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Thai food in Edmonton

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  • brookmonton Dec 3, 2004 12:03 AM
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Is there a truly unapologetic Thai restaurant in Edmonton? I mean a place that is not afraid to use so much fine shrimp sauce that you cannot escape the odour? Philippine restaurants that use alamang do not count.

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  1. There is Bua Thai on Jasper Avenue downtown. Next to a large church, I think it is on 13th and Jasper Ave. Cannot comment specifically on the shrimp sauce, but has the best coconut rice and an amazing chicken and chili dish with cashews (#44?). Good luck.

    10 Replies
    1. re: phattummy

      Now there is a coincidence. My question was prompted in large part by the completely unacceptable meal I had at Bua Thai the last time I was in Edmonton. Their food was dumbed down and so inauthentic that it was more like takeout Chinese food than Thai. Let me ask my question another way: is there a regional Thai restaurant in Edmonton? Any region will do.

      1. re: brookmonton
        b
        Bob Macdonald

        sorry that I cannot assist...there are a lot of spots in Edmonton that advertise themselves to be Thai but in the end except for the occasional course I would be hard pressed to differentiate between it and what I customarily associate to be "Chinese"..Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechwuan...the debate begins.

        Unlike many Albertans I have not been to Thailand so would not be able to differentiate styles of Thai cuisine.

        Many people here rave about "The King and I"...I have never had an extraordinary meal there and like you after your last visit to Ban Thai thought that I had merely been at any one of the many Chinese-Thai-Indonesian-Vietnamese-Japanese combos that dot our culianry landscape.

        Do not misunderstand. I appreciate that all of those cuisines are distinct. However, at least here it is common to have all of the above and add Korean to the menu.

        If you do find one, please post as I would like to give it a try.

        1. re: Bob Macdonald

          If you want authentic regional Thai, try out the Krua Wilai on 106 st and 99 Ave.

          I haven't been there for a little while so please phone ahead to confirm their address and hours (to be honest I am not even sure if it is still around)

          There is also a very yummy Thai restaurant called Suko Thai on 104 Ave and 113 st.

          But my favorite is the Pad Thai on Whyte avenue (I don't think it would be "authentic" enough for you)

          Good Luck

          1. re: Arch

            Thank you, all of you, for your helpful posts. Arch, actually I'm not "that" much of a food snob, although I couldn't prove it by my posts on this tread. I don't mind a plate of sorta Thai, sorta Japanese, sorta Korean Chow Mein (Chow Mein with kimchee; that would be okay right about now.)as long as it's a good plate. But that sort of food is easy enough to find in Edmonton and most other places. What I'm hoping to do is to treat some friends and family to some of the flavours I am used to here in NYC. And, as easy going as Canadian Customs officials are, I cannot bring a mini larder across the border. Now the Edmonchuck I grew up in was a place where you could find just about anything if you knew where to look for it. I'm starting to worry that Edmonton might actually be a less interesting food town than it was 15 years ago. I guess I'll see soon enough. Again, thanks to all.

            1. re: brookmonton
              r
              RaspberrySour

              I ate at a place called 'California Grill', bottom of the hill near the Muttart Conservatory, a few years ago. It's run by a Canadian and his Thai wife and kids. But I ate there before travelling to Thailand and I've been suffering for good Thai food (even the Thai I ate in Taiwan!) ever since. And I'm in Toronto, still hungering.

              Let us know if you found a decent place I can send my parents to.

              1. re: RaspberrySour

                You likely mean the Thai Valley Grill, It has re-opened in the southside , in the whitemud crossing shopping strip

            2. re: Arch

              I find it odd that Pad Thai is your favorite. After trying several other Thai restaurants, I found that the Pad Thai was a little overpriced for it's quality. I can't say, so far, that any one of their dishes that i have also tried elsewhere has been better at the Pad Thai. There is far better Thai food in Edmonton. I even gave it another shot, just to see, if my initial impression stood. It did. Now, I will say this, if I had not eaten Thai food elsewhere, I would be perfectly happy with Pad Thai But since that isn't the case, I find it last on my list of Thai restaurants. One place I really do like, and have not seen mentioned here yet, is the Thai Orchid. I'm not sure if it's my favorite or not, but it's relatively small, family owned, is fairly priced, and has EXCELLENT food. They have a pandan chicken that ranks about ten levels above the pandan chicken at Pad Thai. I couldn't believe they were the same dish.
              I have been wanting to try Suko Thai, but since the fella above me enjoys Pad Thai more that that place, I may not try it now.
              But I certainly will try Syphay.

