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Bangkok 54 (Chapel Hill)?

I noticed the sign as I was driving by (wrong side of the highway or I would have stopped). I think it took the place of Tsunami. Does anyone know?

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  1. I drove into the shopping center and pulled up in front. Yes, Tsunami is no longer there, and this appears to be going in their space. It's still under construction.

    1 Reply
    1. re: durhamois

      Thanks for the information durhamois. I just haven't had a chance to get back by to see. My list keeps getting longer and longer or places to try some day.

    2. Bit more description on where in Chapel Hill this is?

      11 Replies
      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

        Intersection of Hwy 54 and Farrington Rd. - same shopping center as Mardi Gras bowling.

        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          For what it's worth, my sixth sense tells me it's not going to be anything exceptional. But I hope to be proven wrong.

          1. re: durhamois

            Bangkok 54 Chapel Hill is now open. I know the proprietor and based off of their authentic home cooking and the different family owned restaurants, it should be good. It may take awhile to get all the kinks out. So, you may have to try it more than once to give a thorough review.

            1. re: aroi

              I found a website, still under construction. The menu is not yet posted.


              1. re: aroi

                Aroi, what other restaurants do the owners have?

                1. re: aroi

                  Incidentally, I have swung by a couple of times, and they do not yet appear to have opened their doors.

                  1. re: durhamois

                    Thai Orchid in Pinehurst is one. A former colleague went the other night and said it was outstanding. I would love to try it but live hundreds of miles away.

                    1. re: aroi

                      That's a pretty long way from Chapel Hill, unfortunately.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        The question was "What restaurants do other family members own"
                        Bankok 54 is in Chapel Hill. It is on highway 54 (Chapel Hill) just off of I40 behind the Hardees on Farrington Rd.


                        1. re: aroi

                          Ah, gotcha. Sorry for the confusion.

            2. I stopped by Bangkok 54 yesterday, and they are open.
              They told me that they have been open for a week already.
              I look forward to trying it.

              1. I just stopped by Bangkok54 a couple of nights ago for some Thai takeout. The menu has now been posted to their website (http://www.bangkok54nc.com/), so that made takeout ordering very easy. It took them less than 20 minutes to get my meal ready, and the staff was very friendly. The restaurant decor is very nice for such a small restaurant; it was trendy without being overbearing. The dining area probably has about 15 tables, max, but the space isn't overcrowded or spare. I would definitely consider eating in next time. Everything was spotless.

                Now, on to the food! I ordered a Ginger Chicken dish, and it was very nice. The portion & price were decent, and the sauce on the chicken was great. Fresh ginger was very prominent, but there was no heat at all. Granted, the menu did not say that that the dish was spicy, so I suppose I just take that for granted!

                I ordered a Tom Yum soup with shrimp, and the story here is a little different. This soup was very unremarkable, a first for Tom Yum with me! The awesome spicy/sweet/sour/salty Thai flavor was lost in this dish, and it was very meager. There were two medium sized shrimp (though they were very delicious), two slices of button mushroom, and two leaves (!) of cilantro. Very sad. It was like drinking a small bowl of kind of sour, thin tomato soup. I don't know if this dish is still being worked out in the kitchen, but I kind of count on Thai restaurants to have yummy Tom Yum, so this was a disappointment.

                Right now, I still would pin Thai Palace as my favorite local Thai restaurant, but definitely give this one a try. The Golden Chicken dish and several Duck Breast dishes look awesome; I'll be trying those soon! I imagine that as this restaurant gets the kinds worked out, it will be very nice.

                1. Finally made it over to Bangkok 54 on Friday night. Wish I had gone over there sooner! This is my new favorite Thai place in Chapel Hill.

                  I love Thai food, and I love heat. Every Thai lover has their own favorites, and whenever I try a new place, I always order three things, always "Thai Spicy": Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles), Pad Prik King (green beans in red curry paste), and Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad). Bangkok 54 did an awesome job with all three, I was thrilled.

                  Perfect heat. According to the waitress, even though we ordered Thai Spicy, this ranked 3 stars on their 10 star scale. At home, we add Sambal Oelek (fresh ground chili paste) or Srichacha to just about everything we eat, so we think we have a pretty high heat tolerance. At the table behind us, one woman ordered her food with 4 stars of spice. She complained to her family that it was too spicy for her to eat. With a level 3, we enjoyed the heat and flavor of the food...but definitely couldn't have handled it without the $22 bottle of sauvignon blanc we also ordered. All of the wine here is $22, btw, and our Marlborough Sauv Blanc was crisp and grapefruity--a great value and surprise at a strip mall restaurant.

