Following my mega Grand Szechuan round-up from last week, here is a report on a collection of meals eaten at Bangkok Thai Deli at various points in 2015 as well. In the past I’ve described Bangkok Thai Deli as being alongside On’s Kitchen at the top of the Twin Cities’ somewhat meager Thai scene. Based on our meals this year, I am sorry to say that I think it has dropped quite clearly to the second position. While we’ve eaten some very tasty things there, there’s been a lot of inconsistency and even some meals that were somewhat blah on the whole. We’ve still eaten there more than at On’s because we only get up to the Cities on the weekends and On’s is closed on Sundays, which puts it at a bit of a disadvantage vis a vis our wallets. As with my last Grand Szechuan post, what follows is a slideshow, with descriptions, of dishes that were (mostly) not reported on in my previous reviews (here and here).
Please click on an image to launch the slideshow (with detailed captions/descriptions).
Appetizers/Snacky Things first: These shrimp patties are very nice.
As are these crab and pork dumplings/wontons.
More pork than crab inside though, not surprisingly.
Much better than both are the two deep-fried pork offerings. First up, pork ribs.
Next, pork belly. This is very nice but you’re not always going to find very much obvious evidence of it being belly. The dipping sauce for both pork apps is excellent and we usually dip the shrimp patties/hoi jor in it too.
This basil fried rice is quite nice,
As is the papaya salad with salted crab (far less fish-saucy than the Lao version).
The grilled pork salad varies from very good to blah.
As does the larb. On our most recent visit the rice powder that is sprinkled on top was obviously scorched and it threw the whole thing off. They didn’t make any fuss when we complained though and made us a fresh batch sans rice powder to go as a replacement.
The tom yum has likewise been variable: as expected on one occasion, too sweet on the other that we got it.
The milder duck noodle soup, however, has been reliable (and has reliably pleased our boys).
We only got this for the first time recently. It is somewhat cloying with heavy use of five spice and divided us (the missus thought it was okay, I liked it more). It involved rolled rice noodles and an array of fried porky bits plus crispy tofu.
Close-up of the rolled noodles.
Their masaman curry is just okay; tastes somewhat generic, frankly.
But the thick red curry with pork is better than okay.
Their pad sator is also good, though I far prefer the last iteration we ate at On’s. A word of warning to those who’ve not eaten sator beans before: they’re callled stink beans for a reason.
This crispy spicy catfish may be the best thing we’ve eaten there of late, and was all but lethal when asked for Thai hot at our last outing.
Everything else about Bangkok Thai Deli remains the same. That is to say, indifferent but friendly service, food that really comes out properly hot if you ask for it so, and a cultural mix among the patrons that you won’t see at most other Thai places, including On’s. And inconsistencies and the occasional off dish aside, they’re still head and shoulders above all the places in the next tier and I can’t see us eating there very much less (unless On opens up on Sundays). But I think we might be done exploring the menu—though there are still a few Lao-style dishes I want to try.
A question for the Twin Cities mavens who may be reading along: have any of you been to the very shiny (at least from the outside) King Thai on University and Marion?