A new restaurant called Bangkok at Beltline is now open in Richardson, serving rice, curry, and noodle dishes including the ever-popular pad Thai. It also offers something found at no other Thai restaurant: afternoon Thai tea, available on Saturdays only, to a limited number of diners.
Bangkok at Beltline is a second restaurant from husband-and-wife Joe and Sunny Pumphaung, who also own the Bangkok City on Greenville Avenue — which is no relation to the other Bangkok City restaurant on Bryan Street.
The afternoon Thai tea is their way of serving Thai food in a modern style but enjoyed in a classic manner. The menu will rotate and change occasionally, but with items such as curry stuffed dumplings and Thai-inspired sandwiches such as the pad Thai croissant.
There'll also be pastries and desserts. Coconut panna cotta consists of coconut custard with oven-roasted vanilla pineapple. Chai tea panna cotta is custard infused with Chai tea, with berry jam. Some of the desserts, including Thai tea macarons and a chocolate tart with passion fruit caramel, are made for Bangkok by Tida Pichakron, pastry chef and co-owner of Dallas bakery Haute Sweets Patisserie.
Joe and Sunny came up with the tea concept so they could work with Pichakron on creating desserts with a Thai flair because she was local and Thai-American, and had created desserts for the Adolphus Hotel's afternoon tea and pastries for the Mandarin Hotel in Las Vegas.
The tea will be served on Saturdays at 2 pm, with only 20 seats available, so reservations are required.
Joe was a former server at Bangkok City who bought the restaurant from the original owner in 2005; the Bryan Street Bangkok City was bought by a different owner. As the largest city in Thailand, Bangkok City is a not uncommon name for a Thai restaurant. But to avoid confusion, the Pumphaungs decided to give the name of the new Richardson branch a defining twist.
The couple has a love for cooking and for sharing their Thai culture and food. Joe's family had a restaurant in Thailand and while there, he studied and trained at the royal family's culinary school, where floral arrangement and food presentation like fruit and vegetable carving were equally as important as the cooking and taste.