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Opinions on best Thai food?

  • m

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!

                2. Hello moh, My wife & I eat take out from Thailande all the time, almost always delicious. It's been a couple of years since I've been on-site at the resto, but it was a great experience the last time I went. The vibe is very nice, it's relaxed but elegant somehow. Not stuffy like some of the others mentioned here. You can get one of those tables where you sit on cushions, very nice.

                  I don't know if they have their own site, but the info (including menu) is here:

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mackinaw

                    Do yourself a favor and stick to take out at Thailande. I went with a group of 18 people and the service was horrific. Now I know serving big groups is not always easy but this was beyond slow. My partner and I ordered soup. We happened to be the only people who ordered soup and thus everyone else at the table had to wait for us to be done before they can get an appetizer. Then after we finished our soup the waiter brought everyone else their appetizers. My boyfriend and I happened to order other appetizers though because only he was having a main dish. I just wanted all the appetizers. So the waiter wouldnt' bring the main courses for the other customers because he was waiting for me finish. Everyone was pissed off to say the least and rushing me to finish so they could get their food. They were also eating all of my dinner to rush the service. I have never seen anything like that before. It was beyond the worst experience in a restaurant in Montreal. Chao Phraya is my place I have tried many of the Thai places in Montreal it its still number 1 in my books. The food at Thailande was bland and lacked flavor. You want good Thai Chao Phraya and Thai Grill are good

                  2. My vote goes to PhayaThai, the original one on Guy and a close second to the sister resto on Laurier. But the vote can go either way since I never know when the owner is there, though he tells me he's usually at Laurier a lot now - he ensures you are served well. But they're both great.
                    Chao Phraya is my next best pick.
                    Make sure you let them know you can take the heat and insist on extra spicy if you like it so.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: chilipepper

                      Chilipepper, I'm happy to hear you recommend PhayaThai, I am actually going there today! Thanks for the tip about the extra spicy.

                      1. re: chilipepper

                        Chilepepper, thanks again for the rec. I really enjoyed my meal at the Guy Phayathai, I'll definitely check out the Laurier one soon.

                        Deep fried spring rolls were tasty, not greasy, very good.

                        The Chicken with galangal and coconut milk was a real winner. Bright clean flavours, nice balance of salty, sour, sweet.

                        Pad Thai was very good, almost as good as Cuisine Bangkok when they are flying high.

                        The duck in red curry and coconut milk was outstanding, one of my favorite in this city so far. The green curry was also excellent.

                        We had a simple dish of stir-fried vegetables in garlic, well-executed, much more flavourful than similar dishes I've had in generic Asian restos.

                        My one beef was with the rice, which was a little crusty and dried out (steamed rice, not sitcky).

                        Paired this all with a nice cheap spanish rose (castillo de liria) which did not break the bank and which went well-enough with the food. Refreshing, good acidity, just what we needed. I'll be honest though, not many of the other wines on their list would go well with the food, so this isn't a wine lover's paradise. Goodness, I'd love to revamp their list. lots of really forgettable bottles.

                        Service was excellent, friendly, helpful, efficient. All in all, a very good night.

                        1. re: moh

                          Thanks for reporting back! Glad you enjoyed Phayathai (which I had recommended as my top choice too, as the fourth response, above, though I have not been to the Guy location, I was talking about the Laurier on.). Yeah, that duck red curry is something! it was the first dish I tried there, and it astounded me, and I've ordered it many times afterwards. Although, sometimes I've received it where the duck pieces have too much fat not crispy enough (flabby), which I'm not all keen on. Still it doesn't stop me from ordering it. I would also recommend the Panaeng, which Chililala also agrees, and if you like duck, really you must try the duck salad. It's minced with lots of lime and mint and is on the spicy side for sure. It's a big serving for an appetizer, so better shared with others.

                          1. re: heliotrope

                            Yes, the duck salad appealed, but others were keen on the curry...

                            l'll definitely check those dishes out! Thanks Heliotrope!

                            1. re: moh

                              Well, it might be time to go back to Phayathai. It's been about 5 years since I chomped down on a piece of metal, that turned out to be a bit of the curly Kate thing they used for washing the pots. No discount, no comp, no nothing. Maybe I'll give in and try their other location on Laurier.

