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Toronto's Best Thai - Suhko Thai - Update

It is safe to say that Suhko Thai unquestionably offers the best thai food in the city. This is just a quick update to let everyone know that Toronto's Best Thai (Super Authentic and Delicious) is now only available Friday and Saturday. Oy Vey I don't know why I am telling you all this! Wait times are going to be nutty!

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Sukhothai
274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

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  1. The proprietor/cook told me she plans to go back to nursing school full time to finish her degree in January. She was trying to hire cooks but couldn't find any that could cook authentically. She was considering shutting up shop in Jan, so at least now she remains open, albeit a limited degree.

    2 Replies
    1. re: aser

      Bummer! I was really beginning to love their pad thai...looks i'll have to get my fix in on weekends now.

      Thanks for the update tho!

      1. re: deabot

        I ate here last night my first visit of the new year and since the hours changed. Food was tasty as ever, plump chicken pieces in my pad thai, noodles spicy and smokey and the owners were kind enough to hand out a bowl of thai style congee on the house. Gawd-it was delicious, very delicate broth, some fried scallions I think topped off with slivers of ginger and cilantro. Too bad it's not on the regular menu this was would be the perfect antidote to a bad cold! And they also gave out a some free dessert-chunks of roasted acorn squash in warmed coconut milk-super yum! I will keep supporting the folks here, there food is authentic, tasty and their service is warm and gracious.

    2. We had a craving for Thai last night and ended up at 'Cravings' on Yonge.
      The Hot and Sour soup was terrific ($5 gets you a small bowl) and most of the other dishes were very good.
      The Pad Thai was very forgettable.

      21 Replies
      1. re: allanc

        Ive now been to sukho thai three times..and each time it's fantastic.
        There is minimal use of oil, the food is hot and fresh and its freakin' tasty!!
        Not to mention the owners are hospitable and lovely!!
        Each time I go, the restaurant is full.
        Clearly they have a following...which includes my family!!

        1. re: domesticgodess

          I like the hospitality of the owners...however we were disappointed at the food (may be we've heard too many good things about it, and have too high a standard before going)..

          We tried the Kao Soi, Guaw Tiew, and Massaman Curry. The portions of the food was quite small. I wish they could at least add a bigger portion on their menu. First off, was really disappointed at the Guaw Tiew. The noodles they use were really mediocre...didn't seem to be fresh noodles (may be dried ones, but the really cheap dried ones which has some tastes in them...need to wash completely off before using). Also the texture of the noodles was weird...seems to be not very elastic and 'disintegrates' easily.

          The Massaman Curry was quite rich, which we liked. Although we wished the portion is bigger. This was the dish I think it was alright (better than most other places)

          Now onto the Kao Soi..... I guess since not many places in Toronto serves it, it's the easiest to be most people's favorite. However since I've had good Kao Sois before...this one was just alright. Again, portion really small.....and they missed giving us the special chilli sauce to eat with the noodles. I've actually discussed with the owners how they didn't serve the 'condiments' that's supposed to come with Kao Soi but they told me not many people might take it.

          I think I understand the difficulties of running a Thai place in downtown... not many people look for authenticity. Therefore even their 'hot' scale is pretty mellow...we should've ordered Thai Hot and see if it matches what we know about 'Thai Hot". But we did expect them to use better ingredients at least, and may be bigger portion. So unfortunately, we wouldn't be back. Not to mention the kitchen is still pretty slow (although they hired more people now)

          1. re: tyatt

            I thought the portion size are more than fine, I've left each time feeling very stuffed. You're the first person to complain of this on the board.

            Yes their dishes could be hotter, I always order "thai spicy" for that reason. You have to look at their clientele to understand it's a business decision. What good is making food so spicy that only a few can even eat it. Just make sure you communicate that you can handle super spicy next time, tell them to make it as spicy as they would make for themselves.

            This is coming from someone that prefers it super spicy.

            1. re: aser

              i've noticed that their food is definitely slanted to north american palates and that you should communicate with them that you're open to ingredients or ok with certain things before ordering. it can be an irritating caveat but in a lot of ways it is good business sense for them to have the north american style base and then options on top of it. they are very friendly so i highly doubt they'll have issues with this. they seem to be concerned that people will not like nuts, cilantro and other things.

              i've also had no issues with portion size as i find it quite adequate though i do order more than i need most of the time and that can make it add up quickly. i'll also agree though that the guaw tiew does use dried noodles and so isn't the best represetation of the dish but i usually want everything else so i hardly order it anyway.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                I guess we have bigger appetites than most people :P I don't mind paying more to have bigger portion size...that's why I think they could add this to their menu to accommodate people with bigger appetites. Last time we were just two average size people, ordering 3 dishes, and leaving still feeling hungry. As an example, the singapore laksa noodle portion size at Restoran Malaysia is more right for us...

