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It’s always nice having my mother-in-law come visit so she can help me out with our son while my husband was away on business. When she’s down here, it tends to be a treat for her when we go out for dinner at a Thai restaurant since she doesn’t get it back home in Pennsylvania.

One Friday afternoon, my husband was back from his trip, and I suggested instead of going to our usual Thai restaurant, we should check out one that’s fairly new in Pasadena.

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Somewhat hidden from the main road, located in Patriots Plaza, we found The Bangkok Oriental. We went inside and there were a couple of bagged orders for takeout and one other patron waiting to be served. The server came over and told us to pick a table anywhere in the dining area. I thought this seemed a bit disorganized, but hope the food would not reflect the service.

We sat at our table, the server brought over menus and water, as well as a high chair for our son. We were looking through the menu to decide on what to have for dinner. My mother-in-law commented on the menu key and found that to be very useful.

Some of the appetizers looked good, such as crispy spring rolls, Thai fish cake, and coconut shrimp. I was looking through and noticed there were a couple of dishes that had duck in it. I thought that was different as some of the Thai restaurants I’ve been to usually serve chicken as the main poultry.

I settled for a duck curry dish ($13.95) because it seemed different. My mother-in-law went for her usual chicken pad thai ($12.95). My husband decided on drunken noodles with chicken ($12.95), and we got our son the chicken satay ($5.95) off the children’s menu. For the table, we decided to try the crispy vegetable spring rolls ($5.95) and the fried vegetable dumplings ($6.95).

As we waited for our food, we noticed a couple of more customers coming in to pick up take-out orders. My mother-in-law guessed that they probably have a good take out business.

As we were chit-chatting, our appetizers came out. The spring rolls and the dumplings must have come right out of the fryer since they were piping hot. The crispy shells of the spring rolls were crunchy and the vegetable filling was quite warm.

Then I tried the vegetable dumpling and it was a bit over fried. The dumpling shells were too crispy, but the dumpling filling was warm and they were filled fairly well.

Our son’s chicken satay meal came out as well. He didn’t care for the rice, but he enjoyed his tender grilled chicken skewers which I added some of the peanut sauce on top. He ate through those very well, while also wanting to try some of the filling in the dumplings.

Our entrees came right along, and the plates looked great! I couldn’t wait to try our dinner. I took a spoonful of my duck curry and it had a good amount of kick, I really liked that. I was surprised how tender the duck was, I thought I was going to bite into something tough, but they did a great job of cooking it and keeping it tender.

The chunks of vegetable had a good bite to them as they were not soggy, and the use of pineapple helped to cut into the spicy curry by giving it a nice sweetness. I really enjoyed the duck curry, it was definitely different and surprisingly well made.

I asked my husband how he liked his drunken noodles, and he would have liked more sauce, but thought the noodles, chicken, and vegetable were all cooked well. I liked that they used the wide rice noodles for his dish. It had good flavor, but without some portion of sauce, the noodles looked a bit dry and not as glistening as we were used to.

I tried some of my mother-in-law’s pad thai which had the salty, sour, and that hint of sweet taste that most pad thai has. She seemed to enjoy it, it’s her usual go-to kind of dish at any Thai restaurant so she was very content with her dinner.

As we were ready to head out, we went up to the front to pay for our meal. An older gentleman, whom I assumed was the owner, asked how everything was, and we let him know that we enjoyed our dinner. We also let him know that this was our first time here, and he gave us a card for 30% off our next visit. I thought that was a nice way to end our dinner here as he offered friendly hospitality.

For the most part, we had a delicious dinner and it was nice to try a different Thai restaurant. There were some hits and misses to The Bangkok Oriental, but it was good Thai food for those who live in the Pasadena area and who like Thai food. We would consider coming back when we’re in the area and enjoy another delicious meal.

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The Bangkok Oriental

WHERE: 8043 Richie Highway, Pasadena, MD 21122

PHONE: 410-766-0973

WEB SITE: topthaimd.com

HOURS: Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday-Monday: closed

PRICE: $2.50-$15.95

RESERVATIONS: No, but recommended for big parties

CREDIT CARDS: All major cards

ACCESSIBILITY: Yes

OWNERS: Top and John

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