Thai restaurant pleases Osan crowd

Restaurant Guide

Thai restaurant pleases Osan crowd

by: Franklin Fisher | Stars and Stripes | June 01, 2012
Chang Pwuck1Cuisine: Thai
Hours: Tuesday: 11:00-21:30
Thursday: 11:00-21:30
Saturday: 11:00-21:30
: 11:00-21:30
: 11:00-21:30
Sunday: 11:00-21:30
South Korea
Phone: 031-665-3131 or 011-9942-3336

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea - Less than a minute's walk from

Osan Air Base is a Thai restaurant with a Thai kitchen staff,

English-language menus with color photos of each dish, exotic

desserts and a Southeast Asian décor that emphasizes natural wood and

traditional Thai designs.

About 80 percent of Chang Pwuck's customers are Americans, most of

them from Osan Air Base and other U.S. military communities on the

peninsula, said owner Kim Chong-pun, who uses the English name

"Catherine." The two-story restaurant is open for lunch and dinner,

from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week.

Chang Pwuck means "white elephant," Kim said, and the

décor employs an elephant motif in the form of wall hangings,

paintings and other images. The walls and ceiling are mainly in a

natural walnut-like finish. Tables and chairs are of dark brown wood.

When we dropped in for lunch the other day we found a clean, pleasant

atmosphere and polite service.

We ordered curried prawns, served with chili paste, fish sauce,

shallots, celery, egg, Thai basil leaf, ground peanuts, chilis,

coconut milk, and bamboo shoots among other ingredients, and a

separate plate of white rice. We found the meal flavorful and


Chang Pwuck's menu indicates "level of spiciness" by the number of

chili peppers that appear next to each item on the menu.

The menu offers such appetizers as spring rolls or chicken in peanut

sauce, a variety of noodle and rice dishes and special dishes like

the curried prawns we had.

But especially intriguing was the menu of Thai desserts: tapioca with

melon in coconut milk, phuak tong kheng bhuad (pumpkin with coconut

milk and brown sugar); bhua loy nga dum (black sesame seed dumplings

in ginger sauce); and khwai kay chuam (banana with sweet syrup in

coconut milk).

There are plenty of beverages on the menu - local and imported beers,

whiskey, scotch, coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

Large groups such as those holding unit hail and farewell gatherings

can be seated in the upstairs dining room, which includes a bar. For

groups larger than 20, Kim can cater a buffet.

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Franklin Fisher

Prices: Food runs from 4,000 won (about

$4.17) to 15,000 won (about $15.66); alcoholic beverages 3,000-8,000

won (about $3.13-$8.36). Nonalcoholic drinks 1,000-3,000 won (about


Specialties: Thai food, served more or less spicy at the

diner's request. Some house favorites are the seafood dishes and pad

met mamuang (stir fried chicken, pork, beef or prawns with cashew

nuts and red chili).

English menu: Yes, with color photos of each dish.

Dress: Casual.

Clientele: Bills itself as a "family restaurant." Draws

couples, small groups of friends; also large parties and functions

put on by military units.

Location: From the Osan Air Base main gate, cross the

street in the direction of the Seven Eleven convenience store, but

once across immediately face left and proceed up the sidewalk that

runs parallel to the street. Within a minute's walk you'll reach

Chang Pwuck, a beige building with white trim and a large red sign.

Phone: 031-665-3131 or 011-9942-3336

Web site: None.

Speak English: Yes