those cutesy mini-Coke bottles, so you don't get much and can't get a free refill. The name is laughable. No one calls their restaurant "French Restaurant". If they named it "Thai Food Here" it would at least have attitude. The dragon logo is awful. Awful, awful, awful. The modern theme of the physical space should be carried out across the whole of the business, not forgotten when the time came to printing business cards and menus and napkins (which even has a typo!). And turn off the bubblegum pop music. It's hideous and distracting. Play technopop or something other than the Pussycat Dolls and the entire Michael Jackson library.

But at the end of the day, most of the food is in fact good. And I'll be honest, I eat here more than any of the other Thai restaurants put together.



As I've said, I've been to Bangkok Cuisine numerous times, and most of the time, I don't bother bringing a camera or notepad. Thank goodness for paper napkins. The Golden Curry Puffs, a potato, chicken, curry pastry served with a sweet cucumber dipping sauce is flat-out incredible. They might be the best I've ever had. Certainly, they're the best I've had in the past few months. Likewise was the Rom Yum Koong, a hot and sour soup with lemongrass, galaga, lime leaves, and mushroom. Delicious, especially if you like it when your soup clears your sinuses. The Thai Spring Rolls, a deep fried cabbage cigar, served with a plum sauce was a very good, standard dish. Crisp, but not burned or greasy.

Bangkok Cuisine's entrees, while good, are a bit more spotty than their appetizers. On the one hand there is the Beef Pad Se Ew, a stir fry of flat noodles with egg, vegetables and beef. The egg was overly pungent, the beef too chewy, and the dish overall too oily. The Beef with Cashews were okay, but not great. It was also a stir fry of pineapple, carrots, peppers, zucchini, onion, but they skimped on the cashews in favor of loading the dish up with veggies. I suppose that this is healthier, but the cashews lend the dish a ton of flavor and, given that they're in the name of the entree, you'd figure there'd be more of them.



On the other hand, the Pad Ke Maow, Bangkok Cuisine's drunken noodle dish of stir fried onion, pepper, basil and roast Peking duck, is possibly the best drunken noodle I've ever had. It's hard for me to order other things when I'm here. The Masaman Beef Curry is also excellent. Chic peas, sweet onion, zucchini, peppers, potato. It is a little bit liquidy, so don't pass on dumping that rice in to sponge up the sauce.



Appetizers average $8, entrees average $15, lunch averages $10.

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