Bangkok Delight turns 15

Thai establishment serves fiery, mild cuisine

Restaurant profile

January 04, 2001|By Jody Vilschick | Jody Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Celebrating the 15th anniversary of Bangkok Delight's opening this month, Randy Jett has maintained its unusual dM-icor of up-side-down traditional Thai silk umbrellas.

"The original owners liked the look of the Thai umbrellas and the different designs and colors on the umbrellas and thought they would look much better than the typical ceilings, and they did," he says.

Thai food has an international reputation for being fiery spicy - but that isn't necessarily so, according to Jett, who bought the restaurant in 1995. "Thai cuisine tends to have more spice and taste than other Asian cuisine, but not everything is as spicy as some of our customers have thought," he says. "We also serve some nonspicy dishes."

Thai cuisine is essentially the union of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences harmoniously combined into a style and taste uniquely Thai. Many experts agree, however, that the characteristics of Thai food depend on who cooks it (each chef has his or her own style), for whom it is cooked (most Americans ask for less spice) and where it is cooked (availability and freshness of ingredients).

Originally, Thai cooking reflected the characteristics of a waterborne lifestyle. Aquatic animals, plants and herbs were major ingredients. Large chunks of meat were less common. Subsequent influences - such as the American appetite for meat - introduced the use of larger meat chunks to Thai cooking.

Jett recommends that diners new to Thai food try the Chicken Satay for an appetizer and the Salmon Curry for the entrM-ie. Other curry dishes include Emerald Curry (choice of beef, chicken, vegetables or shrimp with bamboo shoots, red bell peppers and other vegetables in a coconut milk base curry), Malay Brown Curry (choice of beef, chicken or vegetables with potatoes, peanuts, carrots and onions in a coconut milk and ground peanut base curry) and Cat Fish Ruby Curry (filet of catfish with green beans, bamboo shoots, basil, red bell peppers and snow peas in a coconut milk and ground peanut base curry).

While some curry dishes traditionally are spicier than others, don't worry about getting something that's too spicy to taste - the menu offers a guide to curry and promises that entrees can be prepared to taste: mild, medium, hot and "native Thai."

If curry isn't your favorite, the menu also offers such tantalizing choices as Koong Pad Puk Ruam Mit (stir-fried shrimp with mixed vegetables), Pedt Krapao (crispy boneless duckling with sweet basil, bell peppers, onions and mixed vegetables) and Moo Kratium (pork stir-fried in garlic sauce with broccoli).

And, of course, there is a variety of fried rice and noodle dishes, including Drunken Noodles (stir-fried rice noodles with chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or mixed seafood with string beans, bamboo shoots, onions, basil and peppers) and Fried Flat Rice Noodles (stir-fried flat rice noodles with a choice of beef, chicken, pork or shrimp with mixed vegetables and egg).

To see photographs of entrM-ies listed on its menu, visit Bangkok Delight's Web site at www.BangkokDelight.com.

Bangkok Delight

Where: 8825 Centre Park Drive, Columbia; 410-730-0032.

Prices: Appetizers: $3.50 to $6.75; entrees: $8 to $13.95.

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday.

Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express

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