NYC: Bangkok Cuisine - Thai in the Upper East Side

Bangkok Cuisine - 1586 Second Avenue, NYC, 10028

Located, in the Upper East Side (fortunately a five minute walk from my apartment), I (Mirko) was invited to Bangkok Cuisine to try out some of their menu items. All food and beverages were provided free of charge by Bangkok Cuisine. 

Whilst I have been in New York City for almost 10 months now, I haven't really ventured out for much Thai food. I do have a few favourites, but was definitely excited when provided with the opportunity to try a something new... especially in my neighbourhood! 

With a combination of modern decor mixed in with traditional ornate Thai fixtures reminiscent of a Thai palace, Bangkok Cuisine is a mix of casual-chic. I am promptly seated and review the menu to work out what I would be eating tonight! 

My guest and I opt for a salad, appetiser (entree in Australia), and two mains... plus some dessert. Now, the food!

Thai Iced Tea - $3
Whenever I go and have Thai, I always opt for the Thai Iced Tea. Typically made from black tea which is flavoured with additional spices and then served with condensed milk and ice, it's a very refreshing way to start a meal and can often help with the heat associated with Thai cuisine. This was no different. Nice and sweet and reminded me of the Thai tea's that I have had at other establishments.

Green Papaya Salad - $8
To start off, we ordered the Green Papaya Salad. Papaya strips with carrots, string beans, peanuts, tomatoes and a tamarind dressing. This was a great way to start off the night. The papaya salad paired with the tamarind dressing provided the right balance of sweet, sour and spicy. The ratio of dressing to salad was not overwhelming as the salad retained its crunch without drowning. The only thing I would reconsider (and this is more of a personal preference) is that the lettuce itself was probably not needed in this dish and did not really add to it.

Authentic Thai Crepe - $8
Next on the menu was the Thai Crepe which consisted of chicken, shallots and peanuts wrapped in a steamed rice noodle skin. When this dish arrived on the table, it was not what I was expecting. When I saw the word 'crepe' on the menu, I was expecting more of a Vietnamese variant (think Banh Xeo), however was presented with something more at home on a Dim Sum menu (think Cheung Fun). The rice noodle roll was soft and the filling sweet. Texturally, the peanuts retained their crunch and added a different mouth feel to the dish. The accompanying sauce added a nice flavour which helped cut through some of the sweetness of the dish.

Pad Thai (with Shrimp) - $14
Almost a favourite of everyones, and a staple to anyones visit to a Thai restaurant is the Pad Thai. Sautéed rice noodles with eggs, peanuts, shrimp, scallions and bean sprouts. This was presented very different to what I have seen previously, with the egg being presented as a very thin omelette covering the noodles themselves. The noodles did not stick together, indicating that they were not over cooked, were not oily and there were generous amounts of succulent shrimp. Additionally, the size of the dish itself was huge, and was definitely enough (and then some) for the two of us.

Red Curry (with Duck) - Price unavailable
One cannot leave a Thai restaurant without a curry, and on today's menu was the Red Curry with coconut milk, eggplant, string beans, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, basil and duck. Again, this dish was nicely presented. The curry had a nice balance of sweet and hot with the heat lingering on your palate. I like heat, so would have preferred this to be a little spicier - next time, I will ask for a little more heat! Whilst the duck was well presented and was tender and juicy, I would have preferred it to be more traditionally presented (with the duck being in the curry itself). In my opinion this makes it easier for the diner to eat and allows the duck to retain the flavours of the curry.

Matcha and Coconut Ice-cream - $7 
For dessert, I ordered the Mango Sticky Rice, however upon ordering I was informed that it was sold out... damn (but also a very good sign). So I opted for the Matcha and Coconut Ice-Cream instead. Note that in a typical serving you would receive 2 scoops of each, so you can opt for a split (as above) if needed.

The matcha ice-cream was slightly bitter which I personally enjoyed. I am pleased that they decided to serve this type of matcha ice-cream as opposed to some others I have had which can be quite sweet. The coconut ice-cream, to my surprise also had some shredded coconut adding a different dimension to this dessert. The whipped cream and cherries could be removed as they didn't add anything to this simple dessert.

Vegan/Vegetarian: Some vegan and vegetarian options available
Kid friendly: Looks like more of an adult destination... but could be child friendly

Overall, I had a good experience at Bangkok Cuisine. The restaurant was well presented, the service was attentive and the food delicious.

Bangkok Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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