                The reason why we were pretty disappointed was because of all the super-positive comments of the place...and our experience of really authentic Thai food (outside of Toronto). We shouldn't have expected anything close to the level of what we had before..... :(

                Also want to add that, for Kao Soi, for the amount of soup there was, they should at least give us more noodles? After the tiny amount of noodles were consumed, lots of soup was left.

                1. re: tyatt

                  I have not been to Thailand in forever. So I cannot compare, but from my understanding is that these people used to run a successful restaurant there. also, it is my understanding that it is common to use dried noodles. and i would have to consider this "really authentic".

                  based on your Thailand experiences, what dish, and where from, comes closest to it in the toronto area?

                  btw, you mention it only 6 times, but i did pick up on your subtles and the fact that you may be unhappy with the portion sizes. may you might want to try this little trick i use: order more.


                  Chow!
                  HL.

                  1. re: tyatt

                    i can't disagree that more noodles for the kao soi would be nice... but i just end up drinking the coconut curry soup and am really happy with that anyway.

                    while i understand expectations not being met, i do feel that sukho is the best the city has to offer for that style of thai. my own experiences with thai food outside of toronto have been rather limited and so i'm more than pleased with everything they've given me in direct comparison. i'd also be curious to know where you've eaten in toronto specifically and how you felt it compared. recently i've felt they've actually been getting better except for lowering the heat levels... i used to be comfortable at a mild but now am eating medium heat and adding a little extra spice sometimes.

                2. re: aser

                  We have not had issues with portion size per se, but have found that the amount of their protein in dishes can vary quite drastically. We order from them about once a week and love it regardless, but it is noticeable when you're ordering the same dishes week after week. The flavor is so great that it makes up for it. I'm happy to eat their Masaman curry sauce on rice all by itself.

                  1. re: drjolt

                    I just finished off a Guaytiaw Sukhothai soup that I ordered, and have to say that even though it tasted good, it had very little meat in it. (probably 2 oz.) It didn't even look anything close to the version in the picture in this review:
                    http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/suk...

                    This was the second time I've ordered food from this restaurant and if this is Toronto's best Thai, I better move somewhere else. I know I'll have to eat something else soon as it wasn't enough for lunch. It's not a great value when for the same price I can get a more filling Pho, or a lunch special at any Thai place that I can walk to on Danforth.

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      FD,

                      What Thai places do you recommend on the Danforth? And where do you get a good bowl of Pho in the hood?

                      SWS

                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                        I haven't been there in a few months, but I've found the food at Mong Kut Thai good. I know people on this board have mentioned that they don't like it, but if I want a quick lunch at a reasonable price, it's fine. When I've ordered dinner from the menu, it's always been fine. I was using a place on Danforth as a comparison as driving to Sukothai takes about 10 minutes each way. And that soup was just a broth with some onion and 2 oz. of brisket, plus noodles and peanuts. I can get a more substantial meal for less without that drive...

                        There is no Pho right in the hood, but if I want that I go to Hanoi Three Seasons or Pho 88 on Gerrard St, it's much closer than Dundas and Parliament.
                        Now there must be something that most people love about Sukothai but I haven't found it yet. I agree that the people there are friendly, but I'm eating the food, not the people.

                      2. re: foodyDudey

                        I was starting to think may be we need to start eating less since most people think it's enough food! I'm glad that someone like foodyDudey has the same point of view on the portion size. We not only just two dishes for dinner. We ordered 3 and still left feeling hungry....

                        1. re: tyatt

                          Yeah dude, it's enough food. Only thing I agree with is more noodles for the Khao Soi would be nice...but I just order a steamed rice and pour the leftover soup in with that. Yum.

                          Oh and I have traveled through Thailand twice, total 7 weeks backpacking all over, and FOR SURE Sukhothai is the best Thai in Toronto. I stopped going to Mengrai and everything since I first tried it.

                          1. re: tyatt

                            They now have a combo option of adding a salad + drink to most of the menu for a little more money. I find that's the perfect balance for a well stuffed meal.

                            The rich broth in the khao soi really stuffs me up, even if there can always be more noodles. I find most soup noodle dishes could always use more noodle since I'm a noodle fanatic.

                            For argument's sake, if you want to be an "authenticity" stickler about things, portion size is much smaller in Asia compared to here.

