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“I've been hooked since opening week. Sometimes going 3-4x a week.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Basil Cafe

Basil Cafe
1513 Richmond St, Appleton, WI 54914
+1 920-830-6741
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Ranked #6 of 316 Restaurants in Appleton
Price range: $5 - $18
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“I've been hooked since opening week. Sometimes going 3-4x a week.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

This is seriously my favorite restaurant. The food is fresh, vibrant and so flavorful! Authentic Asian food with a twist of style unlike any other in Appleton.

Not only is the food over the top good, but the staff are all warm, welcoming and helpful. The artwork on the walls (some of it by the brilliant artist Chad Brady) along with other inviting touches give the inside of this restaurant a great ambiance.

Some of my favorite things on this menu are:
Appetizers: Calamari, crab rangoons (best ever) and egg rolls
Favorite dishes: Masaman, green curry, garlic & veggie, pho, Thai papaya salad, Lotus salad, broccoli dish, and more
For dessert, you cannot miss the warm, gooey and decadent Mango Sticky Rice. A newer dessert is the fried bananas with Nutella.

It was once the best hidden secret, but the secret is getting out.....as it should.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
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    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“You can Taste the Freshness”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

I have travelled the world (including months in Thailand).... One thing I can clearly say about Basil Cafe....You can taste the freshness. If have had great meals on 6 continents. The thing that is in common... You can taste the freshness.

One my favorite places to each in Appleton.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Basil Cafe is one of the best restaurants in the Appleton area!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

I eat at Basil Cafe regularly, from a few times a month to a few times a week depending on my schedule. They are absolutely amazing from the food to the service, and consistent. I've never had a bad meal or bad service. Larry and his team do an exceptional job. Do yourself a favor and go, you won't be disappointed. I consider myself a foodie, and this restaurant is high on our list! My hubby always has the Spicy Basil - extra spicy. The Kow Boon soup is amazing, and any of the noodle dishes are wonderful - my favorite is the Pad Kee Mao. If you want to try something different, don't pass up the crepe appetizer! And treat yourself to mango sticky rice at the end of your amazing meal!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Don't bother. Horrible food - not authentic. Go to Taste of Thai instead”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

I don't consider a dish that contained what is known as frozen vegetable 'California mix' - broccoli, cauliflower, carrots - authentic Asian. My dish was described as a 'noodle' dish. It came with literally four noodles, lots of weak sauce, and those 'authentic' frozen California mix veggies. My impression of diners in this area is they might not know what authentic ethnic food should taste and look like. Perhaps my experience was a fluke but I find it hard to believe that for that one day, they 'goofed' and used frozen cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_BasilCafe, Owner at Basil Cafe, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Firstly, we would like to apologize to the reviewer, and express our disappointment that the reviewer did not enjoy their dining experience with us. Additionally we thank the reviewer for their input, and we value all opinions, good or bad, regarding our establishment and always take comments and reviews to heart. Basil Café is a small family owned and operated restaurant. Not a chain, not a franchise, but owned and operated by a family that is 100% Asian. As the owners, we are here at our restaurant every hour that it is open and many hours before and after service like many of the other family owned restaurants here in the Fox Valley and all over the world. We don't claim to be perfect, because we most certainly are not; however this is the first time we've ever heard this allegation of us using a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, down to a specific brand. We really wish the reviewer would have said something to their server or to us directly during their time dining with us. We would have done whatever we possibly could have done to rectify the situation, if the dish were truly cold or arrived with an extreme lack of noodles, which the reviewer claims.

We would love to know specifically which noodle dish the reviewer refers to in their review. If it was one of our Stir Fried Noodle dishes, we find it very difficult to believe, and quite hyperbolic to say, that the dish left our kitchen and arrived on the table with only 4 noodles on the plate accompanied by what the reviewer claims to be frozen mixed vegetables. Especially if it was a stir fried noodle dish, where noodles are the main ingredient (guests more than usually ask to take home their leftovers for dishes like the Pad Thai, Laad Na, and Mee Krob because of how much food and noodles are served); however because the reviewer never said anything during their time with us, and opted instead to write this review and another similar review on another review website (It has since been moved to "Not Recommended" or "Filtered" Reviews ), it really leaves us no option but to respond back using the same mediums.

With all of that said, we would like to make some clarifications for other potential guests who may have never dined with us before or would eventually like to dine with us. We can say with an undeniable 100% guarantee, that none of our vegetables are frozen, have ever been frozen, or will ever be frozen, or come out of some bag of mixed vegetables. We buy all of our vegetables fresh and individually from our distributors. We then cut and prep them daily and store them before we blanch them first and cook them again immediately upon our guests' order. All of our dishes are cooked and made to order, from scratch, with an immense amount of love and pride for what we do and we're so grateful to be able to cook authentic Vietnamese, Thai, and Lao food for the Fox Valley community.

