I’ll admit that I’m no expert when it comes to Thai cuisine. Although I’ve visited several Thai restaurants back in Lexington, Kentucky, I have only had two Thai dishes that are tried and true: yellow curry and Pad Thai.
The last time I had Pad Thai was with Mike (from work) at another Thai restaurant in Murfreesboro, long before this blog. I didn’t like it at all because it had barely any of the flavors I was used to from my previous Pad Thai endeavors. Curry on the other hand was something I haven’t had in years. This past Monday morning, my taste buds were telling me that they wanted some curry… specifically Thai curry with that sweet coconut milk. Of the two restaurants narrowed down based on positive reviews on Google Maps, Mike and I chose The Bangkok Thai Cuisine simply due to its proximity to our work.
The Bangkok Thai Cuisine is located in a plaza dedicated to Thai businesses called “Thai Corner” on a windy road behind Stones River Mall. Formerly known as Bangkok Café, this Thai restaurant has been a longtime favorite in Murfreesboro for over 10 years.
Expecting a simplistic hole-in-the-wall restaurant, The Bangkok Thai Cuisine is the complete opposite. The restaurant had an upscale feel to it; completely filled with dark colored hardwood accents and furniture, dozens of wooden carved figurines (which are actually for sale), wooden Thai wall art, and hardwood flooring. Complete with a large dining area, a bar, and a private dining room, it literally was the nicest Thai restaurant I’ve ever visited in terms of decor. If the owners put this much effort into its appearance, I couldn’t wait to see how the food compared.
Appreciatively, The Bangkok Thai Cuisine has a wide variety of Asian dishes that include Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. For lunch, they feature a 21-item special menu of various entrees ranging from $6.50 to $8.00 that includes your choice of white or fried rice and an egg roll or soup of the day. Comparatively speaking, dinner entrees which are slightly larger than the lunch portions range from $9.50 – $14. For lunch, I chose the Yellow Curry Chicken with white rice and both an egg roll and soup of the day which was Tom Kha Kai.
I expected my soup and eggroll to come out first, but the entire meal came all at once. Of course the wait wasn’t very long (only about 8-10 minutes tops). It would have been nice to have them arrive separately because I felt rushed in tasting each dish. Of the three, I tried the Thai soup Tom Kha Kai first.
On the menu, Tom Kha Kai is described as a hot & sour soup with chicken, mushroom, lemongrass, galangal & spicy lime juice in thick coconut milk. The literal translation for this particular soup is “chicken galangal soup”. The broth itself had various flavors, but you didn’t taste them all at once. The initial taste of sweet was followed by sourness. After the sour subsided, you were then given a faint spiciness and then a final fishy aftertaste. Despite the absence of seafood, I suspected the fishy aftertaste and scent to come from fish sauce, which is a staple of Thai cuisine. This soup is probably the most unique soup I’ve ever had because I’ve never experienced a successive series of flavors like that before.
The single egg roll was served with saucer of a sweet and sour style sauce. Perfectly crispy out the outside and hot as a dragon’s mouth on the inside, this egg roll was full of a vegetable filling with moderate hints of spices.
The sweet and aromatic yellow curry was presented on a large plate with the sauce already beginning to soak into the football shaped dome of rice adjacent to a pile of chicken, carrots, potatoes, and onions. Bangkok Thai’s yellow curry wasn’t as sweet as some of the Thai yellow curry I’ve had in the past, but it was still delicious. The exotic flavor of curry is hard to describe because it’s a mixture of many different spices, the majority being turmeric and cumin. Some people simply don’t like it because it has such a powerful taste. Thai yellow curry in particular adds a taste of sweetness due to the inclusion of coconut milk. Of course I like Japanese curry equally, which has no sweetness whatsoever due to the absence of the coconut milk.
The Bangkok Thai Cuisine in Murfreesboro impressed me enough to plan a return visit. Although somewhat pricey for lunch, the yellow curry, egg roll, and Tom Kha Kai was enough to fill me up and satisfy my yellow curry fix. The next time I go back, I’ll definitely have to try their Pad Thai… or maybe I’ll be brave enough to try some of their other Thai dishes.
|The Bangkok Thai Cuisine
315 Robert Rose Drive, Suite C
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Bill Total: $16.85 For Two