Thai Place in Calgary
Had an urge yesterday (Saturday) for a nice light Thai style lunch ... just something basic and satisfying. Decided to try Thai Place in the Quality Inn on Banff Trail, just off 16th Ave. We have driven past it many times, and with such a weird location we thought it deserved a try. "L" tried the Pad Thai ($11), just to be safe on this first visit. She found it to be very good, with lots of flavour. I tried the Spicy Noodles with Beef ($12), and asked for it hot. I was pleasantly surprised in how nice this dish was, and how so many flavours could coexist and make themselves known, without any being overwhelming, but a very tasty net result. Their scale of "hot" was pretty close to mine, and it was truly hot, but without losing the wonderful flavours. I liked it. The delicate beef slices were slightly overdone, but I enjoyed it just the same. Decor was very nice, very Thai, but it could be "warmer" for my personal choice. Service was perfect, knowledgeable, attentive, and not at all pretentious. Enjoyed the lunch very much; and both of us will go back for dinner soon.
We went for lunch today and tried the buffet. It was dead quiet for noon hour. There were only 2 other tables.
The buffet was decent. $12.95 for 6 dishes plus rice and soup. The Pad Thai was a little sweet at first taste but the flavours developed after a few bites becoming more complex. My favorite was chicken in coconut milk with basil. Things were moderately spicy. My son said the soup was spicy and good. There was a nice chile and tamarind (I'm guessing on the tamarind) sauce available.
I had 2 problems with the decor, one was a really bad painting. The other was the muzak. My son said it was like everyone in the band had different sheet music because they were constantly changing tunes. If the place had been busier or our group larger we likely wouldn't have noticed and I can always choose to sit with my back to the painting so these are very minor points!
I'd like to see what they can do with food cooked to order so we'll be back. The buffet is M-F. They are open from 5 to 10 PM 7 evenings a week and for Saturday lunch.
Also had the buffet lunch. It was OK; not great, but certainly a positive OK. However, service seemed to be fleeting. The place was about half full, which was busy enough, but not overwhelming. The buffet itself always seemed to be almost empty. Of course, maybe I was just slow to get to it. Would I go back? Yes, we would (2 of us) but not tomorrow.
Okay, finally made it to the lunch buffet at Thai Place today. Setting is odd, in hotel interior partly set off from the pool (I was worried about chlorine smell!) but they seem to make good use of it. It was dead- one other table when we arrived (11:30) and maybe 3 total when we departed an hour later. BUT the food was actually very good- the buffet is minute (only one steam table, six items with soup, pad thai and spring rolls taking three steam table spots means not a lot of choice) but what I had I very much enjoyed.
1. Jasmine rice was EXEMPLARY. Perfect, as good as I've had at much, much more expensive Thai places and definitely better than the rice at Ruan, which would be point of reference for a Thai buffet.
2. Green curry chicken was very (very) simple but with really nice depth of flavour- I had seconds.
3. Sweet and sour pork- as averse as I am to "sweet and sour" anything, this one looked interesting; no breaded pork with veg that looked fresh and honest. It was delicious to my pleasant surprise, more complex than just sweet with a clearly house-made sauce.
4. There was a sort of tom kha with shrimp that was delightfully sour.
The only other option was "mixed veggies" which looked a little meh, but really, I'm happy to head back. Cheap too- $23 for two of us.