Friday, March 6, 2015
Major Yum Yum at Bang Bang Thai
Growing quite familiar with the burgeoning NE Fremont neighborhood, it's become quite a destination for delicious eats. Most recently, Dan and I along with friends Josh and Taylor went to check out a new Thai restaurant called Bang Bang that came on the scene just in the past month.
Situated right next to Cha Cha Cha Mexican eatery, Bang Bang stands out amongst its neighbors and the signage works in their favor, as well. The inside is small, intimate and dimly lit. I thought it provided the perfect atmosphere for a casual Friday night dinner and at seven o'clock it was almost completely packed. Dan and I got there a little early, which was a good thing, as the staff graciously took our name down and we were called to our table just 10 short minutes later.
In terms of the space, full disclosure in saying that it's a little tight and I marveled at how the staff moved tables around to let patrons into their seats. I must say it was a bit uncomfortable and awkward but in the end didn't impact our experience in a negative way.
Loving the simple yet enticing menu with a minimal amount of apps, main dishes/curries and veggies, we sampled a little bit of everything.
Tendon Puffs - We spotted our fellow diners chomping on these puffy things that reminded us of puffed pork skins, so naturally we had to get them. They were all kinds of delicious including fluffy, rich and a little spicy too. An all around hit and at $5 I thought they were a good value.
Chicken Wings - Dan and I are always suckers for good wings and these definitely delivered. Crispy large pieces that were fried to perfection and dusted with fried garlic and shallots, we devoured them and enjoyed dipping them in the thick, rich black vinegar reduction. One piece of constructive criticism I have about this dish is that I like my wings cut into smaller pieces, as it makes them more palatable and easier to eat.
Scotch Quail Eggs - Our friends were all about this appetizer and since it came with four pieces, I couldn't pass it up. Looking like cute little meatballs, they provided a nice bite with a miniature quail egg inside that was cooked just right. A bit of spicy mustard sauce gave the dish an element of surprise and that signature Thai flavor.
Charred Long Beans - Per Taylor's request, we also ordered this as an app, and it turned out to be a group favorite. The beans were gorgeously green and not in the least bit overcooked, but the best part was the topping of crispy shallots, rice powder, chili oil and other accouterments such as pickled garlic and eggplant. The tangy soy reduction that rested on the bottom was a lovely way to flavor this already delightful medley of ingredients.
Pumpkin Curry Bowl - As if we had enough room to add another dish into the mix, Dan and I each got our own bowl of pumpkin curry. Despite its name, this is not a vegetarian dish and includes a helping of grilled short ribs. There are little pieces of pumpkin found throughout the dish, but I think the flavor is more pronounced in the curry sauce, which is poured on top of the dish by you. It's a fun way to present curry and I like that you get to control how much sauce you choose to add.
Service and Cost:
For a new restaurant, we enjoyed great service and everything came out pretty promptly. Even though we noticed a few mishaps such as with our glassware for example, the staff did a great job of accommodating us and making sure that everyone was comfortable and happy.
Costs are moderate and pretty typical for slightly upscale Thai food, setting us back about $35/person including cocktails and tip.
Bang Bang - 4727 NE Fremont Avenue, Portland OR 97213