There Is No Thai For First With Bangkok Hill: A Restaurant Review

By: Patrick Danahy
“It feels like a take-out kind of day,” I thought to myself one afternoon. I was in the mood for Chinese, but had gotten it too recently. Then I remembered walking past a cosy-looking Thai food restaurant while walking to the Lunenburg Walmart. So I found their website online and was greeted with classical music playing from their website. It was a nice touch that brought a portion of the restaurant atmosphere into my room.
Looking through the menu became slowly more difficult as time passed. One mouth-watering dish after another was pictured, making the decision ever more difficult. Even choosing between soups, salads, or appetizers was a feat in and of itself with the unique selections.
In the end I ordering shumai ($7), and beef satay skewers ($7 for my appetizers.Shumai is fried or steamed shrimp dumplings, and the satay skewers is marinated chicken or beef on bamboo sticks; the orders included ginger soy sauce and a homemade peanut sauce, respectively.
The shumai had the simple appearance of an ordinary dumpling with an amazing aroma of sweetly buttered pasta that filled the air. The six dumplings were decorated with basil leaves and the side included ginger soy sauce. Taking a bite, it was as if biting through soft buttery silk to find gold in the form of flavorful shellfish. The shrimp melted in my mouth, its strong flavor accenting the simple dumpling.
In this dining experience I found just how important sauces can be to a dish. The included sauce bathed the dumpling in sweetness for the first few seconds of chewing before giving way to the now more defined original flavor.
The beef skewers had a beautiful grilled color, and smells of what I imagined to be peanut oils. The plate of four average sized beef skewers did not seem particularly special, I remember thinking before taking a bite. The meat was extremely tender, yet tough to contain all of its smoky flavor.
Much like before, the sauce added a new aspect of flavor. It was a simple yellow paste. The sweet peanut sauce was hard to describe. It complimented the beef with mellow taste that did not overpower the beef taste.
For a main course I went with one of the house specials. As someone who very rarely gets Thai food, I was in uncharted waters. After studying the options diligently I was caught between one of many different duck dishes, or their Pad Pik King ($14), a mildly spicy chicken and shrimp stir fry.
The Pad Pik King smelled heavily of herbs and spices that played upon the aromas of peas, carrots, shrimp, and the abundantly present chicken. My first reaction seeing the dish was “so many string beans.” I was pleased when trying one. Its crunchy sweetness contrasted with the mild spiciness of the dish. The chicken was both juicy and tangy also with its hint of spice. The steamed carrots were very lightly crunchy with a big sweet flavor to add. The shrimp seemed to be left alone in terms of special seasoning, but it was just as well for in this dish its natural sweetness was more than enough.
With left over sauces I decided to experiment with this main dish. Highly suggested for others to try as well. The peanut sauce added a mellow sweetness to the dish, while also negating much of the spicy flavor. The ginger soy altered the taste of the dish completely, making for a richer dinner, while also negating most of the spicy flavor.
The dessert menu was, in a word, lacking. Coconut, ginger, and fried ice cream, mango with sticky rice, and fried bananas. Curious, I went with the fried bananas.
The little folded rolls of crispy dough were so simple. They were very lightly topped with sesame seeds, and glazed with honey. “It’s so good,” I said, struggling not to eat the entire piece left in my hand. The various levels of sweetness intermingled together in beautiful harmony. I was taken aback at how such a simple looking dessert contained so much flavor.
Price wise dishes were divided simply.
Appetizers: $6 or $7.
Soups: $5
Salads: $6, $7, $12, $13, $14
House specials: $13, $14, $19
Desserts $3, $5
My meal came to $31.50 including the delivery, which took exactly 25 minutes, just as the hostess informed me it would. It is not the cheapest of restaurants, but for quality of food, and dining experience, worth every penny.