Food Review: BANGKOK BISTRO
Reviewer: Howard Steven Frydman
Another food adventure in my own home town, the beautiful hamlet of Bloomfield, Connecticut, where today I am visiting the township’s newest culinary citizen – “Bangkok Bistro” situated at 12E Mountain Avenue in the Bloomfield Mini Mall. Though still early,11:30am, the new eatery is quickly filling up with hungry customers – including the arrival of two woman in their early 60’s, who now seated across from me, quizzical keep looking my way, whispering and smiling to each other until one remarks to me directly, “I know who you are – you’re Mister Howard. I read all your food articles, my friends and I actually visit each restaurant you write about. We’ve been to Village Pizza and met Chef Maria, Isaac’s Bagel Shop and even Nat’s BBQ in my hometown of Windsor”. We chat for awhile, and then they ask me what to order. I tell them this is also my first time at “Bangkok Bistro” and that the reason I’m here today is that for the past few weeks, folks just like them, have been calling me, visiting me at my office at BATV, – (that would be Bloomfield residents, Roy Duncan and Lilly Greene) suggesting that I needed to posthaste taste this truly authentic Thai cuisine and let folks know throughout New England there was another culinary “hidden gem” in Bloomfield.
Firstly, let me just state that “Bangkok Bistro” is a true family affair, helmed by the Becker family, some of the nicest folks you will ever meet, mother Anong, born in Thailand and serves as Executive Chef, Anong’s Husband Andrew, son Jeremy, manager and up and coming Sous Chef, Jeremy’s wife Eve, and Bangkok Bistro official greeter three year old Macy Becker. Anong and Jeremy join me at my table and commence to tell me the B.B. story. Over 30 years of mastering Thai cooking, Chef Anong has been part of the top echelon of Thai Master Chefs helming several well-known Thai eateries throughout Connecticut including the famous “Thai Gardens” in Middleton and “Siam Cuisine” situated in West Hartford. Chef Anong states, “ I just love this Town of Bloomfield, in just a few weeks, I have met so many new friends. But most of all I love to cook. My Thai food is truly authentic using the finest, freshest ingredients and flavorful Thai spices. I so enjoy watching as customers get an opportunity to taste my own signature brand of Thai cooking”.
“Bangkok Bistro”, has a small open bar at its entrance with an adjoining upscale contemporary dining room. Open only since March, 2018, the spacious restaurant is a fusion of modern architecture along with Thai inspired influences including statuary, paper lanterns, large colorful Asian Fans and framed Asian wall art decor. “Bangkok Bistro” has seating for over 80 diners, which includes 6 booths, 10 tables and 12 seats at its bar at the front of the restaurant. Fresh orchids adorn each table.
The menu – substantial offerings – for those new to Thai Cuisine the selection can be daunting – to my aide comes Jeremy and Eve Becker who direct me to some of Chef Anong’s most famous and savory of dishes with her signature emphasis on lightly prepared cuisine with robust aromatic ingredients. First up, two of Howard’s Best Bets- “Seafood Tom Yum Soup” – traditional Thai spicy and sour soup brimming with colossal shrimps and scallops, and “Tom Kha Chicken Soup” – a sweet nectar of Thai Coconut milk, fresh galanga, mushrooms and cilantro- both soups are simply marvelous.
Appetizers are our next course, and we dive into some traditional Thai offerings including, classic “Spring Rolls”, rolls filled rice noodles, onion, taro, cabbage and served with either sweet and sour sauce or peanut sauce; home-made Thai Dumplings- steamed and stuffed with ground chicken or shrimps, and lastly Thai Spare Ribs, marinated pork spare ribs basted with a delightful honey BBQ sauce – oh so tender and oh so yummy!!
Our main courses, we try several and we take note of Chef Anong’s attention to detail, taste and use of true Thai authentic ingredients- first up, “Shrimp Pineapple Fried Rice”- a generous helping of fried rice enhanced with fresh pineapple, egg, onions, snow peas and cashew nuts- simply delicious. “Drunken Noodles” consisted of fresh wide noodles stir fried with fresh basil, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and onions in a zesty Thai sauce; “Penang Curry” is quite spicy and consisted of bell peppers, bamboo shoots, broccoli, onions, green beans, fresh basil and kaffir lime leaves, and lastly another Howard’s Best Bets goes to the creative and oh-so flavorful “Seafood Madness” an endearingly delicious entree of colossal stir-fried shrimps and scallops, served with an aromatic mixture of onions, bell peppers, string beans and sweet basil in Chef Anong’s homemade hot and spicy sauce. Please note all dishes can be made to order in regards to degrees of spicy or mild.
Desserts- once again I seek out both Jeremy and Eve Becker to make my end of meal confection selection- their recommendations include “Pumpkin and lychee custard” a wonderful soothing creation, similar to a pumpkin pie, lightly sweetened milk and egg custard and enhanced with lychee fruit-light and inviting. Our second dessert offerings is a traditional Thai meal ender – “Mango with Sticky Rice” – sweet sticky rice, seasoned with salty-sweet coconut milk and served with fresh slices of mango. Both selections are excellent sweet and delicious – “fin du repas” – end of meal.
“Bangkok Bistro” is a wonderful edition to the ever growing dining community now finding their home in Bloomfield. We admire Chef Anong’s attention to details and use of authentic Thai spices and her creative culinary creations. We invite you visit “Bangkok Bistro” and sample their ample selections of authentic Thai creations. For your dining pleasure – This my friends is “Bangkok Bistro”- Enjoy!!
“Bangkok Bistro” is located at 12E Mountain Avenue, Bloomfield , Connecticut. For takeout, catering or for reservations call the restaurant at 860-206-7128. “Bangkok Bistro” is open Monday to Saturday, closed Sundays. Hours: from 11:30am till 9:30pm, Monday to Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:30am to 10pm, daily serving Lunch and Dinner.
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.