                              La Thailande has always done awfully nice curries, but I've never been a fan of much else there...but I'm the wrong person to ask. The food is very tasty, but my holy grail has always been authenticity, which is sadly lacking at most places.

                              There are a few to absolutely avoid. Souvenirs du Bangkok, which may or may not still be there on Ste. Catherine, always makes me say, "Hmmm, I my memories of Bangkok are distinctly different..."
                              The other dog is the one on Monkland (I forget the name), which is not only not good, but rather poorly run as well.

                              Talay Thai was a nice surprise when it opened, but I haven't been for a while. Their fried things were too greasy, but the curries and soups were very well done.

                              As moh pointed out below, many of the more upmarket places really overcharge, and that's completely unnecessary. I've never tried Red Thai on St. Laurent, though I've heard it's good, but the menu always makes us shake our heads every time we walk by.

                              I went to Thai Grille a couple of times, and though hellishly expensive and with very small portions, the food is outstanding. Also about as authentic as you can find in Montreal flavour-wise, though they do take liberties with traditional recipes.

                              If, like me, you prefer to cook Thai at home because it's better than what's available, here's a hint: The larger Asian markets sell frozen, crushed lemongrass, and for flavour and freshness, it beats the pants off anyone's "fresh" lemongrass. Just sayin'...

                              1. re: bomobob

                                I finally made it to Phayathai on Laurier recently, and frankly it was awful - closer to the nondescript "asian" food you'd get at some suburban mall (even worse than Thai Grill !). With all the previous raves on this thread and others, I would assume that there has been a change in ownership or the kitchen in the last year.

                                1. re: johnnyboy

                                  I think the original owner of Phayathai is now based at the Laurier location(the original location is at Guy, & it's still there but another owner).

                                2. re: bomobob

                                  I just want to confirm bomobob's take on Souvenirs du Bangkok.
                                  My partner and I couldn't handle the wait at Kazu tonight, so we looked around quickly for another place to eat.
                                  We've never encountered terrible Thai food before, and assumed that this restaurant would at least be adequate. It had the standard Thai restaurant atmosphere and was populated by many normal, happy-looking customers, so we assumed we were safe.

                                  My order of chili-basil beef (alas, no Khee Mao on the menu) was basically a soup of fatty poached meat in beef broth, with a few pre-cut vegetables thrown in.
                                  My partner's curry was similarly disappointing. We also caught a glimpse of another table's pad thai, which looked just like Lipton "Sidekicks" Thai noodles.

                                  Even my own feeble attempts at Thai food at home have been more pleasing - this stir fry looked like it came out of an undersized teflon pan.

                                  I hate to give bad reviews but I just want to make spare others the trouble.
                                  I wish I had had more time tonight to wait in line at Kazu.

                        2. Hey all, thanks for the great replies!

                          We ended up doing take out from Restaurant Thailande on the weekend, so please keep in mind this report is based on take-out, which I think is a less than ideal way to judge Asian restos.

                          Service was very fast! Our order was ready within 10 minutes of calling. Talk about instant gratification!

                          We tried the spring rolls with a peanut based sauce. It was good, but not special. We also had the deep-fried tofu appetizer with peanut sauce. I preferred this appetizer, but this really is a dish that should be eaten in house to enjoy its maximal potential. But We still ate it with relish.

                          We then had the red curry with coconut milk with vegetables, an excellent selection of vegetables, including those lovely Thai eggplants, and the curry was very flavourful and authentic. We also had the crispy duck with soy sauce, which was also very delicious, our favorite dish. The duck skin was nice and crispy, and the meat tender. But I must say that for $20, I found the portion to be quite small. I thought at that price, I'd be getting at least half a duck. The pad thai was good, but not my favorite version. I found the sauce a bit cloying, a touch too sweet as well. And the shrimps were ok, but not great on the pad thai.

                          Overall, the food was very good. I'll definitely go back. I enjoyed the level of spice and flavour. Thanks for the rec!

                          1. I'll put my vote in for Thailand on Bernard and Chao Praya. Chalet Thai on Ste-Ann-de Bellevue has always list of top WI restaurants as well as Souvenir Thai. Souvenir Thai is in Vaudreuil - not the best overall, but their Bankok soup is simply addictive and worth the trip (then again, I live out west)... plus, it's a BYOB.