          2. re: brookmonton

            Most of the Thai restaurents in Edmonton (probably about a dozen of them) serve generic Thai food. Edmonton is not a big city (about 1 million people counting the greater Edmonton region).

            I am not too familiar with Thai food myself, but I believe most of them serve a lot of "saucy" southern Thai dishes. The one restaurent that has a few nrothern dishes (such as Nam Prik Ong, Gai Yang?) is the Birthday Cake Cafe in downtown Edmonton by the China gate (102 Ave and between 96&97 Street). It has a funny name because it used to be a bakery cafe selling birthday cake.

            The other one I usually go to is the Pad Thai on 82 Avenue between 102&103 Street.

            Although the "King & I" is the most "famous" in Edmonton, I believe it is way over-priced: they serve basically the same food as many other Thai restaurents but the price is twice as much.

            1. re: John

              I would agree with the 'way over-priced' comment regarding The King & I, but disagree that it's the same food as other Thai restaurants. I would say , out of all the Thai places i have been so far in Edmonton, this one sucked big time. Not only was it way over-priced, but the food was actually gross, and was nothing like what I was expecting due to my other experiences. Their curries were good, but 2-3 times costlier than other places, and their Tom kha Gai (or was it tom kha kai) soup was excellent, but once again, it was almost twice the cost. Everything else I tried tasted as though it came out of a bag. And it didn't taste thai. I was very disappointed. Even the coconut rice wasn't as good and althought he cost was the same, it was for half the portion size, so really was 2x the cost to get the same amount. i had been disappointed with PadThai, but not so much that i would never go back. But with the King & I, I will NEVER go back. There is absolutely no reason why I would. I will say this for them, the service was quick. but it was also way over-crowded. i have never eaten in a tin can before and didn't really enjoy it. And WHY was it so crowded? I'm inclinded to think that the poor people who go there have never had the chance toenjoy real thai food and therefore just don't know what they're missing. Just becasue something is expensive does NOT make it better. It was the worst thai food experience i have had yet.

            2. re: brookmonton

              The Bua Thai Restaurant proved to be unacceptable not only with food, but with service tonight. The server was surly and the experience was not worth the 64.00 bill (for two).

          3. Boualong Laos & Thai Cuisine
            780-423-4207
            10669 97 Street NW,
            Edmonton, AB T5H 2L7

            they do amazing thai very similar to what you'd find ain a back lane stall in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. the place looks like it too, small, cramped, impossible to find a table. but well worth it.

            Link: http://www.lexculinaria.com

            1. The Syphay at Calgary Trail and 60th ave has excellent food at very reasonable prices. According to my wife who was in Thailand the food is very authentic. The style of the restaurant may be a little drab but the food more than makes up for it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Mobius

                There is a hole in the wall on 97th street , south of the Lucky 97th supermarket called Bualong (?), 6 tables and a husband an wife cooking on a four burner stove- a clean and honest kitchen, nothing "faddy" about them but good unpretentious food prepared with care. (there,our little secret is out)-Cash only

                1. re: felix the hound

                  I wholeheartedly second that vote for Boualong! It's tiny and doesn't look like much but is definitely the best Thai food I've had to date without going there.

                2. re: Mobius

                  I was at the Syphay last month (was going to Tropika, but decided to try someplace new at the last minute). The food was good and it felt like thai home cooking, although I have never been to Thailand so what do I know! The waitress said that a lot of the menu was from Laos.

