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Thai Food in Calgary?

Greetings fellow Hounds

I'm looking for some recommendations for a good, yet not too pricey Thai restaurant in Calgary to go for dinner on Friday. Location really isn't that important.

I've been to the King & I, which is great, but pretty hefty on the prices.

One place that I have heard a few good reviews about is Ruan Thai on 11th ave, so I'd like to hear some more reviews if anyone here has been there, as well as any other places that come strongly recommended.

Cheers

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  1. I still like Thai Place West in the Quality Inn, but you can check out this thread from last year:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/483421

    7 Replies
    1. re: ybnormal

      I had lunch there yesterday (buffet) for the first time since, oh, last October, and it was VERY good! Buffet had two meat curries (panang pork and a green curry with shrimp and lots of shredded coconut), one tofu stir-fry thing, pad thai noodles and a soup I can't recall- and instead of spring rolls was the odd but tasty addtion of fried fish. Not fish cake, but fried pieces of whole fish.

      I can't turn down a piece of fried fish filet and those were nice and fresh-tasting, boneless and "flat" in shape so maybe tilapia? But the curries- ya Allah- delicious! The shrimp one in particular, rich and sweet and mmm mmm. I commented at how Malaysian-ish it was in flavour and the hostess said it's southern Thai w/ lots of coconut (it looked positively south Indian in fact, something I've never seen at a Thai resto) but I broke my one-plate buffet rule and had seconds of it. Pork was also superb and tender with great depth of flavour, just heaven on jasmine rice. So the buffet is small but good and for $12.99 I'll be back.

      1. re: John Manzo

        Do they have the buffet everyday at lunch?

        1. re: Merry113

          Nope just M-F. It's been close to empty every time I've gone there but is still goin'.

          1. re: John Manzo

            I'll have to try it soon. Close to work for me. We're always looking for new places. I used to love Thai Boat but the portions have gotten smaller and smaller while the prices rise.

        2. re: John Manzo

          Does this place have any relation to Thai Place in the NE (Best Western, 1947 18th Ave NE)? Just wondering if anyone has tried that location, and if that place is any good.

          1. re: Fid

            Not sure if there's any relation to the Thai Place in the NE. However, I have tried the Thai Place in the Best Western in the NE. And I was NOT impressed. First, the decor left a lot to be desired. It had a view of the motel indoor pool (the pool was a kiddie size pool). Then they had both a thai menu and a western menu (hamburger and french fries) for the SAME restaurant. That should have already been a sign when you see diametrically opposite menus for the same restaurant. Either they make fabulous thai food and bad western food... or they make fabulous western food and bad thai food... or neither... you can't be all things to all people and expect to be good at it...

            We ordered satay chicken skewers as an appetizer. It came with garlic toast (made with texas toast bread). I must say that was a VERY strange pairing. I'd never been served garlic bread before alongside my satay at ANY thai restaurant before. I wasn't exactly clear what was the purpose of the garlic toast. Nonetheless, the satay skewers were dry and chewy (i.e. overcooked).

            The rest of the other dishes (curry and beef with basil) were alright. Certainly nothing gourmet or worth going back for.

            1. re: miss.foodie

              Thanks for the review, and for helping me dodge a culinary bullet. ;-P I will definitely try out Thai Place West the next time I'm in the NW and in need of some good food.

      2. I go to Ruan for lunch all the time, once a week usually, and am most happy when they are serving their delectable basil chicken and their also delectable red curry pork. For dinner (have only ever had takeout) I've their yellow curry w/ chicken and potatoes which is very good and if I remember correctly some sort of salad (sorry, it's been a while) that was also very nice- but I can't share much more about dinner. I'd just say it's worth a shot.

        I haven't been to King and I for years because it seemed like a shocking ripoff- and this was decidedly pre-boom.

        Thai Sa On and Thai Boat are reputationally outstanding but I haven't been to either.

        4 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          Would agree with John that Ruan Thai is really good. Thai Sa On is also one of my favorites. Hard to choose between the two.

          1. re: ToddCostella

            I agree as well, Ruan Thai is great. Just make sure you avoid the buffet.