                            1. Contrary to many, I find Chao Phraya disappointing. It has put more effort into decor than the food. Chuch and it's express cafe next door are good. They are also very good for vegetarians too.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: theproo

                                A few months ago I took a friend to Chao Phraya on Laurier, a restaurant I've enjoyed for more than a decade. I was underwhelmed by sticky rice that just seemed dried out, chicken satay that seemed more like "chicken tenders", even their squid/mint/chili appetizer, usually a stand out, failed to excite. As Thai restos have proliferated, it seems instead of improving their game they're instead just going through the motions. It's too bad, as I've had some very good meals there, but I don't see myself going back again.

                                1. re: erich wiess

                                  I concur about Chao Phraya. It used to be amazing, but now it's just ok for me.

                                  My favorite is definitely Restaurant Thailande on Bernard. I am, however, a little disappointed that we don't have any truly authentic Thai restos in Montreal. The way I found out about these forums was through my cousin who took me to this gem of a Thai restaurant in Chicago. She discovered it here (Chicago board) and it's one of those places where they have a regular menu and a Thai menu, for Thai people. Someone translated the Thai menu on the forum and people started flocking there ordering the authentic Thai food.

                                  It's a tiny place, not much in terms of ambiance and decor, but it is absolutely the best food I've ever eaten. I wish we had something similar in Montreal. If there is and I'm completely in the dark about it, I would love to be enlightened!

                                  1. re: erich wiess

                                    Agree about Chao Phraya. Until I went last month, I was calling it my absolute fave in Montreal for Thai fine dining, but was also underwhelmed by my dish. My Tom Yum soup didn't even make me wince (no zest!) and my main was just not memorable. Unless I am going for a birthday gathering, I probably wouldn't go out of my way to go again.

                                  2. Has anyone tried Lotus Royal Thai at Ste-Catherine near Papineau? It is a little far for me but if i hear good things I would try it.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Alyson777

                                      Actually, I've eaten at Lotus Royal Thai many times though it's out of the way for me, as I really appreciate their traditional style. Excellent people and I never found a fault with the food. Excellent, IMO. I was taking some French classes just up the street at Centre Lartigue and, for a while I began just phoning the owner and saying to just make me up something good to take out to eat at class break. They accommodated and never disappointed.

                                    2. I didn't enjoy Nonya much at all and thought it to be very overpriced. Also, I would avoid Chuch... I can't say what's good unfortunately, but I'll try some of the places mentioned.

                                      1. Anyone tried Bangkok Express on Monkland? I've heard the lobster red curry is delicious!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: redroses

                                          I have many times and I quite like it, though I know it doesn't satisfy some of the Thai-food purists on the board. My fave dishes: fish with red curry, chicken with eggplant.

                                          1. re: redroses

                                            I went once and liked my tofu green curry and tom yum soup. Lobster red curry sounds fabulous. I will check it out if/when I am in the hood.

                                          2. I'm a novice Chowhoundess, but have been to many Thai restaurants including Phaya Thai (on Guy), Thailande, and Red Thai. I've read the postings and feel compelled to give an almost perfect rating to Mai Thai, after two delightful visits to this most authentic restaurant. The symphony of flavours and textures of each plate, each of which, like members of an orchestra, made its own distinct contribution to our meal - from the beignets de poisson to the dumplings (pillows) filled with pork and shrimp to the rustic beef curry to the panang curry shrimp to the duck sauteed with basil and peppercorns - our taste-buds are dancing to the blissful and harmonious marriage of spices. Bravo Mai Thai for the artistry of your chef and for a most attentive and charming waiter.

                                            Restaurant MAI Thai
                                            365 Rue Bernard W, Montreal, QC H2V1T6, CA

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: bonnefourchette

                                              Just a quick note that Mai Thai has likely jumped the shark. Went there mid-week in June of this year and had a terrible experience - fried broccoli that was cold and utterly drenched in oil, main courses brought out 20 minutes apart after waiting over an hour, extremely loud music blasting over the stereo system...not a good night.

                                              As for whether this recent visit was an aberration or business as usual, I don't know, but I sure won't be returning to try it again.

                                              1. re: anachemia

                                                My one experience dining at Mai Thai, I was unimpressed(the food looks better than it tastes). Plus it was pretty expensive. I think this place is over-rated.

