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Mar 27, 2009 02:05 PM

Opinions on best Thai food?

For some reason, i have a lot of friends who want to eat Thai food in the next little while. Now, I love my Cuisine Bankok, but I think they are looking for something more sit down. I wanted to finally try Indonesian at Nonya, but sadly they are closed on Sunday, one of the potential dates. I am only so-so on the Cuisine Bankok resto, it is good enough, but not fabulous. I am thinking about trying Chao Praya on Laurier, or perhaps Restaurant Thailand on St. Urbain and I believe Bernard, although I can't seem to find a listing. I recall thinking Thai Grille on St. Laurent wasn't bad, pretty authentic, if a little trendy and "beautiful people".

Anyhow, I would love comments suggestions about Montreal Thai 2009.

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  1. Just how "sit down"? ;-) I just had a fabulous Thai lunch at Talay Thai at the corner of Cote-des-Neiges and Cote-Ste-Catherine. It's a pretty casual spot, though.

    I used to love Resto Thailande but haven't been in ages. Maybe someone else can confirm whether it's still around and as good as I remember.

    2 Replies
      1. re: certifiedfresh

        The fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce and chicken with eggplant & basil are my two favourite dishes.

    1. Thailande is very good and the best of all the Thai restaurants I have tried in Montreal thus far. I went about 1 year ago and it was up to par. I have never went to Chao Phraya but hear good things. I was recently surprised by takeout from Thai Grill. Check out my comments in the thread: Rolling the dice at Bangkok.
      I find Talay Thai decent but a bit bland although I have had only their lunch specials; maybe the a la carte items are kicked up.
      Another favorite of mine is Phuket but that is a bit out of the way in east Mtl.

      Restaurant Phuket
      4673 Rue Jarry E, Saint-Leonard, QC H1R1X6, CA

      1. Thai Grill might be out of favour for some but if you want good/ not great food at a happening/hopping place with moderate prices it certainly works. The trip to the washroom is something special. It all adds up. Depends on your mood. Probably cheaper than the sitdown Bangkok (minus zero ambiance/fun there) as well.

        1. Now, I'm no authority since I haven't been to all the thai restaurants in Montreal, but I would highly recommend Phayathai (basically across the street from Chao Phraya, on Laurier.) I've been there probably about 6 times. As a reviewer in the Montreal Mirror points out, "What sets this place apart is that it’s a bit less expensive than its higher-end counterparts, for food that’s just as good if not better". The appetizers are very tasty (minced spicy duck salad with lime and mint I recommend, and a huge portion, good for sharing with others, considering what you pay). I liked the beef panaeng, duck red curry, there was a shrimp main dish - can't remember the name - that was soooo good, with the shrimp nice and crispy. The Pad Thai has a very nice almost barbecue/smoky taste. I'm not a big fish/seafood fan but the mirror reviewer went on an on about that (see review link below). I'm not usually picky about atmosphere if the food is good, but I have noticed how nice it is there - calm, soft, pretty and friendly service. The desserts are fun at the end too - they put a lot of effort on the presentation!

          4 Replies
          1. re: heliotrope

            The restaurant reviewd in this article is Phayathai on Guy near Ste-Catherine. Chao Phraya in Laurier near St-Laurent. Are you confusing this with some other place near Chao Phraya or is there a second branch I am not aware of?

            1. re: hungryann

              There is definitely a Phayathai on Laurier, I just went by it this morning. Don't know if it's a second branch, or if the original one moved, but it's there.

              1. re: hungryann

                I've eaten only at the Laurier location, which is basically across the street from Chao Phraya, only a little more west. Here is the exact contact info: 107 Laurier Ouest; (514) 272-3456‎

                I failed to notice that the Mirror was talking about a different location. My guess would be that they are owned by the same people, since they have the same name??

