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Bangkok Garden re-opening...finally!

sierramum Nov 15, 2006 02:18 PM

After being closed for a year and a half (due to the extensive renovations to the Elmwood Spa), Bangkok Garden is finally going to open their doors this Friday, November 17. I'm so freakin' happy!!!

They claim that they have returned to their authentic Thai roots which is reflected in the new menu. "Large portions of the menu will be comprised of our original dishes from the eighties."

The chef, William Thetsombandith, was part of the original team of chefs at Bangkok Garden.

They say the highlights of their new menu are classic curries like pineapple shrimp with curry, warrior's beef curry, and emeral curry of chicken. But what makes me happiest is the noodle bar! I missed that so much. Very street foodish, IMO.

Anyway, can't wait to try them out again. We'll try to go this Saturday. I'll review after! :-)

  1. d
    downtown Dec 12, 2006 12:47 PM

    A friend told me that they went to the downstairs to the lunch spot, which is now back, and the soup is up over $11 now - for takeout that is a bit steep.

    1 Reply
    1. re: downtown
      d
      downtown Jan 15, 2007 04:53 PM

      I need to correct my post from Dec. The downstairs lunch spot is not back, but you can get takeout soup upstairs. Maybe that is why the price is (reportedly) so high.

    2. w
      wordsworth Dec 12, 2006 12:04 PM

      Why would anyone want to go there and pay almost twice what it cost for a typical Thai retaurant? It's good, but not exceptional.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wordsworth
        wasabi_girl Dec 12, 2006 08:41 PM

        I guess you didn't read my last line...'food, atmosphere and service'...that's why people go to Bangkok Garden and pay almost twice the price of other Thai places.

      2. wasabi_girl Dec 12, 2006 07:50 AM

        Just went to Bangkok Garden last week after a long absence. Actually, I was living in another country for the last few years and therefore didn't even know they were closed for renovations.

        The first time I went to BG was in the early 90's when there was only a handful of Thai restaurants in the city. That first time left a lasting memory in my mind of yummy curries, fluffy Jasmine rice and a particularly delicious 'Festival Noodle', a creamy curry soup filled with soft noodles and various toppings! And did I mention, the amazing peanut sauce that accompanies the satays?

        This recent visit - I had the appetizer platter, lemon grass cornish hen, mango salad and tamarind beef curry. Unfortunately they don't have the Festival Noodles that I was hoping to have. All the food was delicious and the Jasmine rice was as good as I remembered. I asked our waitress how it was cooked and she told me that they steamed their rice rather than cooking it in a rice cooker or in a pot over the stove. No wonder the rice is so soft and fluffy!

        Since returning to Toronto, I had my Thai craving fixes at Golden Thai, Linda and Young Thailand. All were very disappointing! Golden Thai served room temperature glass noodles that stuck together in big clumps. Linda was over-priced for the small portions they served. And Young Thailand gave our table a mango salad with undissolved lumps of granular sugar in the salad.

        Even though BG is a little more expensive than the restaurants I mentioned, the food, atmosphere and service is so much better and worth every cent.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wasabi_girl
          p
          prairie_dog Jan 15, 2007 04:30 PM

          My experiences at Linda have always been positive, sometimes marvellously so. For a meal with several courses, the proportions should,not be any larger. Linda serves inventive dishes that you don't get anywhere else.

          1. re: prairie_dog
            estufarian Jan 16, 2007 03:47 PM

            I used to love Bangkok Garden - but Linda's is more creative - and FAR cheaper. The smoked duck breast in red curry is phenomenal. Their cornish hen is my favourite in the city (including ALL restaurant styles) and the 'wasabi salt' is an amazing condiment.
            OK I don't like their version of foie gras - but what other Thai place even tries something like that. And we now have to order a serving each of the soft-shell crab to maintain dining accord!
            And they serve all the 'standard' Thai dishes too.
            Just please don't go on my favourite nights!

        2. sierramum Nov 18, 2006 11:56 PM

          Well, thanks to an undependable stepdaughter, who arrived an hour late to watch her little sibs, hubby and I *just* missed the blessing ceremony and buffet lunch. :-( However, the noodle bar ladies were still set up so at least I was able to grab myself a nice hot bowl of street style soup with egg noodles, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, sugar, black pepper, (extra) hot peppers, extra coriander, and fish balls! My soul was so soothed by this badly missed dish! It was just as yummy delicious as I remembered. The management was very nice to us in suggesting that we could just order off the menu but that seemed very obtrusive, especially since the other guests were starting to leave. (However, I was also able to snag a little plate of mango salad too, yum!) As we were leaving, I spoke to the manager, who confirmed that yes, the buffet lunch will be back (Mon-Fri only) and they'll be open Saturdays for dinner. They close on Sundays. And as The Berserker noted, the little lunch spot is gone, as the Elmwood Spa has expanded to that space.