            Chili Club (two locations, one at 11th Ave and 5th St SW, the other at 17th Ave and 36th St SW) is also excellent. Be prepared to wait in line if you go.

          2. re: John Manzo

            Agreed. King and I is indeed far too expensive. Only times I've been there was when someone else was footing the bill :P

            1. re: electroleum

              I third (or fourth or whatever) that King and I is good buy rediculously priced. I'm going to add Thai back into my routine with some of your excellent suggestions.

          3. Check out Thai Boat in the NE just off Barlow excellent food

            1. Chili Club gets my vote (I've only been to the one on 11 ave). The green shrimp curry is awesome (but also wickedly hot!). Been there many many times, and am never dissapointed.

              Been to Ruan Thai a couple of times, loved it the first time (surpirisingly they were packed that night with only one waitress who warned us that it was her first night on the job). Not so good the second time, we ordered some of the same dishes but they just weren't as good as our first time there.

              Thai sa On and Thai Boat are ok, I preferred Thai Boat over Thai sa On. Haven't been to King and I.

              7 Replies
              1. re: djdragan

                I prefer Thai Nongkahi over Thai Boat, but otherwise i completely agree with djd - Chili Club is good, not a huge fan of Ruan Thai (mostly because of inconsistency), and Thai Sa On is nothing special. I find it a bit expensive too.

                Thai Place in each of the Comfort Inn's/Holiday Inn's are decent too, and I've good meals at Bangkoknoi on Centre.

                1. re: foodosopher

                  I wouldn't hope for consistency at Ruan any time soon- my fave server moved to Nelson :-( but she did teach me to ask who's in the kitchen before I eat there- "dragon lady"= good chow; anybody else (incl the recent male chef hire)= unappetizing and sometimes bizarre flavours, like a curry with tons of CANNED pineapple and way too much sugar in everything else. Also- the beef they use there seems to be utility-grade and I avoid it. at lunch at least.

                  But as I've said a number of times-when the kitchen is on, it's on.

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    So now I know why my two trips to Ruan Thai have been in the "inconsistent" category, John. Really not very good at all. So how can I tell *before* I go that the dragon lady is cooking? I'm not really interested in experiencing servings that "ruin" the Thai.

                    1. re: Bagel Guy

                      Well if you look at the buffet and there is basil chicken, that's a good sign- it if looks like a savoury, spicy, pile o' fun with a delectable oiliness, you're in. Curry also shouldn't just look like a coconut milk based soup but should have a glorious slick of orange coconut oil on top.

                      If the curry has pineapple in it, run away!

                      1. re: John Manzo

                        Thanks, John, now I know. I had the pineapple and had I known how canned it would be I would have headed for the door. Now that I have a way of figuring out who's cooking, I'll sure try them again.

                2. re: djdragan

                  Thai Boat is average at best. The food tastes like it has been sitting in a steam table in the kitchen for a while before being put on a plate for service.

                  1. re: djdragan

                    I also love Chili Club Thai. I would say it is definitely among the best in Calgary. The Crying Tiger spicy beef dish is my favorite but also very spicy.

                    And you cannot go wrong with coconut rice... ever...

                  2. I'll throw my hat in for a new entry to the Thai game in Calgary, Delicious Thai on 10th Street NW between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave a couple of doors down from The Roasterie. Tiny location with no "air lock" to keep out chilly winds in the winter but great Thai food at decent prices. They're pretty happy to make dishes not on the menu, if they're not slammed, if they have the ingredients and if you know what you are asking for. They don't have Pad Siew on the menu but the night I asked if they could make it up they did a darn fine job of it.

                    If you're coming from a distance away I'd call first only because they were having staffing trouble and some nights were doing take out/delivery only.

                    Kup cuum kup from Kensington!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: vanderb

                      How are they doing? This location has been the death spiral for something like 5 other restos since I moved to Calgary- maybe more than 5.

                      Also- another newish place is the one in Chinatown, Centre St right south of the bridge- the name escapes me but two lunches there have been OUTSTANDING.

                      1. re: John Manzo

                        Thai Bistro perhaps? Or at least, I think that's the name. Something Bistro anyways.