                                            2. anybody been to mak mak? Review on gazette (http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/C...) seems pretty good, but never got around to go

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: mak2k

                                                Mak Mak is not bad. The food is pretty good and they will make it as piquant as you want. They have a scale that goes from 1 to 5. 4 is where it starts to get serious and can even ask for 6,7,8... if your'e into Jackass level spicing. The staff is very nice and the decor is fun. The menu is based on Thai street food. The flavours are nice and lively and portions are generous, but the execution is so-so. The imperial rolls, the chicken wings and makmak chicken were real winners, My pad see ew was delicious, but was too soupy and made with the wrong noodles. The salad rolls were lacking in herbs and the ingredients were not well distributed in side the rolls.

                                                If I lived in the 'hood, I'd probably be a regular, but I don't think it's worth going across town for.


                                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                                  I love MakMak. We (my husband and I) discovered it in January and it is our most frequented restaurant this year. We've probably been every 2 or 3 weeks since. We normally order the Wok MakMak, basically a stirfry with rice and meat of your choice (or not), and the MaMa MakMak, a stirfry/rice vermicelli noodle dish, which I have had with chicken, vegetarian and with tofu, all great, but I think I prefer the vegetarian. What keep drawing me back is the SAUCE. I can't figure out what the chef does to make it so tasty, but I eat at other Thai places and just wish I was eating my veggie noodle dish at MakMak. I have described it to friends as a kind of 'fast food' thai place, and have only been at lunch. That's what I like about it, it's a fast, casual, clean and tasty resto, so we're able to be in and out at lunch time pretty fast. The plates are pretty large, particularly the MaMa MakMak. We honestly have gone to the place trying to order other items to see what they're like, but we always crumble and order the same thing, so I really can't say anything about the other dishes! The staff is polite and courteous, and in all our times going, we have only had one time where our meals were a little off, but we love it there so much we shrugged it off and looked forward to the next time.

                                                  1. re: butterTarrt

                                                    I ordered from MakMak a few months back (delivery) and the pad thai was atrocious... the chicken was bland, the sauce is non existent. too much noodle, not enough flavor.

                                                    1. re: mak2k

                                                      butterTarrt, is that "special sauce" on the Wok or the MaMa dish? (or both?)

                                                      Also, have you tried getting it delivered? Was it as good as eating it there?

                                                      1. re: anachemia

                                                        anachemia, the sauce i like is part of the MaMa... it's just a red, spicy something delicious sauce... the Wok has a heavier tasting sauce with thai basil in it, also very good, a little bit of licorice flavour, too.

                                                        we always eat there. i have a feeling i would not like it as much for delivery. i just don't think our dishes would transport well.

                                                        mak2k, on my very first visit i had the pad thai - and I agree, there was a lot of noodle happening...

                                              2. I love Chu Chai, but its the biggest rip off. I also enjoy the Pad Thai at Bangkok Express on Monkland but Im sure theres way better I just dont do thai often.

                                                Chu Chai
                                                4088 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M5, CA

                                                1. Last Sunday, Chao Phraya was closed, so we went to Phrayathai, on Guy. From outside the restaurant is not really appealing. Inside, it's nice and quiet, nothing spectacular, nothing ''Thai''. We shared the Poc Pia, very good indeed. Then my friend had the Phad Pao Kha Kung and she liked it. I had the Frog Legs : nice sauce but the portion was a bit small. I forget about the desserts; may be they were not that impressive. The service was good but it could have been a bit more attentive. I think we will have to explore the other sites Chowhounders are suggesting.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: lamaranthe

                                                    I've been to Phayathai on Guy recently, and it is quite good. I asked for super spicy Tom Yum, and they did not disappoint! I would go for lunch more often, but it's just a tad too pricy for me (~20$ for lunch, but I would rather pay around 10$ at lunch), so it's only a 'special' lunch place. I've had a hard time finding really yummy affordable Thai food. Mak Mak used to be my place to go, but they changed chefs a while ago now, and the dish I used to order isn't the same. It's not bad, but it's just not what I had been going there for. I keep hoping for a resurrection!

                                                  2. Just recently tried Restaurant Thailand on Bernard which is now my new favorite for thai in Montreal. Went for the Table d'hote and the tom yum kha was a great start. The chicken satay was quite possibly the best I've had anywhere, we actually got a second order to-go for a late night snack later haha. I had the Pad phed with chicken for the main course and it was very very good, chicken was tender, veggies were cooked perfectly and the sauce was complex and all around delicious.

