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Bangkok Bistro



Bangkok Bistro reopened its doors last Thursday after a four-year hiatus from the city. Not only is it back in its beloved original building, but the original team is back with it too...


Owner Miff (of Kyoto Kitchen) invited us to come and try a selection of dishes from the menu, which we did on Tuesday evening...


First impressions of the menu were really good, as alongside more familiar Thai dishes, there were many that we hadn't heard of previously - Bangkok Bistro features a lot of dishes from Southern Thailand too. Food from the south of the country has a lot of Malay and Chinese influence which impacts spices and flavours. These are usually minced together and blended with the food so it tends to pack a bit more of a punch (unlike many dishes from the North where chilis and spices are boiled with the food and discarded before serving). If you love flavour but aren't so keen on the heat side of things, have no fear. The Kitchen team are very happy to tailor this to your preferred spice level - I know this as we opted for as authentically spicy as possible (chillis are great for your metabolism and I need all the help I can get nowadays!)...


Miff chose a selection of dishes for us, which I always enjoy when trying somewhere new as that way you get to try new things you wouldn't necessarily have ordered yourself, and often end up with new favourites!


Chicken lab ped


First up lamb chops served with lemongrass and chilli, which were cooked to perfection, tender and delicious. Like their sister restaurant Kyoto Kitchen, there's a real emphasis on really good local produce at Bangkok Bistro, and it's really evident.



Starters also included Chicken Salad (Lab Ped) tossed with chilli powder, Thai herbs and leaves, dressed with ground roasted rice and fresh mint. The addition of the ground roasted rice is a Southern touch and was delicious. Another must-try is the mussels (Heu Neung). I have only ever had them in a French or Belgian style sauce before with white wine and cream and maybe a touch of curry powder from time to time, but here they are steamed with sweet basil, lemongrass and served with a spicy chilli sauce, and I don't know why I haven't ever tried them like this before...


Aubergine with Holy Basil


Main courses were Aubergine with holy basil (Makua Gra Prao), Mango Chicken (Gaeng Kari Mamuang - a bit of a signature dish by all accounts which previous customers might remember with a very different name - see the comments on my Instagram Feed!), Pad Cha - Queen scallops in spicy sauce, and then a regional Beef Kour Kling - a spicy lightly stir-fried Southern Thai specialty with plenty of turmeric, lemongrass and lime. This in particular was so different to any Thai Food I have had before (including that I have had in Thailand!). The spicy scallops were excellent, and the flavours took me straight back to my travels there. The Mango Chicken was creamy and delicious without being overly sweet, and our waitress insisted on us taking the rest of this dish home (the only one we didn't quite finish) - a great idea on her part as our two teens soon polished it off and now want to know the soonest possible date that we can all go together...



Beef Kour Kling


It's worth noting that whilst Thai food isn't usually known for being vegan friendly as the curry pastes often contain ground shrimp etc. Bangkok Bistro has come up with a great vegan/vegetarian menu with plenty of choice. I can vouch for the Aubergine with holy basil being particularly good.



I don't usually indulge in Thai desserts for some odd reason, but on this occasion, it was only fair that we tested that side of things too and I am happy to report that the banana fritters were really good, but that coconut icecream.... I could have eaten a big mixing bowl full of the stuff (maybe that could be a dessert special - one spoon only though please?!?)...


There's plenty of choice when it comes to drinks, and although we stuck to beer this time we will be back to sample the great list of gins and cocktails (it was nice to see some of our favourite Kyoto Kitchen teas on there too!).


Our overall impressions of Bangkok Bistro were really good. The food is great, and has an edge with excellent ingredients and regional flavours. The staff are so friendly and professional, and the interior is stylish and felt grown-up (you are welcome to take kids however, and there's a private room should you feel more comfortable in there!). Current Covid measures are taken seriously, and we felt there was plenty of space between tables etc. I also think it deserves an award for most stylish sink in Winchester!!



It's so lovely to have another really good Independent restaurant in the city, especially one that's obviously an old favourite with so many. Miff said his main aim was to recreate that special place as he has such happy memories of Bangkok Bistro (Version I)... I don't think he's going to have a problem with that at all...


Thank you Bangkok Bistro Team for being such kind and generous hosts. We are over the moon to have a really authentic Thai in Winchester again. See you soon (with our table of six!)...

Bangkok Bistro

33 Jewry Street

Winchester

SO23 8RY


We were invited to dine as guests of Bangkok Bistro in return for an honest write up (which is what you are getting!)... All words and opinions are very much our own!



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