Husband-and-wife team Chef Aulie Bunyarataphan and Proprietor Mel Oursinsiri have been changing the face of Thai food in the Washington, DC region for over two decades. The reopening of Bangkok Joe’s marks a return to Aulie’s Thai culinary roots and the introduction of a restaurant she envisioned over 20 years ago.
Bangkok Joe’s offers traditional Thai cuisine with a modern American twist. Aulie’s innovative dishes incorporate the exotic tastes and aromas of the Bangkok street food of her childhood along with the Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and even French flavors she picked up as a result of her culinary experiences in the United States. The restaurant returns with a new menu featuring many customer favorites as well new dishes that highlight traditional Thai ingredients and flavors for the adventurous diner seeking a more authentic experience.
Dumplings and buns, wontons and rolls, small plates, soup and salads, noodle and rice bowls – including our popular Fried Rice selections – are offered.
The new beginning for the restaurant is embodied by the stand alone Dumpling Bar which welcomes customers back. A dramatic red ceiling with gold embellishments wraps down from above to make the Dumpling Bar the heartbeat of the restaurant and a central focal point. Inspired by the temple Aulie’s family built three centuries ago during the time of King Rama III, the ceiling is reminiscent of the canvas-like designs found on temple ceilings throughout Thailand.
The use of bold color and repetition, a key element of Thai design, creates a powerful effect. Red, the national color of Thailand, is featured prominently. Gold accents in various shades can be seen gracing the walls, in the oval ceiling dome at the center of the restaurant and on the banquettes.
When Bangkok Joe’s opened in 2003, it was home to the first dumpling bar in the Nation’s Capital. The restaurant was originally open from 2003 – 2014.
In addition to Bangkok Joe’s, Mel and Aulie own the casually elegant T.H.A.I. in Shirlington and Tom Yum District, the first fresh casual Thai restaurant in the Washington, DC region.