One of the places on my mom's list to try has been Bangkok Chef.
Apparently they are a tiny restaurant in Chinatown which has been around for awhile, and have expanded to Manoa.
Since we figured parking would be kinda crazy in Chinatown, we checked out the one in Manoa.
We got there a little after 11:00 and the place was empty.
We placed our order and as we waited for our food, the place filled up.
Here's what we ordered: Fried chicken wings--lemon grass flavored fried chicken wings...the girl at the counter suggested that we order it ala carte so we would get more wings (10 pieces) and no rice...$7.25 + tax. These wings were so juicy and we loved the crisp skins. Dipped in nuoc mam (sweet chili sauce) this was really good.
Eggplant chicken--this came with sliced chicken, eggplant, sauteed in a spicy sauce with lots of fresh basil. Since we ordered this as a "plate" this came with half the container being filled of jasmine rice, which is their standard rice for all plates....$5.70 + tax. If you want brown rice or sticky rice, it will cost you a little more (I think like $.50 more).
We also ordered 2 orders of their summer rolls. These were HUGE!...$4.50 + tax for 2 pieces.
And an order of their spring rolls...$5.95 + tax, this comes with 6 pieces.
Why my mom had this on her "to try" list was for only one thing...their house delight...mango ice cream over warm coconut mochi rice sprinkled with crushed roasted peanuts...she ordered 4 because she wasn't gonna share with anyone...$3.50 + tax for 1.
We thought the mango ice cream should've been more "mango-y". Actually fresh mango in vanilla ice cream would've been nicer (and probably more expensive, though I hear that Roselani makes a good one).
And the place was so "loud" with chatter that it was quite hard to hear what we were saying to each other.
My last and final peeve was that each dish came in a styrofoam container. Granted if you wanted to take home your leftovers you didn't have to go ask for a container, but for all of us eating at the restaurant, I thought it was a really big waste of these containers and could envision even more trash being shipped to other States...
All in all, the food was good and I would go back, I just wish they would consider the environment a little more.
2955 E. Manoa Road (past Manoa Marketplace)
UPDATE:I wrote that they have a shop in Chinatown, but found out that it is on the outside of Chinatown on Nuuanu Avenue.