The funny thing about the spicy mango chicken at Orchid Asian Bistro (2756 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore) is that it’s not really that spicy. At least not compared to the Thai curries elsewhere on the menu, which can be real flamethrowers at full strength.
What makes the $12 entree so popular is the delicate lick of heat in its sweet and tangy sauce. Asked what’s in it, chef-owner Brandy Dong named basil, a few kinds of chile peppers and soy sauce.
He takes chicken breast and tosses it in a little flour, then deep fries it to a light crust. Fresh-cut mango is stir-fried with the sauce, along with onion, jicama, broccoli and sugar or snow peas. All of which ends up over the chicken and out to the waiting customer.
It’s one of his most popular dishes on his menu of Thai and sushi favorites, Dong said. In the four years he’s been open, he has found customers willing to return to his place from outside Kenmore. “Most of the people come from North Tonawanda or around this area, North Buffalo,” he said.
Dong, a Chinese immigrant from Fujian province, specializes in Thai dishes and sushi because of his experience. He trained in a Maryland sushi restaurant and a New Jersey Thai restaurant before opening his own place in Kenmore.
Most of the dishes on the restaurant’s menu can have their heat levels adjusted, but not the spicy mango chicken. But don’t worry too much. “It’s pretty mild,” Dong said. “Most people can handle it.”
For more info, call 877-8880 or visit www.orchidny.com.