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Sep 2, 2010 08:05 AM

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 (, 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, on sale for 80% off right now. This will definitely become a regular spot for us.