I’ve mentioned Little Bangkok in a few previous posts, but I really wanted to get a full post written about the place because it’s so good.
A friend and I had an early dinner there last weekend. It was about 5 p.m. and there were already a few patrons seated in the clean, modern dining room in East Grand Forks. There’s a fireplace, a few seats to wait if your table isn’t ready and tasteful decorations around like short branches hanging from the ceiling with tiny white lights on them.
Little Bangkok is owned by the same people who just opened the Drunken Noodle, also in EGF. If I’m not mistaken, I think I spotted one of the owners at LB on Saturday. That’s promising to see, because the restaurant has been open for a while and a less attentive owner wouldn’t keep up scrutiny like these guys.
And the oversight is keeping quality up at Little Bangkok when it comes to the food, but also the service.
On Saturday, I was greeted warmly at the door and found my friend, who already had a table. Our waiter came right over and asked for drink orders. He seemed a little nervous, like he’d just started, but was flawless. He was knowledgeable about the dishes and extremely attentive when it came to checking on us and refilling drinks.
As we checked out the menu, we noticed a few new dishes. I wish I would’ve looked a little more closely, as their online menu does not reflect the changes. But we immediately saw the new Curry Puffs on the appetizer section. We also got some Gyoza, which are about two-bite-sized dumplings served with a soy-based sauce.
The Curry Puffs, with a flaky, buttery crust and stuffing of chicken and vegetables, were amazing. They were cooked perfectly. Any less would’ve been doughy, but any more they would’ve been too crispy. I missed the actual ingredients because my dinner mate and I were in ecstasy at these perfect pouches. Next time I’m there, I’ll jot them down.
The Gyoza were tasty, but unremarkable. The sauce served with them was quite salty. We should have gotten two orders of Curry Puffs instead.
Our pre-main course appetizers were the normal salad and miso soup. But the salad was anything but normal. It’s weird that one of my favorite things to eat in town is a salad, but the dressing they put on is amazing. It’s a ginger vinaigrette but is so good I’d put it on nearly anything. My dinner mate said the miso soup was delicious.
Another appetizer to try that I highly recommend would be the tempura-fried vegetables. It comes with a slightly sweet yet savory sauce that is one of the best I’ve ever had. It, like the ginger vinaigrette, would make anything taste good. Vegetables like broccoli, green pepper, onion, sweet potato and others are very lightly battered in tempura and fried. The batter doesn’t get in the way, but just amplifies the vegetables with a welcome crunch. Dunk the veggies in the sauce and you have a wonderful start to a dinner.
Oddly enough, the main course I ordered was the Drunken Noodle’s namesake dish. Wide noodles are covered in an oyster sauce accompanied by vegetables and your choice of meat. I thought the dish was great, but the sauce had an overwhelming fennel or star anise taste and the many leaves of basil really overpowered everything else. I ended up sliding them to the outside of the plate. But I would order it again and maybe ask for easy on the basil.
My friend had the California roll and, as he dug into the perfectly wrapped sushi roll, broke out in a chorus of yummms and ohhhs. He said it was great to finally have good sushi again.
We didn’t have desert, but if you’re a sweet tooth, check out the coconut ice cream. Also try the Panang curry, which has potatoes, onion and peanuts in a sweet coconut curry sauce. The pad thai isn’t bad either.
Little Bangkok is one of my favorite places in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. Do you have a dish you can’t get enough of?