June 2002: Cajun Bangkok

It's always necessary to do a little selling before taking friends to Cajun Bangkok for the first time: "I know it's an odd combination, but it works."

By: Cynthia Hacinli

It's always necessary to do a little selling before taking friends to Cajun Bangkok for the first time: "I know it's an odd combination, but it works." It's been working for more than a decade and has lasted as less distinguished restaurants have opened and closed along King Street. Those who look only for authenticity in either Thai or Cajun cooking might not be happy here. The fact is that these two cuisines, separated by thousands of miles, have two things in common--a fondness for spicy foods and a rich variety of seafood dishes.

The ribs or wings among the first courses are things you might find in a southern Louisiana roadside stand, but at Cajun Bangkok you'll notice that a Thai cook has done the spicing. The gumbo is like nothing you'll find in southern Louisiana. It's properly spicy, but the flavors owe more to the lemony brightness of Thai cooking than to the deep and complex flavors of the bayou.

Your party can mix and match Cajun and Thai dishes on the menu with confidence. Green-curry chicken goes pretty well with fried catfish topped with crawfish étouffée. Bourbon shrimp and spicy chili shrimp coexist nicely, as do Curry Chicken Bombay and Spicy Blackened Chicken Voodoo. An accomplished chef with a unique sensibility is in charge here, and the good cooking speaks for itself.