Bangkok Thai Deli V (St. Paul, MN)


In January I posted a review of lunch at Krungthep Thai in St. Paul, the second incarnation of the Bangkok Thai Deli spin-off. I noted in that review that I thought that meal compared well with those we’d eaten at the mothership. In saying so I realized that we had somehow not been to Bangkok Thai Deli in almost two years. That error needed to be righted and this past weekend we got around to doing so. We descended on them on Saturday with a few friends we eat out with often. I can report that we had a very good meal. I can also confirm my impression that Krungthep Thai is on par with the original. Herewith the details.

One of the first things we noted, walking in at around noon on Saturday, is that the place was far emptier than we’ve seen it in the past on weekends. In fact, the last time we were there it was boiling over. We had to wait a while for a table for 10 and the restaurant was jammed the whole time we were there. This time it was mostly empty. We were a group of seven and were sat down immediately at a table that could have held 10. Many other large tables were open as were some smaller ones. It got busier by the time we left but at no point were they close to being full. Is Krungthep Thai pulling some of their business away? Was this a one-off? It’s hard to say. The food has certainly not gone downhill.

What did we eat? The inevitable chicken satay for the boys (particularly excellent on this occasion). Also from the appetizers section of the menu, two dishes similar to each other: deep-fried pork and deep-fried pork rib. Both were very good. From the soupy end of things we had the boat noodles with pork. Some in the group really liked it—I prefer my boat noodles with more blood and more funk. Two salads alongside the soup: the lemongrass salad with shrimp was a highlight; the flavours on the roast beef salad were great but I thought the meat itself was a bit overdone. The true highlight of the meal, however, was the thick curry (a red curry with thick coconut milk) which we had with pork: great flavour, texture and balance. The deep-fried tilapia with tri-flavour sauce was fine too even if the sauce veered towards sweet and sour territory; the fish was fried perfectly. We also got an order of stir-fried pea tips with garlic sauce and I thought that was very good too. We were quite full after all this—we finished everything—and so passed on dessert.

Launch the slideshow for pictures of the space, menu and food. Scroll down to see how much it all cost etc. (By the way, I’m now going to be starting most of my restaurant review slideshows “out of sequence”. This because Facebook always pulls the first image from the slideshow to post alongside the link and I’d rather it be a more inviting picture of food.)

All of this—plus a few orders of rice, regular and sticky—came to just a little less than $140 with tax and tip. By the way, the restaurant adds a10% tip for parties of more than five. This is clearly noted on the menu but not so clearly on the bill: we almost ended up leaving a 30% tip before noticing that they had in fact added it. Perhaps because they weren’t full service was much better than on our previous visit. The only negative was that despite our asking for almost everything at the highest heat setting nothing came out that way. Either that or they’ve toned down their highest heat setting—I hope not because I have very fond—though painful—memories of a thermonuclear plate of clams pad cha a few years ago. Maybe we’ll try that again on our next visit, which will hopefully be a lot sooner than another two years.

Coming next on the food front: a couple of Goa reports. Next week’s Twin Cities report might possibly be of a Japanese place. Plus whisky reviews in between.

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