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thai food

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Thai food restaurants seem to be popping up on every street corner. Although I am always up for trying new ones, I have found a lot of them recently to be truly lacking. Any suggestions on the best thai restaurant in Toronto? I will give my opinion after I see some of yours...

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    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/451937

    1. Toronto Thai food is generally abysmal. The only exception I've found is Mengrai Thai on Ontario at Richmond, which is some of the best Thai restaurant food I've had the pleasure of consuming. Visit on a weekend when the lead chef, Sasi, is in the kitchen, and you won't regret it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: vorpal

        I used to go to Me Thai when she was the chef there. It was great but didn't know where they went too.. Have you ever been or heard of Thai Shan Inn?

        1. re: chappy44

          Nothing comes close to TSI in my experience.
          Will check out Megrai and Vanipha Lanna.
          I've been to Thailand and I wonder if the difficulty in replicating the flavours has anything to do with availabilty of ingredients.

          1. re: neighborguy

            Thai Shan Inn has the best mango salad I have ever encountered in Toronto. I don't know about Megrai, but I went to there old restaurant Me Thai and it was excellent, so I am really look forward to trying it out...Vanipha Lanna sounds interesting as well...starting to get hungry just typing about it....

          2. re: chappy44

            I haven't. Is it still around?

            1. re: vorpal

              Thai Shan Inn is moving in the next few weeks...presently on Eglinton, it is moving just up the street to Dufferin and Eglinton...it is fantastic...

        2. I can wholeheartedly suggest Vanipha Lanna on St. Clair. Having been to Thailand, this is as close as you'll get to real authentic spices and dishes (even the elusive Khao Soy) of that region.

          1 Reply
          1. re: flashy_mcflash

            hey we live near st.clair/spadina!h we'll try it thanks!

          2. IMO the two most worth trying are Linda's (above Salad King) and Mengrai Thai. I prefer Linda's which has a more 'bistro' atmosphere and some truly elegant dishes (e.g. duck breast in red curry sauce). Mengrai Thai has a habit of getting the orders wrong (last visit our food ended up at a different table and we got the food from yet another table!). Also beware of their 'unpriced daily specials' which are generally overpriced - and that makes it more expensive than Linda's.
            As you've mentioned the Thai Shan Inn - it has slipped a bit recently, although their Tom Yum Goong is still the best in Toronto. The Green mango salad now seems a little too sweet - but is still good. The Pad Thai has really slipped - now tastes of ketchup! Also they have just (or were about to) moved, so check on location (expected move was beginning of April).
            I've heard good things about the 'new' Young Thailand - but haven't been yet. Apparently Wandee Young (ex Thai Shan Inn - but I'm talking 20 years ago) is actively involved again.
            I was disappointed in Vanipha Lanna - first the place is really depressing and gloomy. And I found the food not up to par either - especially the Lao dishes - but I didn't try the Thai dishes so they 'might' be better.

            5 Replies
            1. re: estufarian

              I second Linda's. I really enjoy their soups, and the Thai Islamic Noodles. If you get a chance, try their tasting menu. It's a real treat. http://www.lindarestaurant.com/

              1. re: estufarian

                My post encouraged me to go to Linda last night. As good as ever - and their 'Menu Of The Month' is a bargain.
                The starter was a beautiful presentation - a 'grated crispy salmon' with carved cucumber as fins and a triangle of tomato as mouth. Spectacular in both presentation and taste, with the crispy salmon 'crumbs' giving a great crunch to the dish.
                Several choices of entree included. I had the chicken with morels. A bit boring visually, but great flavour.
                Also had the Panang Curry with beef. Absolutely perfect spicing - don't recall ever having had a better version of this dish (I ordered 3chillis of heat).
                Confirmed as My #1 Thai - although they do stray from what I would find in Thailand (Morels???).

                1. re: estufarian

                  Is the 'Menu Of The Month' still at $30 ? One of the best deal in GTA.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Yes it's still $30. And a bargain!

                  2. re: estufarian

                    I agree the Linda's Panang Curry with beef's spicing is fantastic. I don't usually choose to eat beef, but it was part of a set menu when I visited last year with a group, so I decided to try it. Haven't found any other panang curries that compare.

                    I tried the Panang downstairs at SK at lunch one day, just to see how different it would be....the spicing and the sauce didn't come close.I much rather spend the extra cash and eat upstairs- just wish more of my friends felt the same way;)

                2. Thai Shan Inn definately good. Although i was there a few weeks ago and did'nt think it was as good as it has been. Depends who's cookin!!!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fatman0000

                    if the mother is cooking that evening your golden

                  2. I went to Mengrai Thai tonight for the first time at the consensus (from here) that it's the best Thai restaurant in Toronto. And I really enjoyed it.

                    We had the pumpkin soup (wonderful mix of pumpkin and spice with a lovely kick), the lychee/prawn coconut milk curry (one of the house specialties), the street pad thai (I think it was called that anyway), and the basic mixed veg. Usually there's one dish that I look at and think "yeah, that one wasn't so great" but all of the food was tasty.

                    I was very interested in how they had three different types of phad thai (and this without any of them being a curried pad thai). Giving a diner 3 levels of sweet (i.e. sweet, not so sweet and more savory and very savory/no sweet) is a great way to let people pick their pad thai speed. My one minor complaint was the noodles were more like rice vermiccili than (what I thought were) the classic pad thai noodles. While I like rice vermiccili, it was harder to eat (more like eating spagetti) and I've think the flatter, thinner, shorter noodle that I've usually seen in this dish better suits the pad thai dish better.

                    I really liked that when I asked for spicey, every dish had a real kick--and they still brought out fresh green chillies to assist in raising the spice level if we so chose.

                    The restaurant was pretty dead---we ate early and it is a holiday Monday on a cold day in May. Still, the restaurant is adorable with all the little up and down cubbies. The interior is surprisingly nice given that the neighbourhood is not quite so pretty.

                    All in all, definitely a place I'd enjoy returning to.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                      I went to Mengrai last night, and what a jewel of a find. The food was excellent, the surrounds lovely and our server was charming ... but the place was empty. We shared a pumpkin soup with a fried spinach, lamb curry with peaches, striped bass on bok choy and the #54 curry followed by coconut icecream.