                  The Green Papaya Salad is a dish I think I could eat every day. I love the balance of sweet and sour. The flavor of the dried shrimps used to make the dish added great depth of flavor but I think they get rid of the shrimps before they serve it, we didn't see any in the papaya strands. They used Chinese long beans in the Prik King which noticeably improved the flavor--the curry paste clings to the wrinkly beans so you get more sauce sticking to the veggies. Delicious. Also loved our Drunken Noodles...they added tons of fresh veggies that had crunch, a nice contrast to the sweet and spicy noodles.

                  As soon as we left we went home and bought three gift certificates through restaurant.com, on sale for 80% off right now. This will definitely become a regular spot for us.

                  1. I ordered takeout from here today, I got the Pad Prig with Chicken and the Penang with Chicken. I ordered them 9 out of 10 on their spicy scale, which was spicy, but really good. It's nice to have a restaurant actually make something spicy when you ask them to. The Penang curry was excellent, I'd say it's on par or better than Thai Palace's version, and better than the Twisted Noodles version. The Pad Prig was excellent too.

                    This place seems likely to be my new go-to thai restaurant in the area. The lunch deals seem reasonable (7.95 for entree+soup), and the food (at least what I've had so far) seems better than Thai Palace or Twisted Noodle. I'd say it's up to the level of Sawasdee in Raleigh.

                    They also have the "Bangkok Dangerous" challenge, which is a dish made with ghost chilies, and the owner told me that no one has finished it yet. If you do, you get your picture on the wall. Any takers?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: iamacanad1an

                      Do you get a year supply of pepto as well? sorry.. I couldn't resist..

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        !!! So totally what I thought too. My mouth could handle it, not sure about the rest of my system.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          yeah... ghost chilies are no joke. I've finished the torture test at chai's in durham, but this might be a whole different level

                          1. re: iamacanad1an

                            I hadn't heard of ghost chilis before and I just looked them up. http://hubpages.com/hub/Ghost_chili_i...

                            "Even a smallest bit of this pepper in the food or sauce will make it barely edible. If you eat a raw pepper it causes watering eyes and a runny nose.

                            An entire chili is an all-out assault on the senses, akin to swigging a cocktail of battery acid and glass shards."

                            Good god. That must be an exaggeration. Has anyone here tried one?

                            1. re: rajeevofcarrboro

                              Had the Bangkok dangerous last night. Extremely spicy but there was still an excellent flavor. I finished all but a few onions and bell peppers. My wife had the pad thai said it was the best she has had. We love twisted noodles, but this is our new Thai place in town

                        2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          Well there is a now a chili hotter than a ghost chili that has been found.

                      2. I've been to Bangkok 54 twice and enjoyed it very much both times. I'm far from an expert on Thai cuisine, but I do love it. Larb is my go-to dish, and Bangkok 54's version is great, as is the tom nur. Both visits have been for lunch, and the first time there were only two other people in the restaurant, so I was a bit worried about their potential for success. On the second visit, though, there were a dozen or so folks, which I was glad to see. It really is a very nice little space.

                        Regarding the heat: the menu lists four levels of heat, with level three being "Thai spicy" and level four being "Bangkok Dangerous." However, our server both times told us there was a heat scale of one to five, so I'm not sure where five takes you. I found level three to be right-on -- spicy enough to get the nose watering a bit, but not so spicy that the flavors of the dish were masked.

                        My workplace is pretty much equidistant from Bangkok 54 and Twisted Noodles, and while I'll still visit both in the future, Bangkok 54 gets the nod for now when I need to Thai one on.

                        Twisted Noodles
                        4201 University Dr Ste 112, Durham, NC 27707

                        1. Living very close by, this is our "regular" and has been since it opened. Their specials are always good (soft shell in season for instance). I especially like their take on chicken with ginger sauce. And their Pad Thai is non-gummy, unlike places like Achira and Twisted Noodle. They're nice folks too. Since Thai Palace has long since stopped adding interesting daily specials, and just "cruises along", we have said goodbye to them.