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Jan 27, 2007 07:25 PM

Thai Sun -- Waterloo

Given the limited dining options, it’s always exciting when a new restaurant opens up in Waterloo. So imagine my excitement when Thai Sun finally opened this month after more than six months of construction.

So here we are on a Saturday night at 6:30 (people eat early here) and we expected to find long lines. But to our surprise we were seated right away and given their temporary menu. First impression, thank goodness it was a temporary menu. Portions were blurry, additional items were added by hand and there were typos!

Our waiter, who only had three tables to worry about, finally got to us after five minutes and took our order for green tea. Apparently this was an unexpected order and they had to boil the water for our tea bags. After ten minutes he came back with the tea and took our order.

We decided to share the lightly coated calamari and the mango salad to start. We received four calamari (not the usual rings) that were thickly coated and fried until they were dark brown and rubbery. The mango salad was overwhelmed by the fish sauce.

We continued to wait for our main entrees and after about an hour after arriving and a few enquiries, we finally received our pad thai. Mine with shrimp and his with chicken. The addition of the shrimp and chicken were very frugal and my shrimp were even cold. As for the taste, I found it to be decent, DH found it bland. I was just glad it wasn’t ketchup.

After observing what was happening at other tables, slow and unorganized kitchen service seemed to be the theme. Food was coming out at different rates, with people at the same table having to finish their entrée before their companions were even served. According to the waiter, one cook was doing the noodles and the other was responsible for the curries and soups. They weren’t working together to get corresponding dishes out on time.

It doesn’t help matters when you see the owner schmoozing with his friends when patrons are waiting a lengthy time for their food. He should have been in the kitchen!

Given the fact that the line-ups seemed to have disappeared in the few short weeks they have been open may be the writing on the wall for this restaurant. Improve the quality of the food and service or it may soon have to close its doors.

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  1. A while back I was pleased with a fast lunch I had in Waterloo at Viet Thai on Northfield just off King Street. Decor was OK, service decent and affable, grreen chicken curry was tasty but just this side of my prefered heat, but still very good.

    Have you tried it and, if so, what were your impressions?

    2 Replies
    1. re: DockPotato

      In my opinion, I'd stick with the Vietnamese fare at Viet Thai and disregard the Thai part of the menu. I enjoy the pho and the vietnamese-style curry.

      1. re: DockPotato

        Is Viet Thai in downtown Kitchener, in the lower level of a complex down from Harvey's? If so, i was there recently and had the pho and was pleasantly surprised.
        I had walked around downtown Kitchener for a while getting frustrated as I could not find a place to go for solo lunch (I am completely unfamiliar with Kitchener DT) and stumbled across the packed Viet restaurant. I was surprised and more than happy!

      2. Has anyone tried Red Basil in Cambridge?
        I'm looking for good eats near the 401 at Cambridge/Kitchener for Tuesday (no pressure!)

        1. I was there (Thai Sun) for lunch shortly after it opened. My experience was pretty similar - amateurish service, slow food that came out at quite varying times, and nothing spectacular. Kudos though for trying to do a little more 'upscale' and nicely presented Thai food, as opposed to the million item menus found at Viet-Thai and other similar places. I'm planning to give them another shot for dinner one day, but if they haven't worked the bugs out in a few weeks then I'm not sure if they'll survive.

          Funny thing is I also noticed the pixellated menus (looks like enlarged jpgs images printed out), and almost every review I've read mentioned the same thing. I guess these first impressions are pretty important...

          1 Reply
          1. re: TripleQ

            Just wondering if anyone has a changed opinon about this place?

          2. I haven't visited KW in ages, but last I did, perhaps five years ago, there was a good Thai place right near the bus station. Is it still around? The prices were quite high for Thai, but I was moderately impressed by the quality compared to most places. It was certainly better than most of Toronto's offerings.

            1 Reply
            1. re: vorpal

              You are referring to Northern Thai on Queen St. in Kitchener. I've only been once and found it pretty pricey by Toronto standards. But maybe I will give it a try again. Thanks for the reminder.