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Bangkok Degree

  • Restaurants
  • Park Slope
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  1. Bangkok Degree
    Photograph: Courtesy of Bangkok Degree
  2. Bangkok Degree
    Photograph: Courtesy of Amber Sutherland-Namako
  3. Bangkok Degree
    Photograph: Courtesy of Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A good new neighborhood pop-in spot

Entering a restaurant, being seated and ordering without needing a reservation meticulously orchestrated weeks in advance is an increasingly unusual treat in NYC. 

Some perfectly nice neighborhood spots I’ve been walking into for years are now strongly recommending reservations, and a few junior varsity special occasion destinations even require booking deposits. On one hand, dinner gamification turns dining into a reward-based dopamine stream. On the other hand, so much in this city is already competitive enough. 

I’d been wishing for another easy pop-in option when Bangkok Degree opened in Park Slope last month. It seats a couple dozen in a rustic-chic wood and brick-lined space. The collage of greenery arranged overhead gives it a bit of a secret garden appeal, and Edison light bulbs underscore its address in the borough that seemed to make those divisive devices famous. 

The short service bar in the back turns out Thai iced tea and coffee varieties, butterfly pea lemonade, pink milk, juice and sodas ($3-$5.50). The long dinner menu is broken into all the expected sections plus “Traditional Grandma Dishes,” and BYOB was allowed at press time. 

Bangkok street food staple fried quail egg wontons ($9) are a standout starter. The golden crispy wonton skin cracks into the softly buoyant egg white encasing a creamy yolk. This trio of textures is key to each skewered piece’s success, and a sweet chili dipping sauce gives them a bit more of a pop. 

A refreshing, piercing papaya salad ($12) is on the opposite end of Bangkok Degree’s intensity spectrum. It is also the rare restaurant item anywhere that delivers on its promise of heat. The pretty dish combines green papaya, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, string beans, peanuts and chili lime dressing into a piquant, just barely eye-watering sensation. 

The fantastic beef jungle curry ($17) does not approach quite that level of heat, but it is wonderfully spiced nonetheless. True to standard form, it eschews coconut milk to build its velvety base. Eggplant, bell peppers and bamboo shoots all join the slices of tender meat at their ideal preparation. Chili paste, peppercorn, basil and fingerroot contribute to the depth of soothing flavor. 

The obvious catch-22 here is that a good restaurant is going to become popular, and Bangkok Degree is a good restaurant. It's only been open for about a month, and a little bit of a wait was already forming at primetime on a recent evening. Maybe it’ll even have to go full-reservations sometime soon. Until then, it’s a terrific addition to the shrinking category of reliable walk-in spots with menus worth booking in advance. 

Vitals

The Vibe: Subtly stylish and casually pretty in a welcoming environment. 

The Food: Nicely spiced with good heat across highlights like the perky papaya salad and the beef jungle curry—the mild fried quail egg wontons and the roti massaman are standout starters.

The Drinks: Thai iced tea and coffee varieties, butterfly pea lemonade, pink milk, juice and sodas. Call for present BYOB policy.  

Time Out Tip: 7th Avenue wine and liquor is around the corner, should you elect to bring your own B. 

Bangkok Degree is located at 847 Union Street and is open for lunch every day from 11:30am to 3:30pm and for dinner every day from 5pm to 9:30pm. 

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako

Details

Address:
847 Union Street
NYC
11215
Opening hours:
Daily from 11:30am to 3:30pm and 5pm to 9:30pm.
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