The reviewer claims that our mixed vegetable assortment is some bagged frozen "California Mix" of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. We honestly have no idea what that is. Our mixed vegetables (what comes in every order that asks for mixed vegetables, unless stated otherwise) consist of: Broccoli, Chinese Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, and Carrots. Our carrots are actually hand shredded/peeled to give them the ridged edges that the have, and are then cut into circular disks. All of our cauliflower, onions, broccoli, and Chinese broccoli are cut by hand, and because we believe in as little waste as possible, we use as much of the broccoli and Chinese broccoli's stalk as we can. Furthermore, the majority of our Asian vegetables, Thai Basil, Bean Sprouts, Cilantro are purchased fresh daily to insure the freshest possible quality before being cooked and/or served. None of these are purchased frozen, or are ever frozen before they get cooked and served to our guests. We would be going against our own mission statement, which is, "Fresh, Flavorful, Authentic & Homemade Asian Cuisine, at an Affordable price, in a Clean, Welcoming, and Modern Ambience" by serving frozen mixed vegetables out of a bag.

Because the reviewer made these claims, which we feel is a very inaccurate representation of our establishment and what we as restaurant owners stand for, there are also videos which we just posted showing that our vegetables are cut and prepped fresh daily. These videos, which we took and posted on one of our social media pages, were made to also prove to the reviewer and to all of our current and future guests that we do not serve a frozen vegetable mix out of a bag. We find it necessary to reiterate that all of our vegetables are cut, and prepped fresh daily by hand, by one of our three hard working chefs.

The reviewer goes further and claims that there is a lack of authenticity to our dishes and names other restaurants to be much more authentic than ours. While that can be somewhat subjective depending on what type of Asian Cuisine you're referring to and what your palate enjoys, we are extremely proud of our family recipes. Additionally, they also claim that with whatever dish they ordered, the sauce was "weak." While we're not quite sure what is meant by "weak" we feel that we offer a wide range of dishes to meet the needs and tastes of the many different palates. And again, we truly wish the reviewer would have said something while they were still at our restaurant eating as we would have helped them find something else they would have enjoyed and done whatever we could have done at the time to rectify the situation and make sure the reviewer left more satisfied or pleased than they did.

Additionally, because the reviewer states that they are Asian, and claims that our food is inauthentic we feel the need to say that we, the owners, are also 100% Asian. Refugees from Lao, who came to the states and started life over in 1983; fleeing the war-torn country of Lao and living in a Thai Refugee Camp for 3 years, before arriving in Oshkosh, WI with nothing but the clothes on our backs in the middle of October, like many other refugees. We feel as though our dishes are as authentic as we are Asian, but also presented and served in a way that allows for a wider audience to be able to enjoy dishes we love and grew up eating and cooking in our own home. From the Vietnamese Crepe, to the Papaya Salads, to the sauce of our Pad Thai, and the style noodles we use and how we cook these noodles for the Pad See Eew, Pad Kee Mao, and Laad Na, to the time and effort we take to cook our Phó and our Kow Boon broth, we feel dining at Basil Café is essentially dining in our home. Nothing comes out of a box, everything is made from scratch, and made to order for each and every individual that dines in or does take-out.

And while our response is not meant to belittle the reviewer's dining experience, we feel the extreme need to clarify the allegations and claims the reviewer makes because we feel it is truly an inaccurate representation of our restaurant and of us as proprietors. We definitely are not perfect, we are human and prone to make mistakes, but we strive to do our absolute best every single day and we work extremely hard to execute the pillars of our Mission Statement, daily. We really wish the reviewer would have talked to us or their server, instead of coming on the internet first and making some extreme claims that are just completely and factually inaccurate.

We are so thankful and grateful to be a part of such an amazing and growing community and especially to all of our guests for their continued support and encouragement over the past 2.5 years and for welcoming us with open arms. Appleton and the Fox Valley has grown tremendously in the past few years and people are becoming more adventurous and wanting to try new and different styles of cuisine. We feel that the Fox Valley may not be at the forefront of the current cuisine/food movement, but the community is much more savvy and well traveled than the reviewer claims. And we invite guests who have not dined with us to please come and experience all that we have to offer.


-Larry Chomsisengphet
Owner/General Manager, Basil Café
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazing "Date Night" Meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

This was our second time to Basil Café. My wife and I decided it would be a great place to go for one of the few "date nights" we have away from our kids. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. For appetizers we had the Spring Rolls and Crispy Calamari- both excellent. For entrees, we had the Green Chicken Curry and the Pad Kee Mao. Again both were really great. In fact, I'm looking forward to having the left overs for lunch today!

The owner also came out to talk to us about the dishes and the flavors. A very friendly and genuine person. Our waiter was also very nice and the food came out quickly.

Overall, A+ night for us. We will be back soon...

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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