                        1. re: John Manzo

                          They've been pretty busy each time I'm there and the food is great but that has not stopped previous places from going under in that spot. The Northern Chinese joint about 3 incarnations ago was really different but still fantastic, as was the Tibetan place (mmm.... momo's) that was before Delicious Thai.

                          If Delicious Thai keeps up their current standards they should do well, but first someone will have to beat the hippie/punker scum :-) out of the Roasterie area as I'm sure they've scared off more than a few diners from both Delicious Thai and Indochine Bistro.

                          1. re: John Manzo

                            Yes! Thai Bistro!!!
                            I concur, Very Excellent!
                            It’s nice to be able to have a Tasty Thai lunch downtown for reasonable price again.
                            I was disappointed when House of Thai closed down.

                            not a big fan of the Rose Garden. Last time I went, the vegetables tasted (and looked) like they came out of frozen bag but it might have changed since I was there 6 months ago.

                          2. re: vanderb

                            I know this is an old thread but we finally had takeout from Delicious Thai in Kensington tonight and I really enjoyed it. They have chicken wings stuffed with a pork-filling you'd normally get in spring rolls that were awesome.

                            The roasted duck red curry and "drunken noodles" (with pork) were good. Could have skipped the beef with basil.

                            My favourite is still Chili Club Thai House -- BUT the prices and incredibly friendly service at Delicious Thai are hard to beat.

                            Relatively inexpensive Thai food seems to be unheard of here in Calgary -- compared to Toronto especially -- so Delicious Thai's price point (mostly $10-12 - the duck red curry was one of the more expensive dishes at $14) is welcome.

                            The dining room itself looked very nice, and tranquil. Would def go back to eat there when we have more time, as well as take out again.

                            1. re: vanderb

                              I was hoping someone would give a shout out to Delicious Thai. I highly recommend it!

                              The food is great and the server I usually have is the cutest little Thai guy ever.

                              The food comes out quickly and is definitely "Delicious" Thai.

                            2. My vote is for Chili Club. I have been going for 4 years or so now and have NEVER been disappointed with the food, service or atmosphere. I drive from the deep south to get take-out. It is my favorite by far for Thai food in Calgary.

                              You can make a reservation for Friday nite, by the way.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: danniek

                                If you're coming from the deep south, consider trying Thai Nongkhai on Macleod, just above Heritage. Its our go-to place in the south.

                                We went to the place in Avenida (Royal Thai?) exactly once, bad food and bad service, haven't been back.

                                1. re: mike2

                                  Royal Thai is awful. Words cannot describe how bad it was. Thai Nongkhai is the one by Snatch right?? I had it twice and wasn't as thrilled with it as I was with Chili Club. Perhaps I ordered something that wasn't a specialty. What do you order? I am so willing to give it another shot.

                                  1. re: danniek

                                    Been to Nongkhai once, had quite a spread of different food since it was a group outing and we all left feeling we won't be back anytime soon. It's not that it was bad food but for the price, service, atmosphere and quantity of food for each dish we felt it was just bad value.

                                    As for Chili Club Thai house, it's my goto Thai Place in YYC. I slightly prefer the 17th ave location and it happens to be fairly close to home.

                                    1. re: hclass

                                      I agree..Thai Nongkhai is too expensive now. I used to go there for my Thai fix. But they have been jacking up the prices several times in the past year. I did ask the owner why the multiple price jacking, he said he had to do it otherwise he would have to close down.

                                      Thai Nongkhai has the best Tom Yum soup in town I think...

                                      Now we go to Thai Boat ... similar food (the Tom Yum not as good as Thai Nongkhai) and way cheaper (I heard the owner comes from the same family as Thai Nongkhai and Thai Sa On).

                                      Ruan Thai is ok (maybe I should ask for the "dragon lady" before I come), it is just the parking is a bit difficult.

                                      Royal Thai is awful...awful awful.

                                      Will try Thai Place West next time.

                                      1. re: jojok

                                        jojok- park in the overflow Super Drug Mart (RIP) parking across the street- it's not free but is always empty in the eves.

                                      2. re: hclass

                                        I think the 17 Av location must be closed. Tried to get in for lunch a week or so ago, and it was closed with no notes on the door about opening hours. Look pretty deserted.

