Of all the world cuisines, Thai cuisine reigns as the queen of Asian cuisine. So refined. So elegant. And they don’t typically use chopsticks as do many of their neighboring nations. With flavors that dance on your tongue—savory, sweet, spicy, sour, salty—it brilliantly blends irresistible flavor profiles. And now we have a new place to get our Thai on—right on 123 in Vienna.
Owner Bo Boonyaket and Chef and Co-owner Noom Sampach opened Burapa (which literally means ‘east’ but metaphorically suggests a fresh start or new beginning as the sun rises each morning in the east) to present a vast array of authentic and innovative Thai dishes. “We opened the first Tara Thai in this location in 2005. It changed hands for several years and now we’re back after having been in Tysons for a few years. We have come full circle. And our neighborhood following has come along with us.”
For starters, try the zesty and artistically plated Zapp Salmon Sashimi in spicy fish sauce topped with scallions and fried shallots. Or opt for flaky flavorful Chicken Curry Puffs with potatoes in puff pastry and cucumber relish. A go-to for Peggy James, President of the Vienna Business Association is the mouth-watering Burapa Duck Roll is honey roasted duck wrapped in roti, scallion, cucumber, and savory hoisin sauce. Burapa recently catered one of the official gatherings.
You don’t often encounter Blistered Shishito, pan-seared glazed in a savory sauce and topped with truffle salt, on a Thai menu. Larb Aroi is grilled slices of pork, onion, scallions, and Thai herbs in lime dressing. And don’t forget the ever-popular Larb Gai, similar ingredients but with chicken, or Num Tok with beef.
Entrées include the Famous Kaprow – your choice of meat (chicken pairs well) stir-fried in spicy Thai basil sauce, peppers, and onions served with a side of white rice. Ginger Perfect is your choice of meat (pork complements nicely) stir-fried in homemade ginger sauce with onion, scallions, and fresh ginger.
Pla Pao is a seasonal fish—in this case branzino—wrapped in banana leaves and roasted, served with homemade spicy sauce, and a side of white rice. The juxtaposition of the fresh flaky white fish with the tangy sauce is tantalizing. For a special occasion, try the signature dish Crispy Duck—half a crispy duck topped with dazzling sweet chili sauce and crispy basil leaves. An ample selection of vegetarian dishes round out the menu to cater to all tastes.
Thai diner Patricia Wilson of Chiang Mai noted that the chicken krapow was particularly flavorful. “It’s exceptional. I feel like I’m back in Thailand.” Sprinkle on extra chili flakes and drizzle on some nam prik— Thai hot chili and fish sauce—and ask for a few extra Thai basil leaves.
Unique drink selections include taro, mango, and honeydew. Don’t miss creative cocktails in the rock band Queen-themed Bo’s Rhapsody Bar, which offers intriguing Thai-inspired concoctions such as Bohemian Rhapsody— spicy lemongrass mule, honey vinegar, lime juice, and kaffir lime leaves. They also offer an impressive array of non-alcoholic beverages like We Will Rock You, blended with Ritual Zero Proof Tequila, mango, mint, lime, and jalapeño, which enhance the vibrant flavors of the delectable Thai dishes.
The vision for this venue hails from Northeastern Thailand, or E-Saan. This region has a rich history, culture, biodiversity, as well as cuisine. The presentation of classic and modern Thai cuisine is Bo’s passion. So if you’re interested in a menu with a variety that goes well beyond the usual curries and satays, be sure to add Burapa Thai to your favorite Vienna restaurant list—you won’t be disappointed you did. Welcome, Burapa. Here’s to new beginnings.
226 Maple Ave W
Vienna, VA 22180