DC Chowhound Friends – Lunch at Bangkok Golden
A good friend from the Chowhound community always organizes such amazing lunches, and he is great finding a “a hole in the wall’ type of places, this time we went to Golden Bankgkok, a Thai restaurant that most of the group have tried already, except for me and one Canadian Chowhounder that joined us today.
The way the meal started made sense, with the softest and sweetest flavors, getting us to sour & bitter lands to end our meal with hot, pungent spicy craziness.
We started with this khao piak sen (chicken soup with homemade noodles), everyone liked it and to be honest it was good to start, the starchy soup opens your appetite, not salty, a touch of sweetness and bitterness thanks to the crispy garlic.
Now this dish rice paste wrap was so simple yet so filling, wrapping in romaine lettuce pieces of Thai eggplant, ginger, peanuts, tomatoes, this sweet & savory rice paste and sliced lemongrass. It was just combination of aromatics and flavors still you feel light after having so much going on your palate.
I was very excited when I saw this dish on the menu Orm Lam (eggplant curry stew with beef) and yes the beef was tender and had a great texture, but the flavour was too mild, perhaps I’m comparing it to the Vietnamese Goat Curry Stew I had a couple of weeks ago at Eden Center, but this dish didn’t deliver much flavors but for a non spicy Thai food person, this is a safe dish.
The Banana Flower Salad, had tons of citrus touches with cilantro, it was very balanced, I wouldn’t order a whole bowl for myself, but it is great for sharing if ordering as a side dish. As you can see on the picture everything is mostly shredded so I didn’t get to make a distinction between the banana flower and the other elements on this dish.
Nam Khao (rice ball salad with pork), out of this world, personally this dish didn’t impress me on paper or when I saw it, then I had crunchiness of the fried rice (just as a good Panamanian Concolon!) then lime touches, cilantro, sweetness of the pork, it was heaven in my mouth and I could have had more and more of this dish, it is a must!
Soup nor mai (bamboo shoot salad) I don’t even know if how to mention this, I feel terrible because my experience at this restaurant was really positive, this dish won’t bring me down, and it wasn’t a matter of they missing something or poor execution, this dish was just I’ll put it this way, I thought this salad was made of Durian, and I have never had Durian in my life, except for the candy my sister brought me from Nepal. this was serious, kind of smelly, I just tasted with the tip of my tongue and put a napkin and didn’t eat… some others at the table, as Chowhound warriors ate a spoonful and said it was ok but they couldn’t have a bowl or would order again.
The texture of the Koi Pa (shredded fish salad) threw me a little off at first, but its flavors were amazing, I am a huge fan of ceviche but I have to admit that the flavors on this salad were beyond the ones of a ceviche, it has so much going on without overwhelming the dish. there is galangal, lemongrass, touch of palm sugar that gave such complexity to the Koi Pa I just can’t wait to try it again.
The Poon Pa (pounded fish) was just ok a little of the usual citrus flavors, lime & cilantro and the fish, nothing fantastic I can pass the next time.
It was a revelation to try the Ping Ling (grilled tongue), you see my mother has cooked tongue so many times and even myself I have prepared it on dinners because of it’s demand by guests. But I have never, ever even crave beef tongue, and yet I can still remember how I forgot to ask what dish it was while I was trying this Ping Ling I asked afterwards mentioned how soft and tender and tasty it was and someone “It’s tongue Helena” and that’s when I had this revelation, I had a slice of it without the sauce, and then with it. The bitter sauce I can live without tasting it for the rest of my life, the second sauce was amazing I even dipped my sticky rice in it, it was delicious, sweet, sour, citrus, pure tasty. Right now while typing this I want tongue and I want lots of it!
Som Pa (fermented fish) reminded me of a piece of beef jerky but with more texture and less chewy, it was another dish that at first sight I wouldn’t think it would tasty, but then this restaurant proved me wrong again with its fermented flavor and acidity it was another refreshing dish I would love many people to try.
Grilled Chicken the “Ping Kai” was served with a papaya salad which was really different and really HOT in compare to the ones I have tried before, it was not my favorite but I can’t say much because it’s heat was more that I could take, this dish was also served with a sauce that everyone called the soup because by itself with just some rice it was amazing. Going back to the chicken it’s the closest I have tasted to my favorite kind of chicken the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, so yes it was as good as it sounds and as good as it looks.
The last dishes Sai Oua (Lao sausage) it was nothing amazing for me it’s difficult to describe a dish that is safe and tastes just OK after having some disappointments and also so many great dishes at the same time. Forgettable is the word that comes to mind.
At the end the kitchen sent a closing dish, it was a super ultra HOT past, I am not sure up to this moment what it was but it stayed in my mouth for a good few minutes, i tasted some sweet and salty but then the heat hit me like a bomb and I am very happy this was at the end of my meal because I wouldn’t have been able to taste anything after this dish.
A couple of ladies and I ordered white and dark Thai beers, I am not a huge beer fan but with this cold weather and so much spicy going on I would rather a glass of dark beer or I would suggest for non-beer fans, young coconut drink!
The next time I’ll make sure to check out their desserts!
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