                1. re: heliotrope

                  I've been to the Laurier restaurant and it's great! They used to have an amazing lunch special for under 10$ that was delicious... Excellent panang--better than Restaurant Thailande, in my opinion, and the atmosphere is very nice.

            2. I just thought of two other places that are worthwhile: Red thai on St-Laurent and Mai Thai on Bernard. I haven't been to the latter but it had good reviews when it opened up. Red Thai was quite good when I went (maybe 2 years ago) it's just a shlep to go there for us in the burbs.

              6 Replies
              1. re: hungryann

                I was taken to Red Thai on a work related meal about two years ago. My food was pretty good; however my companions weren't impressed with what they ordered. While they weren't the most chowish people, I took this as a warning sign and never tried the place again. Perhaps it is time to give them another chance?

                1. re: emerilcantcook

                  As hungryann mentions this has been discussed recently, but my opinion, for what it's worth:
                  - Thailande on Bernard: very good (I like the som tam, the beef salad, the crispy duck, the phrik khing, the panaeng curry - can you tell I go often ?)
                  - Chao Phraya: also good, but a bit short on atmosphere
                  - Thai grill: not very good, IMHO, and the service is strange, though the decor is quite fab
                  - Bato thai (in the village): not good
                  - Gout de la thailande (on Fleury): really not good
                  - Red thai: been only once, wasn't bad but wasn't memorable either
                  Haven't been to Phayathai, maybe I'll try it soon.

                  1. re: johnnyboy

                    I've wanted to check out the Bernard one, if it is the same one I am thinking of. I was amused by the "valet parking" sign - there isn't a parking lot there, so I suppose they park your car for you on the street? Lol, well, I don't own a car, just found the sign amusing! It seems like a HUGE place though - is it ever filled? I've only walked passed it in off-times of the day. If you go to Phayathai on Laurier, let me know how they compare. Maybe I'll try out Thailande next time. I've never been to Thai grill but somehow, looking at it from the street, it seemed too trendy to be good food. Yes, that's pretty bad to judge on those grounds, but, well, there you go. I also forgot another suggestion worth mentioning: Cash and Curry on Duluth, the same person who used to do Nantha's Kitchen. Although, I think there is Malaysian too. Now it's been a long time since I've been there, but I remember the food was worth the visit, even though at this point I'd choose Phayathai over it. A good plan for take out - there aren't many tables in there, and if it is chilly outside, it's not all that pleasant inside. All the same, the food - yum!

                    1. re: heliotrope

                      Nantha's meals are good, but definitely not Thai, and not even pure Malaysian. The bones of the cuisine is Southeast Asian, but ingredients range from duck confit to miso. The food is usually pretty good (depending on the cooks mood that day), and I kind of like the crazy atmosphere inside.

                      1. re: heliotrope

                        Yes, La Thailande is on Bernard at St-Urbain. The place isn't really that large. They have a section where you can sit on the floor and lean on Thai-style cushions - looks fun, but my own experiences in Thailand (and aging back) lead me to prefer a normal chair and table. The valet thing is actually quite handy, because there's not a lot of street parking available (mostly resident parking).
                        I might actually try Phayathai tonight !

                        1. re: johnnyboy

                          Finally got to La Thailande on Bernard, and had a great time there. Really like the way the menu is laid out, too, where the different preparations are what you choose, then whether you want them with vegetables, tofu, chicken, beef, etc., (with suggestions as to what ingredients generally work with each preparation). Sorry, I'm not explaining that so well, but hopefully you understand! It beats wading through pages of a menu ordered by "protein" (ie. chicken section, seafood section, beef section....which is what Phayathai does). So La Thailand has one-up on Phayathai (I'm comparing the two, since Phayathai has been more #1 right now) for menu efficiency and making it clear that diners are free to order the dish they want!

                          Food-wise, I still don't know if I prefer Phayathai or this one, after one visit to La Thailande, it seems great too. But just one visit won't be enough for me to decide between the two at this point.

                          thanks for the recommendation!