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February 06, 2014 - Image 58

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-02-06

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arts & entertainment >> the best of everything

Thai, Pure And Simple!

Bangkok Cuisine restaurateur "wrote the book" on local Thai dining.


he is known to many as "the
dining train, using the name
mother of Thai restaurants" and
Bangkok Cuisine and its reci-
one of Michigan's finest expo-
pes, with royalty payments to
nents of authentic Thai cooking.
Sandy and Montree Of the
11, five are Bangkok Cuisine
Years ago, restaurants serving only Thai
food were in the minority and more or
Express locations, mainly for
less considered just another place to have
carry-out (Royal Oak, Auburn
Asian dishes ... Not like it is today ... with Hills, Shelby and Clinton
Townships and Ann Arbor).
Thai delights considered among the most
The Bangkok Cuisine res-
popular and fast-growing styles of authen-
tic ethnic dining.
taurants are all open seven
The opening of Bangkok Cuisine,
days, lunch and dinner, 11
now celebrating its 30th anniversary, by
a.m.-9:30 p.m. ... Seating var-
Somnuk "Sandy" Arpachinda and hubby,
ies in each of the restaurants.
Montree, was originally intended to intro-
In West Bloomfield's Crosswind's Mall,
duce Thai taste thrills to the American
Orchard Lake Road, seating is only 65, but
palate in this region.
in Bloomfield Hills (Woodward, south of
Thai dining only reached a semblance
Square Lake Road), it is 80 and Rochester
of note around 1960, and when the
(N. Main Street) 120.
Arpachindas arrived at these shores in 1968,
Best-sellers are Pad Thai (sauteed rice
it had achieved a small resemblance of recog- noodles with egg, bean sprouts and green
nition, sort of blending together a mishmash onions, topped with crushed peanuts) ...
of dishes from various Asian traditions.
Gang Dang (stir-fried in red curry and
Sandy was a hairdress-
coconut milk with bamboo
er, and Montree worked
shoots, mushrooms and
in a factory after they
green peppers) ... Pad Prik
arrived in New York in
(stir-fried in a spicy brown
1968 and then Michigan
sauce, with green peppers,
in 1971 ... She had gone
onions, bamboo shoots
to a cooking school in
and mushrooms) and
Thailand and dreamed
Bangkok Chicken (lightly
about one day owning a
breaded with sweet-and-
Somnuk "Sand y" and
sour sauce).
At the time, says Sandy, Montree Arpac hinda
In Thai dining, it is
there were few, in any,
important to know that
Thai restaurants here or even in New York any dish can be prepared to the cus-
... Their venture came about when friends tomer's degree of spiciness ... All items
loved Sandy's cooking and suggested that
at Bangkok Cuisine are made to order ...
she and Montree open a Thai restaurant
Guests may also add to their dish whatever
... They did on Metro Parkway in Sterling
they desire, chicken, beef or seafood.
Heights and created a mild sensation.
For lunch recently at the West Bloomfield
The first location in 1983 was not origi-
locale, elegant cooking could be noted in
nally intended to be a chain of restaurants
Bangkok Cuisine's presentations ... Like my
... But five of them are now owned outright Pad Kee Mao, which is rarely found in these
by Sandy and Montree ... and another six
parts (minced chicken with basil leaves and
by relatives and former employees who
green peppers in a light brown sauce), and
were brought in on the fast, genuine Thai
Gauy Tew Hang, also seldom served here

(steamed egg or rice noodles
with bean sprouts topped with
cilantro, green onions and garlic,
usually presented with chicken
or beef).
Another Thai feather in
Sandy's culinary cap is her
ability as an author ... Sandy's
book, Thai, Pure & Simple, is a
compilation of Thai recipes, tips
and pertinent information on
Thai cookery ... It is sold only
at Bangkok Cuisine restaurants
and Express operations, $15.
Sandy and Montree go to Thailand at
least once a year and always return here
with authentic Thai recipes that they tweak
slightly "for the American palate she says,
"since Americans eat a little differently:"
That truly authentic Thai restaurants
such as Bangkok Cuisine are available for
folks to enjoy healthy Thai dining mysteries
is met with much exciting acceptance.
Thai food has seldom been accurately
understood ... but because of people
like Sandy and Montree Arpachinda, the
cuisine's authenticity and very diversified
tastes can be enjoyed by all.
Italian Tavern, Novi, from Joe Vicari's
Andiamo, Novi, has been such a large
success with its concept of casualness,
larger portions of food and lower-priced
menu, his Mesquite Grill in Clarkston
is also name-altered and converted to
an Andiamo Trattoria ... Its menu low-
pricing is on a similar theme as that of
Joe & Aldo's and also family friendly with
come-as-you-are dress ... The same good
Andiamo food quality is retained.
NO, HE HASN'T left his local law prac-
tice to become the University of Michigan
president ... Mark Schlussel, community
stalwart and noted worker for so many
wonderful causes, is one-letter away from
mistaken identity with Mark Schlissel,
new incoming president at U-M.

(Friday & Saturday)

We want to celebrate the
beautiful feeling of love with you!



The atmosphere is set for an elegant night, just as you deserve.
Enjoy dinner and romantic live music from 8-11 p.m.

To add a special touch to the night,
all beautiful ladies will be given a lovely red rose.

248.73.PRIME (77463) I prime29steakhouse.com I 6545 Orchard Lake Rd. West Bloomfield, MI 48322


February 6 • 2014


NO FOOD SERVED there, but Maya
Kuchersky, owner of the excellent Maya's
Skincare Center beauty salon, West
Bloomfield Plaza, Orchard Lake Road,
West Bloomfield, might know plenty
of juicy info about good things to eat
... She was the wife of the late Mike
Kuchersky, former owner of Fiddler
Russian and International restaurant,
and the three-eatery Sunrise Cafe chain
... Maya's salon is one of the best in
town ... facials, manicures, pedicures,
waxings, etc. ... and a big favorite boast-
ing a fine reputation.
GRAND MARSHALS for this year's
Walk of Ages by Jewish Senior Living, at
the West Bloomfield Jewish Community
Center, Sunday, Aug. 17, will be Barbara
and Douglas Bloom ... Chairpersons will
be Wendy Kippelman, Linda Solomon and
Nod Rubin.
REUNION DEPT. ... Biggie joint
50-year Mumford High shindig for 1964
and 1965 graduating classes is set for
Saturday, July 26, at Shenandoah Country
Club, Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield
... Contact Andrea (Hoberman) Lewiston,
(248) 738-3699.
Russi Arden ... An elderly gentleman was
stopped by the police around three in the
morning and asked where he was going at
that time of night.
The man replied, "I'm on my way to a
lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects
it has on the human body, as well as smok-
ing and staying out late."
The officer asked, "Really? Who's giving
that lecture at this time of night?"
The man replied, "My wife'
CONGRATS ... To Joan Zager on her
birthday ... To Craig Martin on his 45th
birthday ... To Ruth Talmer on her 65th
birthday ... To Jay and Marion Grant on
their 71st anniversary.

Danny's email is dannyraskin@sbcglobal.net.

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