Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bangkok Express, Otemachi

Raising the Boring Post indicator to Amber Alert.

 If we've ever talked about Thai food, you know how much I like the Tokyo Thai chain Tinun. Oddly, I see that I haven't been to a branch since I started writing this blog, which is a real oversight. If you choose your branch carefully (avoid Yoyogi), Tinun delivers the full ambience and flavor of the Thai street cart experience, which is one of the world's most pleasant. Some great news, I think that Bangkok Express delivers the Tinun experience, which is to say only half a step removed from greatness.

I went with Lin-ji, who also recommends a visit. This is not insignificant, as she lived in Bangkok for more than 5 years and speaks servicable Thai (though not, I'm sorry to say, at lunch!). Situated in the basement of the Otemachi Building (home of everyone's favorite after-work pub, Drunk Bears), it's close to my former area Thai recommendation, Bamboo. However after tasting the difference, I'm reminded that Bamboo is indeed more Japanized (sweeter, more coconutty, less spicy) as I said when I went there (but I was desperate at that point).

For lunch you can get the basics - three kinds of noodles (wet spicy, wet fish-saucy, dry fried), green curry, gaprao, etc. For an exciting Y950, you can get the service lunch like I did, which includes a full chicken gaprao and a small green curry. This was almost an embarassment of riches; I don't feel like I appreciated the curry enough. Especially because I insist on drowning the rice and fried egg with spicy fish sauce, after which point the curry tastes kinda weird with it.

The best thing I can say to sum this up is that it tastes right. With the corrugated metals walls, brightly-colored tables and stools, Thai waitresses and spicy food, you'll feel like you're back in...Tinun, if not Thailand.

This rating is wrong.

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