                  1. re: Mobius

                    Last night we had dinner at the Syphay for the first time. We ordered a soup, a salad, a Yum, Pad Thai, and a curry, and they were all excellent (although the soup was a bit sweeter than what I have come to expect in a “Tom Yum Gung”) If they are capable of doing this consistently, we will have to choose between Bualong and the Syphay when going out for Thai. A good dilemma to have…

                  2. Londonderry mall has a thai express, its not a sit down fine cuisine expensive restaurant, but its decent fast food a la thai. for a short lunch break its worth the taste.

                    1. For an authentic Thai experience try Syphay Restaurant. It is Thai and Laos cuisine, and compares to what I had in Asia about 3 years ago. The dishes are excellent and the service unintrusive, as Thai is generally. I have tried most of the Thai places in Edmonton, and my friends and I agree that Syphay is the best yet. Try the Tom Yum Gai, it is superb.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sunnygaye

                        Location of Syphay ?

                        1. re: Magnapro

                          6010 104 Street, next to the Tropika on Calgary Trail.

                        2. re: sunnygaye

                          I haven't been on this site in a while but I needed to add my vote for the Syphay Restaurant. It is authentic, family owned and operated and reasonably priced. Although it is not very chic, it is cozy, comfortable and clean. The "black/purple" sticky rice with mango and ice cream is an amazingly tasty dessert. I am pretty sure they use strips of fresh coconut in the rice. Excellent service and surprisingly consistent. Since I discovered this restaurant I haven't really been going to The Pad Thai (I have to admit the ambience is better at The Pad Thai).

                        3. I do have a question regarding Thai...can someone point me toward a grocery store that sells authentic ingredients and is supplied year round? Many of the places I try are out of stock of the basic fresh spices and produce. As well as being very over priced. Please post if you know of a good store with fresh ingredients and reasonable prices.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sunnygaye

                            Lucky 97 in Chinatown has decent fresh galangal, Thai basil etc year-round and cheap too.

                          2. Hi, I would like to recomend a very nice Restaurant:

                            Boualong Laos & Thai Cuisine:
                            780-423-4207
                            10669 97 St NW
                            Edmonton, AB T5H 2L7, CA

                            Everything is fresh... prepared from scratch, the owners work directly for you... It's a couple... He helps to cook (he prepares the coconut rice) and prepare the drinks... and she is the formal chef...

                            Please, go and try treir food... They are also very friendly... I discovered that place like 2 years ago and I still can say that is one of the best thai food I've ever had...

                            It's a very small place, just 6 tables, four persons per table... It's in not a fancy place...they only accept cash...

                            Try it... Then come and leave your comments about this place...

                            See ya.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: VenezuelanFreedom

                              A friend and I checked out Boualong last Thursday - it was excellent. We had salad rolls (with a delicious peanut sauce), a green curry with shrimp, and a dish with chicken, peppers and straw mushroom (don't recall its name). Everything was very well presented, and extremely tasty. The bill, including tip, was just over $30 (we had water to drink - quite a lot of it because the level of spice was high enough to make me very happy). I will be directing more people to go to Boualong.

                              I tried the Syphay last year and recall it being very good as well - now that I live in St. Albert rather than on Whyte Ave, it's been awhile since I've been down that way. I think that in a head to head the Syphay would fare well against Boualong.

                            2. Hello! Ate at the Buoalong Thai and laos restaurant today. Very fresh and tasty as others on this forum have indicated. Would like to go again now that we know where it is and what the menu is etc. The man waiting on us who I persume is the owner said that number 16 and 14 are the most popular, but our menus were already taken and we had already ordered. What we ended up with were the shrimp and chicken yum as well as a chicken, jalepeno, ginger stir fry. Very spicy but tasty. Thanks for the suggestions from this forum.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: happyeats

                                A friend recently took us to Buoalong and we loved it. We had an excellent whitefish green curry - it was really lovely. Very nice coconut rice, and a very good chicken and shrimp noodle dish. Nice fresh salad rolls with homemade sauce.
                                It is tiny tiny (I think it's tucked under the stairs of another building...) and perhaps a bit sketchy looking, but the food was excellent, service attentive and quick. A very authentic experience.

