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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bangkok House earns status as local favorite

Linda Murchison

Northwest Florida Daily News
FORT WALTON BEACH — Bangkok House Thai Restaurant in downtown Fort Walton Beach has recently reopened after undergoing major renovations under the management of original owner, Sue Taveprungsenukul, and her daughter, Sarah.
Bangkok House has been a local favorite for 31 years, and according to Sue, is the oldest Asianrestaurant in Fort Walton Beach.
The food
On a rainy, cold Friday afternoon, a Thai buffet was very appealing.
After ordering pots of hot green tea, we proceeded to the buffet, which is comprised of between 15 and 20 dishes daily and varies with the availability of fresh produce.
On the day of our visit, I asked about the collards and roast pork.
Owner Sue T. said that she had found beautiful collards at the market and had asked the staff to prepare them to serve on the buffet.
Each day’s buffet menu is planned around the freshest ingredients that she can find during her previous days shopping trip.
A good way to start any meal and especially a Thai meal is with a bowl of soup.
Both small cups and large bowls are available on the buffet.
Available the day that we were there were lemon grass and egg drop soups along with beef broth.
Both soups were hot and rich and with the addition of the available condiments and steamed noodles can be adjusted to taste.
Hot, crisp spring rolls were a good accompaniment to the soup.
Fried wontons are also available as well as non-fried summer rolls.
Salads on the buffet included a traditional Thai papaya and cucumber salads.
It is a difficult decision on which entrée to try. On this Friday afternoon, there were 12.
The choices included pad Thai, broccoli beef, pepper steak, chicken larb, ginger chicken, chicken wings, spicy chicken basil, spicy pork, roast pork with collards, Tilapia with three-flavor spice and red and massaman curries.
One of my favorite Thai dishes is pad Thai.
It is a simple dish of stir-fired noodles tossed with bean sprouts, tamarind sauce and topped with ground peanuts.
Two other dishes I particularly enjoyed from the buffet were the ginger chicken and spicy chicken basil.
The amount of heat and spiciness was appropriate for a buffet.
Steamed and fried rice are available.
Several homemade desserts are offered including the traditional coconut milk and tapioca Thai dishes as well as seasonal fruits.
All the ingredients on the buffet were fresh and were at the proper temperature.
Any time of the day, a full menu is available if you prefer.
Bangkok House has a full bar and has a happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with half off appetizers and daily drink specials.
The atmosphere
The Bangkok house is a large yet comfortable restaurant. You can choose to sit in a booth next to the windows or a table in the center of the restaurant.
The service
We were greeted by Sue T., owner, as we entered the restaurant and shown to the table of our choice.
The waitress, in traditional Thai dress, appeared quickly and took our drink order and asked if we would like the buffet.
She was prompt with clearing our plates.
A final taste
For those of you who have not visited Bangkok House Thai Restaurant lately, it’s time for another visit.
If you have never visited, make sure you add it to your list.

Bangkok House Thai Restaurant
201 Ferry Road
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Lunch Buffet Monday – Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Happy Hour Monday – Friday 3 to 6 p.m.
Not necessary
Handicap accessibility
Children’s menu
Price range
Appetizers $5.95 – $8.95
Soups $3.95 – $8.95
Salads $3.95 – $14.95
Entrees $7.95 –$26
Lunch Buffet $7.95
Credit cards accepted

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