                                                    1. Aux Cinq Parfums off of L'Acadie is one of my favs and it serves up a good fusion of Thai, Cantonese, etc.

                                                      Another option is on the South Shore: Golden Bowl.

                                                      1. I saw a new (at least to me) thai restaurant on Cote-des-neiges and St-Kevin. It's called Laitue and looked very homey. Has anyone tried it?

                                                        1. We had a hankering for Thai so we tried Thailand on Bernard after many moons had passed since my last visit.
                                                          Sadly, it wasn't as good as I remembered. Every main dish was overly sweet and lacking heat, even when we specified two or three "chili peppers"; these included the yellow curry lamb ( best protein-wise, flavorful meat at least), red curry beef ( best in terms of all the curries, sharpest in flavor but not by much), green curry squid ( tender squid in the second best sauce, milder than the red, sharper than the yellow, but then again not by much), musuman (sp?) beef curry ( the sweetest of all), and the eggplant with basil ( delicious, melt-in-your-mouth eggplant with meh sauce). All were ordered with one chili pepper spice-wise except for the musaman which was supposed to be two chilis, but they were all mild and indistinguishable,
                                                          A Tom kha gai with three chilis had no heat and was quite one dimensional.
                                                          My dining companions enjoyed their crab spring rolls and fried squids, though I found them to be also kinda boring, but the squid were tender, albeit with heavier than expected batter, like fish and chips.
                                                          All in all, kinda disappointing. Maybe will go back and ask for Thai spicy and see what happens. But I am still craving spicy Thai!
                                                          On a side note, went to Phaya Thai on Guy a few months ago and had a similar experience, with too many sugary notes, though the heat was there along with a better balance of sour and salty. So that was kinda disappointing too. *sigh*

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: chilipepper

                                                            I find that the flavours can really vary, depending on who's in the kitchen.
                                                            That being said, Thailande is still the best Thai I've had so far.

                                                          2. Oop, forgot, we also ordered a pad Thai, not the regular one, but the one with onions and basil, with chicken, and that came with wider than usual noodles, was supposed to be a two chili but had no heat, and also tasted sweet. Meh.

                                                            1. I finally tried Phayathai on Guy just below Ste-Cathe last week... had a pad thai to go and asked for it dangerously spicy. They gave me an extra package of chili sauce which I dumped in and was sweating into my food. I think I actually overdid it and upset my stomach. It was really good though, and I'll definitely be back to try some of their curries and other menu items in the new year. The dining room looked pretty nice as well.

                                                              1. Thaiphon my friends...Thaiphon.... THE best decor and Pad Thai I've eaten.

                                                                1. Ate at Phayathai on Guy again with family last weekend and wasn't impressed at all.

                                                                  I had the Thai basil seafood dish (requested Thai spicy and it was a fireball!) but the seafood itself was completely tasteless. There's nothing that bugs me more than finding those pieces of rubbery pre-carved calamari rods on my plate that obviously came right out of a freezer bag. It's the Montreal equivalent of fake crab meat and I'll scratch any restaurant off my list as soon as that comes out! I also had some fish cakes as a starter and while the spicy homemade cucumber salsa was really delicious, the fish themselves were a complete misfire. Deep fried mushy tasteless and undiscernable patties that could have been swapped out for just about anything. It was terrible. As were their fried spring rolls, which I didn't order but sampled from the table. While I wouldn't completely disregard it as a quick last-minute take-out option, it's another big "meh" for Montreal Thai imo.

                                                                  1. Has anyone been to the new Thai bistro on La Joie in Outremont ?

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: BarackHObama

                                                                      Galanga? I saw the review in The Gazette...sounds interesting, may try it out.

                                                                      1. re: hungryann

                                                                        Also reviewed in today's Montreal Mirror paper.

                                                                      2. re: BarackHObama

                                                                        Went last night and thought it was pretty decent (from the few dishes we had). Will be definitely returning to see if the rest of the menu holds up.

                                                                        The beef salad appetizer had generous amounts of beef and a nice chilli kick. It could have done with more salad though. We had the duck in red curry and an aubergine & shrimp dish. The red curry was excellent and on par with the chef special (shrimp) at Phayathai on Laurier (a personal favourite). The shrimp/aubergine dish was very tasty but not terribly exciting in terms of flavours (very umami but that's about it). There were also very few shrimp (4). Desserts were pretty boring (ginger crème caramel and pandan crème brulée) but then you don't go to a Thai restaurant for desserts.

