The late Anthony Bourdain once wrote, “To be fortunate enough to visit Thailand — to eat in Thailand — is a deep dive into a rich, many-textured, very old culture of flavors and colors ranging far beyond the familiar spectrum.” I’ve never been to Thailand, but I’d been jonesing for some dumplings and wanted to try an Island place I hadn’t before, so I headed over to Bangkok Cuisine in Oak Bluffs.
I sat down in the quaint Circuit Avenue restaurant and started my meal off with a Singha ($6.50), a crispy Thai beer, while I mulled over the six pages of menu items before settling on some appetizers.
Funny thing with appetizers, a sort of food introduction to the main meal, a kind of “How do you do?” from the chef. I can tell you I was doing well after I got the steamed Pork Dumplings ($8.95) — marveling at my reflection in the accompanying honey soy sauce — and the Crispy Rolls ($7.95), golden brown egg rolls packed to the max with sliced vegetables and chicken, partnered with sweet and sour sauce that made me feel the right amount of excellent.
For my main course, I ordered none other than the Pad Thai ($10.95) with tofu and vegetables. I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to get tofu, because I’m almost as big a fan of tofu as Queen Elizabeth I of England was of Mary, Queen of Scots, but that’s neither here nor there. The pad thai was incredible. Stir-fried rice noodles covered in egg, scallion, bean sprout, and ground peanuts. Good grief, those peanuts were the best touch.
I treated myself to one of the house specials. The Soft-Shell Crab ($26.95) was prepared with angel hair noodles, bamboo shoot, bell pepper, snow pea, pineapple, and basil leaf, all drenched in red coconut curry sauce.
The menu has options for any taste, diet, or palate. Several of the noodle dishes caught my eye: the Mee Siam ($15.95) loaded with vegetables or the Pad Voonsen ($15.95) that has silver glass noodles (unfortunately, it doesn’t actually contain any pieces of silver … or gold). Getting sick of chicken? There is a delectable Choo Chee Duck ($26.95), which has slices of crispy duck topping with more red coconut curry sauce.
The delicacies didn’t end there as I made my way to the dessert side of the menu, which introduced me to Sticky Rice with Sweet Mango ($9.95) and Fried Coconut Ice Cream ($6.25). There are some things in life worthy of the distinction “high art,” and I wholly believe these two desserts at Bangkok Cuisine have garnered such an honor. The rice and mango paired a sweet rice pudding with fresh slices of juicy mango, while the fried ice cream reminded me opposites do attract with this amalgamation of hot and cold that dove into my taste buds. And yes, the fried ice cream also comes in ginger. When I return to his edifice of elegance, I will go for the other desserts of Lychee, Rambutan, and Longan (all $4.75), or go bananas over the Fried Banana Ice Cream ($8.95).
The best part about Bangkok Cuisine is that whether on the Island or off, you can enjoy the delicious tastes of southern Asia in six other nearby locations: Plymouth, Falmouth, Mashpee, Hyannis, South Dennis, and Orleans.
Bangkok Cuisine, 67 Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs; 508-696-6322. bangkokcapecod.com.