                                  2. re: danniek

                                    The food was OK but hardly could be called Thai food. If you want authentic Thai you'd be better someplace else. Despite being call 'Chili Club' there was no chili used in anything I ate. It was very dulled down and even the supposed red rurry had no spice at all. This food is clearly made for people who dont like even a hint of chili in the food. Edible but Bland

                                    1. re: bozz

                                      I wouldn't call Chili Club bland. It might lack the heat you want, but you can always ask for more.
                                      I wish the English language had a better way to distinguish spice as in heat, and spice as in fragrant seasoning. The same goes for bland... bland as in no heat, or bland as in no flavour?
                                      Anyway, Chili Club still has seasoning. Places like Thai Express are bland. Without added chili the food almost tastes like nothing at all.

                                      1. re: bozz

                                        Which Chili Club did you go to? Last time I was at the 17th ave location I couldn't even finish the Crying Tiger beef because it was so spicy (hot). The green curry was similar. In fact, the beef was likely the hottest Thai dish I have ever eaten.

                                        If there's one thing I would criticize Chili Club for, it would not be the lack of chili!!

                                    2. Try Bangkoknoi on Centre Street. Personally I find it as good as Ruan or better, and much better than Thai Boat both in terms of taste and value.

                                      -----
                                      Bangkoknoi Thai Restaurant
                                      1324 Centre St N, Calgary, AB T2E 2R7, CA

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: feuerzeug

                                        Bangkoknoi... me and my family love their red and green curries.

                                      2. Do any or all of these places do the thinly cut Thai pork chops w/ the sweetish bbq ish flavor? They were my (4 year old) son's favorite delivery meal in NY and I am trying to locate them here..... My all around best Thaiexperience here has been at Thai Sa On.... but it's so expensive that it relegates itself to a special occasion meal instead of everyday standby.

                                        1. I'll throw in another mention for Delicious Thai. I've had take out or delivery from this little restaurant a handful of times in the past few months and it's always good.

                                          The spicy green papaya salad with ground pork is amazing. I also love the massaman curry as well as a chicken/ basil stir fry style dish. The pad thai is decent but not the best I've had.

                                          The food here is always fresh and authentic tasting. I also really like the fact that if you order a dish and request that it be spicy, it will be damn spicy.

                                          Now that I think of it, I've also had some enjoyable Thai food at Rose Thai Garden on 8th ave.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: johnjohnson78

                                            Maybe I've been ordering the wrong dishes, but the portions at Rose Thai Garden are miserly. The green curry is 50% sauce, with a few bits of vegetables and chicken thrown in. The Pad Thai on the other hand is about 95% noodles with little in the way of toppings or variety.
                                            The food does taste great though.

                                            1. re: 23skidoo

                                              Just spent my Living Social deal for Rose Garden Thai, and I agree with 23skidoo on the green curry. So delicious but they could throw in a few more vegetables. I'd recommend the fresh spring rolls, which I haven't had before but were like Vietnamese salad rolls but with tofu and shrimp and served with a tart/sweet dipping sauce. We also had the cashew chicken which didn't seem particularly Thai to me but was really good. Their coconut rice is also probably the best I've had anywhere in Calgary.

                                              1. re: 23skidoo

                                                I'll trust you guys on this. I simply remember liking the flavours there. I was actually dining with about 15 other people so there were a huge number of dishes and I honestly wasn't noticing the portion sizes. That being said, I often find Thai food in Calgary to be quite pricey for the portions received.... Rose Thai must be particularly miserly in this regard .....a shame because I remember liking the food quite a bit on the whole. Good thing I wasn't paying that night!

                                                1. re: johnjohnson78

                                                  New restaurant open on 16 Ave. NW. Used to be a Burger King. It's called Juree's Thai Place. I tried it last week, quite like it.

                                                  http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/15/160845...

                                                  1. re: Office Broccoli

                                                    Juree's Thai Place used to be in the nearby Quality Inn known as Thai Place - they moved in mid June 2011 and renamed to 'Juree's Thai Place'.

                                                    -----
                                                    Juree's Thai Place
                                                    2055 16 Ave. NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0M3, CA

                                                      1. re: rosetown

                                                        I like Juree's Thai Place. Very authentic Thai food. Try the stuffed Chicken wings in the appys. Yummers! We also ordered the Dinner for 4 - delicious food.