                                                                        Service was rapid and friendly. The place is tiny and the only downer was the extreme overheating. We were sweating profusely before we started eating!

                                                                        1. re: BarackHObama

                                                                          Went a few weeks ago and wasn't impressed. Everything had an underlying sweetness. The beef salad was the best in terms of presentation, taste and fiery kick. Like theproo, we also shared the red curry duck and the eggplant and shrimp. The curry was better only because it was nice ans saucy, but the sweetness killed it and not spicy even though it was requested. Both dishes had measly amounts of protein. We also had the beef curry crispy noodle dish( forget the exact name) which was a bizarre mix of soft lo-mein type noodles in curry sauce with some crispy strands on top. Again sweet. Again four measly pieces of meat. The desserts (Ginger creme caramel & pandan creme brûlée) were okay. For the price, it was disappointing. The service was friendly and efficient. I like the space-modern, airy as opposed to the traditional Thai restos awash in deep, dark colours and knick-knacks. Meh, I say.

                                                                          1. re: chilipepper

                                                                            Sounds like another disappointing addition to montreal's Thai food scene. Why don't we have a single decent Thai resto?

                                                                            1. re: hungryann

                                                                              I regularly eat at La Thailande and it definitely qualifies as "decent" - good, even.

                                                                              1. re: johnnyboy

                                                                                Some reports on the board said it was meh and suggested it has gone downhill. I haven't been in over 5 years.

                                                                              2. re: hungryann

                                                                                Finally read the Montreal Mirror & Gazette reviews, both very positive on Galanga. Both reviewers mentioned that it wasn't overly sweet when describing a dish(as opposed to 'chilipepper' where 'Everything had an underlying sweetness'). According to the MM reviewer the Galanga restaurant head chef Kraisak Kuamsub, formerly worked at Thailande restaurant.

                                                                          2. Marie-Claude Lortie of La Presse has a very positive review of Tuk Tuk, a small, economical byow on Côte-des-Neiges near UdM:


                                                                            Probably not the "best Thai food" but it seems very good for the price. Thai prepared by Cambodians, and Lortie mentions at least one Cambodian dish.

                                                                            1. One of the restaurant I'm surprised to hear nothing about is Pamika brasserie thai. I've been lucky to go last week and while it's a small menu the food is pretty authentic, cocktails kind of cool and not too expensive.

                                                                              On top of that the experience is pretty amazing, 3 tables, maybe 6 seats at the bar make it a rather cozy restaurant with the chef basically cooking out of a stove top in the middle of room, it's as close at eating out of the personal kitchen of a chef as it can get.

                                                                              i managed to try the Papaya pok pok pok, pad thai and a cashew chicken dish, and all were spot on.

                                                                              Maybe it's location on sherbroke East near the main make it a little out of the way. But for the ambiance, price and quality of food, I was surprised to not see a line up of foodies and hipsters similar to Soa khan Road in Toronto

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: illusion

                                                                                Thank you for the recommendation! I find it intruiging and will probably check it out in the near future!

                                                                                1. re: CaptCrunch

                                                                                  Same here! Exciting!

                                                                                  I also tried Tuk Tuk the other day and it was tasty, cheap, and homey - with very pleasant service.

                                                                                  1. re: nochainsplease

                                                                                    Is there more than one Tuk Tuk I could have sworn I ate at a ho hum Thai restaurant on Notre Dame West near Charlevoix named Tuk Tuk ??

                                                                                    1. re: finefoodie55

                                                                                      There is a Thai restaurant at Notre-Dame and St-Ferdinand called Mak Mak which is probably the one you're thinking of

                                                                                      1. re: finefoodie55

                                                                                        There is a food truck named tuk tuk too: http://www.letuktuk.ca/fr/contact.html

                                                                                        A tuk tuk is a generic term for a motorised pedicab, as the website explains.

                                                                                        Can unrelated restaurants have the same name, in the same city?

                                                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                                                            Yep if they're generic food names (& probably if they're common first names of their owners used as the resto name, too). There are 2 restos called "Thali", for eg.

                                                                                    2. re: illusion

                                                                                      Anyone else tried Pamika? I have been hearing good things about it lately. Thinking of trying it tomorrow night.