          A good friend of mine will be coming back to T.O. on Wednesday from N.B. so I'll see if I can convince her to come for lunch there with me.

          1. h
            hungryabbey Nov 18, 2006 07:13 PM

            Theyve got their menu up and running again, which gives you a little bit of info (apparently the noodle bar is back)
            http://www.bangkokgarden.ca

            2 Replies
            1. re: hungryabbey
              xtal Nov 18, 2006 10:46 PM

              Great news! I love that soup bar.

              1. re: xtal
                h
                hungryabbey Nov 18, 2006 11:00 PM

                I have never been , can someone explain the concept to me?

            2. TorontoJo Nov 18, 2006 07:09 PM

              The Star mentions the re-opening in today's paper. The lunch buffet is indeed returning for $14.95.

              http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Cont...

              1. NovoCuisine Nov 18, 2006 01:17 PM

                Good news. Was one of the best Thai meals I've had in the city.

                3 Replies
                1. re: NovoCuisine
                  s
                  sangii77 Nov 18, 2006 02:18 PM

                  whats the price point like?

                  1. re: sangii77
                    NovoCuisine Nov 18, 2006 02:32 PM

                    I went as a gift - couples massage at the Spa, then prix fixe dinner at Bangkok Garden. I do remember glancing at the real menu as I left and it was the priciest Thai I have ever come across; $25+ for an entree if memory serves.

                    1. re: NovoCuisine
                      t
                      The Berserker Nov 18, 2006 05:07 PM

                      Yes, it was $25+ for an entree like pad thai. There were too many other options in the 'hood for that price point to be viable. Supposedly the prices will be lower when it reopens.

                2. t
                  The Berserker Nov 18, 2006 02:50 AM

                  Update, circa 4:30 pm, Friday. Still not open, and entrance still plastered with building permits. No opening date posted at the entrance.

                  I think it's safe to say that the more casual dine-in/take-out spot is gone, much to my dismay.

                  I look forward to the reviews, once it's open.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: The Berserker
                    sierramum Nov 18, 2006 12:48 PM

                    Wow. That's weird. I guess maybe there was some snafu they had to deal with (Think Opening Soon, lol. Aren't there always opening day delays on that show?). Hubby and I will be there for lunch this afternoon, so I hope they've got everything dealt with.

                  2. h
                    hungryabbey Nov 15, 2006 11:06 PM

                    what are the prices like at Bangkok.. theyre website still says they are not open and doesnt have a menu or anything on it..

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hungryabbey
                      t
                      The Berserker Nov 15, 2006 11:18 PM

                      The restaurant was one of the more expensive Thai restaurants in Toronto. The lunch spot was reasonably priced: I don't recall ever spending more than $10.00 for lunch there.

                      1. re: The Berserker
                        koknia Nov 16, 2006 03:02 AM

                        When I worked in Bangkok I had a Thai colleague who talked about this place. He had been taken there on a biz trip and said it was great. High praise indeed!

                    2. xtal Nov 15, 2006 09:37 PM

                      That soup station was absolutely delicious. My favourite part of the whole experience.

                      1. sierramum Nov 15, 2006 08:11 PM

                        I have no confirmation on whether the lunch spot will be re-opening or if they'll still offer the lunch buffet. Due to the renovation, I'm not even sure if the lunch place is still there. I'll find out on Saturday. I'm assuming the lunch buffet would still be a go, I'm sure they made a lot of money on that. Once again, I'll confirm that on Sat.

                        TorontoJo: I used to work at Yonge/College and my coworkers & I would often walk down to Elm Street for the buffet. Generally though, the only thing I would eat was the noodle soup; frequently going up for refills 4 or 5 times, rofl! But hey, at least I changed my ingredient choices every so often. :-)

                        1. xtal Nov 15, 2006 07:11 PM

                          Any word on whether their fantastic lunch buffet of several years ago will return?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: xtal
                            TorontoJo Nov 15, 2006 07:35 PM

                            Yum... many years ago I worked in the Atrium on Bay and the buffet at Bangkok Garden was one of my favourite lunches, particularly because of the wonderful street noodle soup station. The soup lady was such a sweet woman and I loved chatting with her as she made my soup to order. I still think about that soup every now and then.

                          2. t
                            tartetatin Nov 15, 2006 05:04 PM

                            good news, do you know if the little lunch spot downstairs, noodles, soup bar and take-out will be re-opening as well?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tartetatin
                              t
                              The Berserker Nov 15, 2006 11:03 PM

                              Unfortunately, I think the lunch spot is gone, judging from what I can see through the doors. It looks like there's only one entrance, and right inside the entrance is a staircase to the upper floor.

                              I miss that soup....

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