                                                        They have a lunch buffet Wed, Thur and Fri for $12.95/person. I haven't tried it yet but the lady at the restaurant told me about it. I'll give it a try soon.

                                                        -----
                                                        Juree's Thai Place
                                                        2055 16 Ave. NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0M3, CA

                                              2. adding links:

                                                -----
                                                The King & I Thai Cuisine
                                                822 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E5, CA

                                                Ruan Thai Restaurant
                                                1324 11 Ave SW #101, Calgary, AB T3C 0M6, CA

                                                Thai-Sai-On Restaurant
                                                351 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A5, CA

                                                Thai Boat
                                                2323 32 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6Z3, CA

                                                Chili Club Thai House
                                                1904 36 St SW, Calgary, AB T3E 2Y9, CA

                                                Chili Club Thai House
                                                5403 Crowchild Trail N.W., Calgary, AB T3B 4Z1, CA

                                                Delicious Thai Restaurant
                                                314 10 Street Northwest, Calgary, AB , CA

                                                Thai Nongkhai
                                                7400 Macleod Trail South, Calgary, AB T2H 0L9, CA

                                                Rose Garden Thai Restaurant
                                                112 8 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2P 1B3, CA

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: rosetown

                                                  Was driving near the Dalhousie area on Friday and noticed a sign for a New Chili Club Thai House location just off of Crowchild Trail. Looked it up and address is listed as 5403 Crowchild Trail NW. Anyone been yet?

                                                  I noticed that their website only lists the 17ave location (actually listed as 1904 36 St SW) and this new Crowchild location. The 11 Ave location was our go to location, although we haven't been in a couple of months - since our daughter was born.

                                                  Is 11th ave closed now/relocated to the NW, or are these just different owners? The menu on the website looks pretty much the same as what I recall from 11th ave.

                                                  1. re: djdragan

                                                    I wonder if it is in Crowchild Square (on the west side of Crowchild)? There have been a number of asian restaurants in a basement space. I think that is probably it (strip mall opposite side of Crowchild from Dalhousie Station).

                                                    1. re: beggsy

                                                      Yes that is the location, downstairs in the main building. My kids used to go to martial arts down there, I was very excited that we were going to get something different down there like Chili Club and the MMA moved before CC opened. lol. Anyone been yet?

                                                      We went to Thai Bistro in Chinatown Friday night, we thought it was pretty good. IT was packed and they re-cork!

                                                      -----
                                                      Thai Bistro
                                                      102 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 2B7, CA

                                                      1. re: kritafo

                                                        Ordered takeout from the Crowchild Square location a week or so ago. Ordered the usual Green Prawn Curry and Swimming Rama, both were great as always. Also got some spring rolls and Thai Roti. The Roti was kind of soggy by the time I got it home, one of the drawbacks of not eating in. The spring rolls were a bit greasy, I can't remember ever ordering these before, so not too sure if this is allways the case.

                                                        The dining room was very nice with quite a few more tables then the 11 Ave location, it was also quite busy on a Friday evening.

                                                        I did drive by the 11 Ave location and noticed a new sign was up, I only caught "Thai" in big letters on the sign, so I'm not sure if it has changed names or management. Anyone know what the deal is?

                                                        1. re: djdragan

                                                          I live relatively close by to the 11th avenue location. I work downtown, and some of my colleagues said they were here couple months ago and said they had a good experience here. So I actually got a chance to give it a try few weeks ago with my gf, and group of friends. They have changed ownership, the waiter told me the chef is different aswell. Under the new management here they are doing exceptionally well I thought the food was fantastic. The food tasted a little bit different to what it was before, but it definitely tastes a lot better than before imo. Cant exactly describe it, I guess it’s a preference thing. My gf loved the soft lighting and ambiance they created in here compared to before, she says it makes her feel more intimate, and closer. =D (works for me) Service is a lot better compared to before as well, not just your typical bring your food/take your order kind. Overall I would choose coming here, rather than to chili club, for various reasons such as taste, value, and service. They are new but they know whats going on and how to do thai serve delicious Thai food.