After a decade of success in Vermont, the BKK Bistro Thai Food + Martinis held its grand opening at 728 Loudon Road in Latham on Wednesday, July 16.
Born in Thailand and trained in the business at his brother’s restaurant in New York City, chef and owner Champ Chompupong crafted his art in the restaurants he owns and operates in Vermont. One of the reasons he has had success is that he has taken traditional dishes and toned down the spice.
“My family decided to make the move out here because we’ve had restaurants in Burlington for 10-plus years and other areas in Vermont, and they just wanted to get into a bigger market. Vermont, for a Thai market, is getting pretty saturated,” said Kata Chompupong, son of the owner.
Chompupong has been part of his father’s business since it began and helped to create the martini selection that has become a staple of the restaurant.
“There are restaurants out here that have classic cocktails like Mai Tais and stuff that are featured at the Asian restaurants, but no one features a whole list of 20 martinis,” said Chompupong.
To make traditionally spicy Thai food more appealing, Champ Chompupong has developed his own style.
“Thai fusion is a style of Thai cooking that my dad has invented. The style of cooking my dad made is made to appeal to wide variety of people and people who aren’t really open to try new things yet, and ours is an easy way to get into it and start trying it. If you make Thai food with the Thai flavor that’s more about the spice, it’s a little strong or heavy for the American palate,” said Chompupong.
The Colonie Chamber of Commerce was on hand for the opening.
“What they seem to do differently here is that they’ve westernized their restaurant, and that seems to be real popular.,” said Tom Nolte, Colonie Chamber of Commerce President.