Review: Bangkok Thai Restaurant, Boise, Idaho
Situated in the retail strip across from The Boise Town Center mall, Bangkok Thai Restaurant is an easily seen but often overlooked eatery with a fairly large underground fan club. It was actually one of the first Thai restaurants I ate at when I first moved to Boise, and has been slowly growing on my “list of restaurants to eat at” ever since.
Upon first bite, the food seems fair but not overly memorable. But the more you eat it the better it gets. By the time you’re finished with your meal, you’ll find yourself thinking, “that was delicious, I should come here again.” But then when you return, your first bite seems like a let down and you wonder why you told yourself to come back. But by the time you get to the last bite, you think to yourself, “that was delicious, I should come here again.” The cycle repeats again and again and you’re left with a feeling of confusion over the place just like I have been. This is why it has taken me so long to write a review of Bangkok Thai Restaurant. I just couldn’t decide what to say about the place. But on a recent lunch visit, it finally occurred to me.
Bangkok Thai Restaurant serves American Thai cuisine.
That’s it! That’s why I couldn’t figure this place out. It isn’t a restaurant brimming with authentic mouth-watering creations. Rather, it is a restaurant dishing out Americanized versions that are dumbed down for a “meat and potatoes” palate. But those American versions are surprisingly delicious, and allow for a personalized chili heat level to your liking. Now that I have realized what Bangkok Thai Restaurant is, I have become completely satisfied with my eating experiences there, especially that recent lunch I mentioned.
Bangkok Thai Restaurant Has One of the Best Lunch Menus Around
Bangkok Thai offers 14 of their best selling entrees for lunch, each for only $6.95. All lunch entrees include rice, a delicious cheese wonton, and cup of tasty rice soup. The serving size is perfect, fills you up, and leaves you with a healthy feeling you just can’t find at Jimmy John’s or your favorite fast food spot.
I found the cup of rice soup to be delicious. It reminded me of a heavily brothed congee. The tofu and green onions were perfect with the broken rice. The broth was savory, peppery, and delicious.
I ordered the Pad Prik King. It was wonderful! It was American Thai Food for sure, but it was very tasty. It had plenty of zingy kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, and red curry paste all mixed up in a savory gravy. Yum! It was a bit spicy and very umami rich. I loved all the vegetables, which were perfectly cooked. The chicken breast was perfectly prepared as well, being thinly sliced, moist, and tender.
Bangkok Thai Restaurant Dinner Menu
As for the dinner menu, rather than my typical story-telling review, I am just going to share my notes and review images from the last 5-years of on-and-off-again dining at Bangkok Thai Restaurant. This is due to the time gaps in those notes. While this won’t be my typical entertaining review, it will give you a glimpse into my thought process and taste-memory cues regarding the food at Bangkok Thai. I hope you find it helpful.
Complimentary Shrimp Crackers
Always a favorite, Bangkok Thai brings delicious crunchy vibrantly colored Thai shrimp crackers to your table as a palate starter. I love these things, and always appreciate it when Thai restaurants give them to me. I like mine best with a little sambal chili paste.
Bangkok Thai Appetizers: Fresh Rolls and Spring Rolls
The pork in the fresh rolls is good. It has a mild flavor with a bright red Chinese BBQ style coating. Doesn’t taste anything like Chinese BBQ though. The roll is filled with cilantro, lettuce, carrots, and rice noodles. Served with a runny dipping sauce that has chopped peanuts in it. Can’t really call it a peanut sauce, but worked well enough I guess. Fresh, lite, healthy, and fun to eat with your hands.
The Spring rolls are filled with a black pepper ground chicken that is very good. Give me a bowl of that and some rice and I’d be a happy man. The rolls also have bean thread noodles, carrots, and black mushrooms in them. All around good flavor, but the roll is a touch greasy. Served with the same sauce as the fresh rolls.
Papaya Salad with Thai Beef Jerky
I love me some green papaya salad. It’s one of my favorite dishes. But Bangkok Thai’s version is not very good. I’m not sure why, too much fish sauce perhaps? It has lot’s of chili. Something is just amiss. But the beef jerky is awesome! It is peppery, soy saucy, savory goodness! It isn’t too salty, which is a surprise, and is dried and chewy but still moist in the center. Interesting stuff for sure.
Tom Yum Gai Soup
Very savory! Nice lime flavor and sour punch coming through. Mildly spiced which is nice. There’s a strong hint of fish broth flavor, which tastes very good. The color of the soup is beautiful! Good chunks of chicken. I really like all the pieces of lemon grass and the kaffir lime leaves. Too much mushrooms though. They are just white button mushrooms rather than the more traditional straw mushrooms. Disappointing. I really like this soup, but the fishy broth may not be for everyone.
Awesome! Great wok flavor. Oily but not greasy. Really really good. Not a great presentation, but who cares. This stuff is delicious!
Pad Thai with Tofu
Hmm….sweet and spicy. It’s a bit different, and I like it. It is a touch too oily, but not horrible. There is a lot of sour going on. I can’t tell if that’s from lime juice or from vinegar. Decent pad thai, but different than I’ve had at most other places.
White Pronefet Whole Fried Fish
I sure got excited when I saw this on the menu. It reminded me of my whole fried fish experience in Malaysia. Fat chance ever finding that again. Bangkok Thai’s fish was small and way too fishy flavored. It reminded me a lot of perch. But it was exceptionally crunchy and moist. The sweet and sour sauce was really good, with ginger, soy, and vinegar. Yum! But given the choice, I’d stick with Chinese style instead.
Cashew Nut with Chicken
Well this stuff is delicious! We actually ordered the Pad Prik Kapow, but they brought us this instead. We didn’t even notice until later. Stir-fried cashews with onions, celery, baby corn, snow peas, water chestnuts, carrots, green & red bell peppers. The brown gravy sauce is awesome.
Holy shit that’s good! Such a rich coconut curry flavor. Tons of palm sugar. Almost caramelized in flavor. Potatoes are perfect. My new favorite curry. Damn!
Bangkok Thai Restaurant Has Tasty Food
So there you have it. If you’re looking for delicious American Thai cuisine, head on over to Bangkok Thai Restaurant. If you’re looking for something more authentic, go to Portland and eat at Pok Pok.