Having said that, Bangkok Thai is one of my favourite restaurant in Algiers. It is the only restaurant I know that serves decent Thai food. No surprise here since the entire kitchen crew hails from Thailand.
Catering to local palette, the taste was scaled down so the food is not as spicy as true Thai fare, and also it is a lot saltier. But after dinning there several times, the chef, perhaps, learnt about our preference and tends to be more generous with the chilli and will do away the extra salt or MSG.
The Tom Yum (Mixed seafood soup with coconut milk) must not be missed. I never fail to order it because I felt it combines the best of both worlds: authentic Thai cooking and fresh Algerian squid. I usually give away the prawns to my dinner companions because of my allergy. The fragrantly wok-fried Kao Pad avec Viande (Fried Rice with meat) is another favourite.
Tom Yum Khom with Algerian squid
Appetisers: Satay and fried spring rolls
Main: Fried rice (back); (front): Pa Ka Pow beef (left) & green curry / cari vert (right)
One flip side though, the Pa Ka Pow (Stir fried) beef is not authentic but nevertheless delicious. Everytime I order the dish, it came tasting more Chinese than Thai. This could be due to the miscommunication between the Algerian waiters and the cooks because I think I'm being served another dish on the menu - Stir fried beef with oyster sauce.
But one can hardly fault the kind and gentle Algerian waiters there. By local standards, their customer service standard in Bangkok Thai is one of the best I've seen so far. That's if I go easy on the mandatory long waiting time and the frustrating communication barriers, of course. But these happens everywhere in Algeria.
The interior of the restaurant is decorated with memorabilia that seemed to have come from Bangkok's Chatuchak bazaar. What I like is that the place is kept clean and odorless. As with most restaurants in Algeria, ventilation is bad. Restaurant dining areas are filled with strong smells straight from the kitchens. This is not so obvious in Bangkok Thai.
The restaurant also provide a saloon for customers to relax. During hot months, there are two sheltered tables in the outdoors but there is no view. I'm told that there is a massage palour complete with a Thai masseur on the second floor of the restaurant. The service is provided only for women only (because the masseur cannot touch men?!).
Restaurant Bangkok Thai
Outdoor dinner area
Overall, I like this restaurant despite some drawbacks. Especially, I'm not used to paying such a high price for the kind of Thai food served in the restaurant, which, in Thailand are considered standard fare. (5 000 DA or 72 USD for 3 persons). But anyone in Algeria who enjoys good Thai food, Bangkok Thai is a must try.
Lot. "C" No 71 Draria - Alger
Tel: 0221354897 / 0552984940 / 0770925050