Our approach to your gastronomic satisfaction is to offer a unique experience that blends classic Thai cuisine with modern techniques and skills. Although Thai cuisine is widely known for its hotness, our unmatched innovation will take you to another level where a variety of tasteful flavors can be savored. At The Regent, we place great emphasis on food quality and strive to maintain continual excellence. We begin the preparation of every dish with a careful selection of high-end ingredients. Even for common ingredients found in Thai cuisine, we ensure that they are best-in-class and able to deliver on high taste expectations. Our selectiveness is also reflected in such components as higher-quality, bigger-sized seafood and more tender beef. Furthermore, these ingredients are seasoned to perfection with various exotic natural herbs and spices. We are proud to achieve great taste in all dishes without resorting to MSG or any other artificial flavor enhancements. Not only are our dishes simultaneously fresh and not bland, they offer a variety of health benefits amidst the currently health-conscious trend. They will delight and satisfy your appetite, while being neither heavy nor fattening.
Moreover, at The Regent, we do not compromise presentation for taste. You will discover that our dishes are artfully displayed, as all food components are arranged to precision to catch your eyes. Coupled with the fusion of classic and modern designs under soft candle lights, we offer a warm, relaxing, and romantic atmosphere to balance your otherwise busy lifestyle. As our display sculptures show that Thai natives are proud of their art and high craftsmanship, our food reflects these fabulously crafted items, and we hope to share with you our pride and serve as your ambassador to Thai delicacies and progressive application of the ancient Thai history.
are proud of our accomplishment and today cordially invite you to experience
a touch of our distinction, as offered by our experienced chef and high-end
cuisine, among other qualities.
Regent is uncommonly serene”
By Tom Sietsema
THAI, AND THAI AGAIN: The chunky teak chairs on the patio at 1910 18th St. NW hint at what the new business might be selling, and a whiff of the air inside -- fragrant with curry and sweet herbs -- confirms my hunch: Another Thai restaurant has landed in Washington. This one is called The Regent (202-232-1781) and this one, in a space vacated by 88 in Circle, is uncommonly serene, thanks to a collection of rich wood carvings and walls painted a soothing shade of sage. Owner Chuchart "Bobby" Kampirapang worked as a waiter and cook at the late Chef's Secret in College Park prior to opening this 100-seat restaurant late last month; he hired Saowaluk Wiyagul, a veteran of the kitchens at Busara in Washington and Thai Taste in Manassas to create the menu for the Regent. If the prices are a little higher than what you typically find at the competition, the cooking is several notches more polished. The proof is in the panang (try chicken), sweet with coconut milk and bright with kaffir lime leaves, as well as whole grilled trout stuffed with lime slices and lemongrass. Billed as a house specialty, that fish comes with a dipping sauce of julienne mango and red chilies that brings a sweat on the brow -- and keep you coming back for more.
Thai With a Twist
** (out of four stars)
THE LOUD SIZZLE preceding the arrival of my beef entree, neua krata, seems out of place in the context of the serene Regent Thai Cuisine, where the only other sounds on a slow weeknight have been gentle background music and the tinkle-tinkle of a nearby fountain. The dish sputters like beef fajitas but smells sweetly of Asian spices. A jumble of thin slices of marinated beef, snow peas and other vegetables strewn with sesame seeds, it is one of several signature dishes that set this Thai newcomer apart from the crowd. It's tasty, if a bit more expensive than what you tend to find at your typical issuer of papaya salad and drunken noodles. The Regent takes the place of 88 -- and too many other restaurants that have tried to make a go of it on a tricky part of 18th Street NW that seems to belong neither to Adams Morgan nor to Dupont Circle. Launched in July by Chuchart Kampirapang, it gets a boost from Saowaluk Wiyagul in the kitchen and an eye for detail in the dining room. This is apparent early on, with an appetizer of tom yum goong. The shrimp and mushroom soup comes framed in a handsome square-sided bowl, and its assertive flavors -- cilantro, lemon grass, red chilies -- slap my tongue around in a bid for attention. Similarly fetching are spring rolls filled with carrots, cabbage and taro root, cut on the bias and presented as fragile spears with pineapple dipping sauce. There are two high-ceilinged rooms, and both give you a sense of being far away from Washington. A small forest of handsome wood carvings and moss green walls wrap visitors in style and comfort, and the blocky teak chairs and tables underscore the Thai theme. The restaurant bears a resemblance to the nearby Rice in Logan Circle, from the soothing color palette right down to the "Green Corner" emphasizing vegetarian dishes on its bill of fare. Of the signature dishes, the standout is grilled whole trout. The fish is moist, meaty and -- thanks to slices of lemon and lime as well as lemon grass tucked inside -- also fragrant and flavorful. Presented on banana leaf, it's enhanced by a sharp dipping sauce fueled by garlic, lime juice and chilies. Pork-and-seafood dumplings are too compact, and duck is limp and cloying with its honey sauce and dry watercress. Now and then, the kitchen also oversweetens things. But the winners outnumber the lesser choices. Ordering basil fried rice, for instance, brings a glistening mound of fragrant grains stir-fried with the namesake herb, strips of red pepper, a blazing chili sauce and a choice of meat or seafood. Drunken noodles here are thick, slippery and pleasantly smoky ribbons, punched up with a similar sauce and best ordered with tender scored squid. And everything brims with style: Instead of on a plastic check tray, your bill is delivered in a sleek wooden box.
Thai tide rools on
Food: *** (out of four stars)
By AARON FLYNN
On the outskirts of Dupon Circle, a Thai new comers in mixing style and tradition with sometimes decent results. But there is room for improvement.
HOW MANY THAI restaurants does it take to screw in a light bulb? A million, if you live in DC.
These things keep cropping up like a plague of locusts or killer bees or boy bands.
Someday we will be free to go back to Chinese food or, maybe, on a wild night, Mexican. For now, Thai is king.
And at the Regent, I love the way this restaurant is decorated. On its slick premises, I took a moment to mourn my dearly departed Grille 88, the Regent's predecessor, done in apparently by a major plumbing accident and, well, a lack of customers.
The Regent, on the other hand, seems to be constantly alive with patrons and, as best I could tell, is free of leaks, floods and related problems. It is, in fact, quite pleasant inside — warm greens and browns, clunky teak furniture, a tasteful bar, and a delightful wooden house that pleases the latent sissy in me that always wanted a dollhouse.
FOR THE MOST part, expect what Thai restaurants always have on the menu, but the Regent does turn up the heat on the competition with a few novelties and skillful preparation of the classics. Appetizer-wise, I can tell you I am a kanom jeeb expert, and the Regent's version is among my top three fave picks. These steamed dumplings, stuffed with chicken, shrimp, water chestnuts, garlic, and peppers can, remarkably, be cooked with no flavor at all, but not so here.
The chicken satay is nice as well, with rich, creamy curry sauce livening things up. And lest I forget, the Num Tok salad — greens, herbs, onions, and grilled steak in an acidic, sweet dressing (not sweet and sour, I promise) — is refreshing.
A notable exception at the Regent is the Phi Phi Island. This shrimp, scallop and crabmeat platter didn't taste as fresh as one might hope and really wasn't a cohesive concept on the plate.
Other options, though, are surprising and really quite good. The lamb is lean, light and flavorful, as is the honey duck.
The Regent's dessert options are limited, although expansion is promised. There were ice creams available but more notable was the mango and sticky rice. Granted, one good batch of mangoes could completely throw off any objective evaluation here, but if there's any kind of consistency about this at the Regent, you're in for a treat.
Appetizers range from $5 to $8, entrees from $14 to $20, and desserts are $6.