                            At the end of the day, you can't please everybody. There will always be dissenters for a restaurant. That is their choice. I'll continue to support unless I notice a dip in quality.

                    2. re: tyatt

                      We tried Sukhothai last night and have a totally different view than tyatt's. We ordered green curry, khao soi, tom yum gung, pad thai, and coconut tapioca and loved every dish. All of the sauces were complex and fresh. I have only had kao soi in Thailand and that made by my own hands and it certainly pleasantly reminded me of what I ate in Chiang Mai. No, it didn't have all the condiments, but then when I make kao soi I don't have all of them either and in my opinion the real test of the dish is the curry, which was delicious.

                      The tom yum gung was full bodied and delicious. It was thicker than other tom yum gungs I have eaten and there was a higher ratio of veggies and shrimp to broth than I am used to.

                      The pad thai was deliciously sweet -and I mean the tangy sweetness of tamarind, not the cloying sweetness of ketchup. It was probably the best pad thai I've had in Canada. My memory of Thailand is a little foggy, but I'm confident it gives some of the pad thais I ate in Thailand a run for their money too.

                      The simple coconut tapioca dessert doesn't look like much but tastes amazing. It contains shredded coconut as well as coconut milk. I've had coconut sticky rice many times but never tried this kind of tapioca, which are small and somewhat translucent and have a very fun chewy texture. Even my boyfriend loved it and he's not a dessert person.

                      I could have used more heat in a couple of the dishes (especially the tom yum gung) but I certainly don't fault the restaurant for that as I understand their need to cater to the tastes of the majority. Anyway, who cares? It's easy enough to add some spice to a dish.

                      To top it off the owners were extremely nice. I forgot part of my take out order at the restaurant. After I paid I thought the order was complete but it was not and I walked out without part of my order. They went to considerable effort to make sure I received my food. They called me to tell me and then offered to deliver the balance to my house and were very kind about the whole thing. Great food and great people are a winning combination in my book, and I intend to make this place a regular stop.

                      1. re: basileater

                        It's good that you had a great meal there basileater! :) I think the restaurant can satisfy most people here, and that's why it gains the 'best thai of the city' claim recently.

                        It's just that if you've had better, then you'd know. I'm not saying there are better in Toronto, because I almost never eat Thai here since I know they won't be satisfying to me. I just find that I can save my money if this is already the 'best thai in the city'.

                        PS: We also got to sample the cassava cake the chef made. I must say I really like their hospitality. Wish all owners are like this at a restaurant! However, it's just too bad I had better...or may be my expectations were too high. They were just ok....too sweet without the complexity I was looking for in cassava cakes.

                        1. re: tyatt

                          I've been going to Sukhothai for a while now. Can't say that it's the best Thai in Toronto only because I pretty much stopped searching ever since I found the place. I've been going to Thailand for the past few years and although the smallish menu doesn't have a few of my personal favourites (pad kha praw and Khao Moo), I've found the food exactly the same as what I had in Thailand... which is amazing! I've never had a bad dish and the servings are ok for me (could be more though). I guess my only complaint would be the wait for the food, but it's truly worth the wait in my opinion (you should really call ahead).
                          I've noticed that they have new staff almost everytime I go there, as they are getting pretty popular. I don't know, but your bad experiences might be attributed to the new cooks stll learning the ropes... maybe?

                    3. re: domesticgodess

                      Replying to a thread dating from January can be misleading.
                      They are not only open Friday and Saturdays.
                      I think they are open almost every day now

                      1. re: hippotatomus

                        Yes - serving delicious (aroy-ma!), authentic Thai food every day but Sunday.

                        1. re: peppermint pate

                          Went there last week with a table for 6. Great, small and intimate place. No pretentiousness whatsoever.

                          Loved the fish panang (not on the menu) and the kao soi.

                        2. re: hippotatomus

                          Sorry... So many answers... What place are you referring to?
                          Thanks for clarifying it for me.

                    4. Got khao sai takeout.

                      They separated the noodles and the meat/sauce so I wasn't faced with a gloopy mess when I got home. And somehow the noodles didn't turn into one giant mass, they separated out with a bit of teasing.

                      Delicious. I refrained from drinking the sauce by force of will, but it was darn tasty. Will definitely return and try other things off their menu. The fried fish looked particularly appealing.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pincus

                        I gotta try the khao sai this week after reading about it here so often.

                        On a slightly different topic, after having the divine pad kee mao at Sukhotai, I rate them as one of very disappointingly few authentic Thai establishments in the city. In my own experience, Mengrai and Thai Shan Inn are the others (I've not been to Vanipha Lanna. Yet) Everywhere else is not worth the effort. Based on what I remembered as positive CH recommendations I tried Real Thailand (Bloor and Spadina) and the sweet orange coloured noodles they called pad thai was such a waste of money and chowtime.

