Guam Diner Bytes: Bangkok Cuisine

by Ken Stuart
The Guam Food Guy

I have to say thank you to Tad Miller for prompting and urging me to try the food at Bangkok Cuisine, certainly one of the newest and latest additions to our substantial list of Thai restaurants, of which there are nearly 20. This is still a relatively new eatery and it is not the most atmospheric when it comes to Thai decor and artwork, however it is well-lit, clean and comfortable with a cozy-at-home relaxed feel to it.

We’re not there for the art; we’re there for the food! I did happen to see Tad when I stopped by on recently for lunch. He was eating something I’d not seen at any local Thai restaurant yet. It was sautéed baby Clams ($12), and they looked ravishingly good! These were sautéed with a Thai sauce and had peppers, green onions, onions, basil, and garlic – I was even sucking on some of the shells!

I also ordered the Beef Salad ($8) which was quite spicy and well-marinated, perhaps a bit on the salty side if you are sodium sensitive. The dish was garnished by cooling cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sweetly tart calamansi, and drizzled with ground red pepper and chopped green onions.

It wasn’t my intention to imitate or copy others, but there was one table (it seemed that I knew people at six of the seven or eight tables that are in Bangkok Cuisine) that had Garlic & Black Pepper Shrimp ($12) which I had to try. This was an exceptional dish, with the crisply dry garlic having a nearly fresh panko texture and seasoned with ground black pepper over the plump, juicy shrimp – it didn’t take long for these to disappear. I barley sipped on my Thai tea and hardly touched my steamed rice as I filled myself with protein.

I also need to mention that it was sometime shortly after I’d arrived that I was surprised to see Somjai Vongjalorn, the founder, che and owner of Se Somjai Restaurant, one of the island’s revered legends. She just returned from Thailand (about 3 weeks earlier) and she is helping her daughter in law, Soraya Vongialorn with her new restaurant’s cuisine.

Later I gave Somjai a copy of a Stripes Guam edition that contained our write-up of Benika Ozawa’s 2nd birthday party at Meskla! It was a special memory for Somjai since it was my review of Somjai Restaurant that prompted a visit to Guam by Junko Shimizu and her sister Kunie where agreed to have a “blind date” to eat at Somjai. Junko had since married and has brought her young family to Guam to celebrate her daughter Benika’s two birthdays with us.

My next course was one of my favorite Thai dishes, Pad Ka Praow with Pork ($8), Thai-style with Fried Egg. This was another treasure and I found myself eating this with minimal rice, even crunching on the boonie peppers (which had to burn). The basil and chili combination was awesome, and I love their use of local green beans.

My last dish received (I had ordered a Shrimp Penang, but it was ordained that I’d had enough) was the Pad Si Euw Chicken ($8), which had nicely cut broccoli pieces that had the right amount of crunch left in them. The wide flat noodles were sauteed perfectly and the chicken pieces were lean and plentiful. I liked this dish a lot even though I was too full to complete it. I was very pleased with this lunch feast and definitely will return for my Penang and other dishes.

Soraya wanted to show me her Som Tum ($12) Papaya Salad that was ordered as Take-Out by a customer. I was intrigued to see that this dish was made with Blue Crab. I’ll have to try that one, too!

Bangkok Cuisine does have a fast food 1-2-3 choice selection on Mondays - Thursdays during lunch. One Choice is $6.50, 2 choice is $7.50, and 3 choice is $8.50, with refillable Iced Tea for $2. I do recommend Bangkok Cuisine for a different take on Thai with “old school” influence thanks to the experienced coaching of Somajai! Khob-kun-Ka!

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