Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Today the wife and I took in lunch at Bangkok Cafe on Hwy 49 South in Hattiesburg, near Forrest General Hospital. I had heard several folks talk about it on MyHattiesburg.com and wanted to see what all the talk was about. The rumor was that they had a lunch buffet.
When we arrived the parking lot was packed and there was only one empty table in the dining hall. Very good signs if you ask me. I then noticed two other things - there was indeed a buffet and local celebrity chef and food writer Robert St. John and a couple of friends were having lunch. If RSJ is there, the place is usually well above average.
We were seated quickly by a friendly host and our beverage order was taken by an attentive server. Being relatively new to Thai cuisine I was honestly wondering how they would pull off a Thai buffet.
On the buffet they had a full compliment of several traditional Thai dishes. The kind folks at Bangkok Cafe are kind enough to list on the buffet how spicy each dish was from mild to Thai Spicy.
When making my first round I over-heard (so sue me) RSJ recommend the Gia Katiem (Chicken) to one of this lunch friends, so I just had to take his advice. The Gia Katiem with thai fried rice was very nice. The Gia Katiem was chopped chicken with Thai Chilies, fresh basil leaves, onions, in a very nice red sauce.
Another highlight of the buffet was the Pad Khing with chicken. Pad Khing consists of sauteed chicken with fresh ginger, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and baby corn in a medium spicy light brown sauce.
In addition to the above mentioned dishes they had Thai fried rice with shrimp, Thai Spring Rolls, Gang Curry (Pork), and several other dishes that I really can't remember.
I would say that this is well above average for any Asia buffet that I've had and despite my reservations, they pull off a pretty good Thai buffet. Overall, I would say that this was a very positive dinning experience and I would recommend their lunch buffet to family and friends. I can't wait to go back another time and try their sit-down service and menu.