When she and her husband Bob opened The King and I in 1988, Marie Phoungphol says on the restaurant's website, "No one really knew about Thai food at the time; it was a new frontier, especially here in the Midwest." Having perfected their cooking skills in several other restaurants, they set about putting the bold flavors of Thailand on Milwaukee's culinary map. They aimed for name recognition by calling it after the popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, and, more importantly, developing a few signature dishes to add to a menu of their mothers' recipes. The beloved Volcano Chicken is lightly battered, fried, and tossed with intense red sauce?house-made, like most of The King and I's sauces and curry pastes. The chicken wings are a favorite as well, their fire provided by the equally arresting Lava Sauce.
Such dishes have won The King and I the title for Best Thai on WISN-2's A-List four of the last five years. Several dishes can be spiced to order, on a one- to four-star scale that ranks from "coward" to "native Thai". But not to worry?if you go too hot, you can cool your palate with bubble tea or coconut ice cream.
When the weather's nice, diners can vie for a seat at a few sidewalk tables. It's a slightly more casual vibe than the main dining room, where ornate Thai statues flank a doorway and glass-topped white tablecloths set of dark carved wood.
Swing by Mekong Cafe in Milwaukee for your next meal.
No need to miss out on Mekong Cafe just because you are avoiding fat or gluten. The restaurant has tons of options that can accommodate your dietary needs.
Grab the kids when you head to Mekong Cafe — its family-oriented menu and ambience all perfect for the whole clan.
Mekong Cafe easily accommodates large groups — there's even a reserved room available for those extra special occasions.
Don't get stuck waiting for a table — the restaurant accepts reservations.
No suit, no problem! The dress code at laid-back Mekong Cafe is ultra casual.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Mekong Cafe also offers catering.
Guests of Mekong Cafe's W North Ave location can park their vehicles on the street.
Keeping an eye on your budget? Mekong Cafe is a perfect choice, with most meals costing less than $15.
Mekong Cafe accepts all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
You can stop by at almost any time, since Mekong Cafe offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Though its food can be fiery, the atmosphere at Mai Thai Restaurant is decidedly cool. Its photographs of serene beaches create a tropical vibe, complemented by sheer curtains billowing between tables and lights twinkling from inside strung netting. Even appetizers of coconut shrimp and crispy calamari transport diners to a scenic shoreline.
Those hoping for something spicy aren't left adrift, however. The staff increases the heat in each dish depending on what number the diner gives them on their spice scale. Those preferring milder fare can ask for a 0-spice plate, while the truly adventurous can select the maximum 4-spice option, or simply ask for their meal served inside a bottle of sriracha sauce. Flavorful curries also follow a spectrum of spiciness, from the sweet Patpong panang to the more intense Bangkok green. And house specialties employ heat in a more literal way?the volcano chicken, for example, arrives sizzling atop a bed of vegetables with plum sauce.
Milwaukee's Ee-Sane Thai Cuisine offers a traditional menu of Thai dishes in a relaxed setting.
You won't find any low-fat fare here, though, so leave some room to indulge.
Be sure to complete your meal at Ee-Sane Thai Cuisine with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
At Ee-Sane Thai Cuisine, kids of all ages are welcome.
Wear what you like when you dine at Ee-Sane Thai Cuisine — the restaurant has a chill vibe just right for casual dining.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Diners that drive to dinner will find street parking readily available at Ee-Sane Thai Cuisine's N Farwell Ave address.
Super-savers will adore the low-prices at Ee-Sane Thai Cuisine, too — meals there usually cost less than $15.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
Milwaukee's Singha Thai Restaurant offers a traditional menu of Thai dishes in a relaxed setting.
Vegan options are also available for those who avoid meat and dairy products.
Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to Singha Thai Restaurant — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks.
Get your whole crew together at Singha Thai Restaurant, offering lots of special space for larger parties.
No need for a wardrobe change when you hit Singha Thai Restaurant — it's strictly casual.
You can also grab your food to go.
For the tastes of Singha Thai Restaurant from the comfort of your next party, the restaurant also offers catering services.
Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.
A mid-priced establishment, Singha Thai Restaurant offers meals that typically cost about $30 or less.
Milwaukee's Thai-Namite offers a traditional menu of Thai dishes in a relaxed setting.
Diners who avoid fat need to be careful, though, because Thai-Namite's menu does not offer low-fat options.
Thai-Namite also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Thai-Namite, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Thai-Namite diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
Need a night in? Don't miss out on Thai-Namite's delicious food — you can carry it out to eat at home or have them deliver it straight to you.
If you're driving, be sure to take advantage of the nearby lot.
A mid-priced establishment, Thai-Namite offers meals that typically cost about $30 or less.