                              2. I really like Thai Valley Grill in Whitemud Crossing. It is located just off the Whitemud fwy near Southgate mall. I ate there a couple of weeks ago for the first time. The food was attractively prepared, tasted great and the service was excellent. I'm not sure but I think it is owned and operated by a husband and wife team. I told them I would be back soon and I would bring friends!

                                1. A fantastic, relatively new Thai and Laos restautant that hasn't been mentioned yet:
                                  Viphalay on the corner of 95 St and 107a Ave. Run by a young, Thai art student and her family. Great service, decent atmosphere, mixed crowd, heavenly curry.

                                  The green curry is the best I've had. I am, however, new to the city and haven't tried Boualong.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: popil

                                    Thanks for the heads up. Wish these places weren't so far away from where I live but them's the breaks.

                                    Boualong is definitely worth a shot - lovely people running it, and delicious dishes.

                                    1. re: Sylv F

                                      Just went to Syphay, which is convenient because we are perpetually on the south side. I ordered our Thai-test-out menu (always pad thai, green chicken, red curry, plus one thing else). Just sniffing the takeaway packet I could tell I was about to break a year long drought of good thai food (since I moved to Ed from australia). The green chicken curry was limey, sweet, and creamy just as I like it. It wasnt as hot as I usually take it but we also had the red beef curry, which was hot and salty, a perfect contrast to the green. But with both of them the chicken/beef was a bit not-tasty - it's all about the sauce so next time I probably will forgo protein (although tofu in the green would be nice). I must mention that we had the Larb Gai (minced chicken salad) and it was refreshing and hot (as requested). Pad thai was just a side dish - good but not the star. Could have done with a lime segment to squeeze on. The meal left us with a warm after-glow on our tounge, with the lime and cilantro lingering. Sigh...
                                      Also recommended, if you are just getting takeaway, is a stroll 2 blocks south to Bin 104 to pick up a six pack of Pils Czech style pilsner, it goes nicely with the thai food. And the timing was perfect, plus you get some steps in!

                                      1. re: Tippolina

                                        I was in Edmonton for a conference and wanted to find a good Thai place in town. Based on the recs here, I made it over to Syphay. Spring rolls were good, mixed seafood (scallops, shrimp, mussels, and squid) with onions, mushrooms, red and green peppers, and yellow curry sauce was fantastic. Had it over coconut rice. The sweet and spicy flavors worked really nicely. Didn't have room for it, but had to try the purple sticky rice with mango and vanilla ice cream. Couldn't stop eating it. I wasn't looking forward to traveling to Edmonton. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can get back. My only regret was not having a spare stomach so I could go for round two. May try to get back in for lunch before I have to leave tomorrow. Thanks to all for taking the time to recommend the joint.

                                        1. re: Tippolina

                                          I was going to take friends out to an Indian restaurant as my friend was visiting from India and it was her husband's first time in Canada. However, they said they loved to try different foods, so I made a decision to try Syphay because of recs from both this board and friends. My friends had never had Thai food before and they thought it was fantastic. Plus, because of our friends, we had asked that the spice level not be lowered. The friend's husband, after chomping happily on those green chilis in a pad dish, said it was one of the most spicy dishes he had ever had. We will definitely go back.

                                    2. If Bualong and Syphay are not an option you should consider Viphalay. An accidental chef supported by members of her family delivers impeccable food and service at reasonable prices in a comfortable room in a small strip mall in the border between little italy and the oriental area of town. ( southwest corner of 95th and 107th Ave)

                                      1. Unusually for us we've been in Edmonton a couple of weeks in a row and ate at both Tropika and Syphay. We were headed to Syphay the first time but they were closed for holidays so slid in next door.

                                        The pad that is definitely better at Syphay but the peanut sauce was way better at Tropika. I like my peanut sauce chunky and served generously. Syphay's was smooth and a small. The chicken kabobs at Syphay were also very bland even though the pork and beef were well seasoned. The Syphay massaman curry was excellent. Good place but get your peanut sauce next door.