                      2. Went there on Saturday October 17, 2009. Smallish place that seats about 14 people comfortably. Tastefully done, not spectacular, but comfortable. The female matriarch/owner was not there, but her son and his wife, along with other friendly staff of family and friends were. We dined in and after an initial wait of about 20 minutes, we were not disappointed with our choices. The 3 spring rolls were fresh, light, and tasty. Not dripping in oil. About 15 minutes later the Shrimp Pad Thai was the best I've ever eaten in Toronto. An extra squirt of a lime was all that was needed to wolf down the sizable portion in short order. No complaints about the serving size. My partner had the Pad Kee Moo and was delighted with the taste of flavors and the size of the serving. We also had the Goeing Kiow Wan, which was a curried coconut taste sensation (comes with sticky rice). We were so full we had to get a doggy bag. Overall, we were impressed with Sukho Thai! We will be back, but next time we will call ahead to pre-order if we're going to dine in. They deliver too. "Kop Koon" (means "Thanks" in Thai) Sukho Thai!

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                        Sukhothai
                        274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                         
                         
                         
                         
                        10 Replies
                        1. re: W4W Toronto

                          the "son and his wife" that you refer to are the owners.

                          1. re: W4W Toronto

                            Yes, but to be polite when giving thank yous women will end the phrase with "ka" and men with "krup." Korp koon ka, korp koon krup.

                            1. re: W4W Toronto

                              I was there last night too!
                              We arrived at around 7:30 and there was an empty table, which was nice. We ended up sharing the shrimp chips, the "sukho thai" pad thai with shrimp and a tapioca coconute milk pudding for dessert.
                              The flavours in the pad thai were lovely- subtle and pleasant. A nice tang. No sign of ketchup. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
                              The tapioca coconut milk dessert was a wonderful mix of textures and sweet and a bit of salt. I wasn't too keen on this dessert to start with, but it was delicious.
                              The service was great. I had thought that it would be a somewhat rushed meal given the small size of the restaurant, but we lingered over our meal and the owner (young couple with the wife doing the cooking and the husband doing front of house) was very gracious.
                              The presentation was very simple and pretty.
                              They seem to make each dish as it's ordered, which means everything is fresh and tasty.
                              I will definitely be going back. I live just outside of their delivery zone, but am already thinking about opportunities for picking up their food to bring home.
                              A new favourite!

                              1. re: meld_la

                                Seriously, why have I not heard of this place earlier?

                                After reading all these reviews I dying to go now. I am pondering if I should just get takeout, or wait until the weekend and try a proper sitdown dinner there. I am part Lao, born there, and raised for a few years in Thailand, so I am very much looking foward to trying a taste of "home cooking", and dragging my dining companion there. The last time I went to Thailand was two years ago, couldn't stop eatting...or getting the runs.

                                Hopefully it's just as authentic here as it is there...minus the runs.

                                1. re: stonedtoronto

                                  Went there a few nights ago, and got takeout. Wow, reminds me of home. Certainly there were some westernization, but for the most part authentic. The Tom Yum was very good, as was the mango salad, although I get the feeling if you ask, they will also make a proper papaya salad.

                                  Will definately go back.

                                  1. re: stonedtoronto

                                    Went there about two weeks ago. The owners are the sweetest people. They care if you like their food or not. I ordered their Suko Thai Pad Thai. I think this is the best Pad Thai I've ever had and I'm comparing to some of the Pad Thai I"ve had in Thailand. It kind of reminded me of Me Goreng abit.

                                    1. re: babybluepowder

                                      My Gf and a couple of friends went there recently and conducted a side by side tasting of the Pad Thai and the Sukhothai Pad Thai. They were unable to detect a difference. Can anybody enlighten me?

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                                      Sukhothai
                                      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                      1. re: haggisdragon

                                        sukho style - peanuts, more green onions, more fish sauce/shrimp paste pungency

                                        regular style (though considering their last name is Regular... i should probably call it something else) - more sweet, no peanuts, etc with regards to above

                                        sometimes i will accidentally order the "regular" version and notice it right after the first bite. it's still good but i miss those extra elements. there are probably a few more subtle things that i'm missing as well but that's about as much as i can determine.

                                          1. re: haggisdragon

                                            I went there again. It's quickly becoming my out of way spot. I started speaking Thai and the owner actually understood me (I am use to Thai places being run by Chinese people); then I started speaking Issan, and they still understood me.