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Opinions about Mengrai Thai?

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bigpestle Nov 21, 2010 05:57 AM

Please tell me what you think about Mengrai Thai. We are thinking about the place for a Christmas lunch for 10 people you say that they like Thai food..

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Mengrai
82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

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  1. kayehm RE: bigpestle Nov 21, 2010 12:22 PM

    Good choice - food, atmosphere.
    But some think Sukhothai wins on food.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/737489
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697937
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/451937
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/702469

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    Sukhothai
    274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: kayehm
      jlunar RE: kayehm Nov 21, 2010 12:57 PM

      The main issue with Sukhothai is that the space is limited. So much so, that I'm not sure 10 people would be very comfortable. I recall that they had a basement room, so it's possible, but you'd have to be aware of the space and possibly, pre-order ahead of time (things can get really slow if they're busy).

      Mengrai is much better suited to larger groups and a nicer environment.

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      Mengrai
      82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

      Sukhothai
      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

      1. re: jlunar
        Food Tourist RE: jlunar Dec 3, 2010 09:41 AM

        The new incarnation of Sukhothai called Khao San Road will have 52 seats, including communal tables and a bar area. Opening in January on Adelaide St. West. Should be tasty AND "hip". (I'm so tired of ugly/small/badly-lit/boring Thai restos!)

        http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...

        1. re: Food Tourist
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          LTL RE: Food Tourist Dec 3, 2010 12:27 PM

          Thanks for the article link. Confused as to why they said the pad thai comes with glass, not rice, noodles though.

          1. re: LTL
            Food Tourist RE: LTL Dec 3, 2010 05:53 PM

            Here's another one I just saw: http://www.eyeweekly.com/food/feature...

    2. g
      Gary RE: bigpestle Nov 21, 2010 02:09 PM

      I have had numerous very positive experiences at Mengrai. It's a restaurant with nice decor, very friendly service and great food. Our only less-than-stellar experience was when we arrived on a night when they happened to be unusually busy due a special event, but I think that was a one off case of bad timing.

      Another observation is that the best dishes to order are those featured prominently at the front of the menu and the daily specials: there are some less specifically Thai dishes hidden towards the back (generically "pan Asian" foods like fried rice) that are pretty mediocre compared to the rest, so I'd stick with what the restaurant does best. But that advice probably applies to most restaurants. Their fishes dishes are particularly fantastic in my experience, so if there's a fish special order it for sure.

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      Mengrai
      82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

      1. p
        Pincus RE: bigpestle Nov 22, 2010 08:38 AM

        Mengrai is really a great place with fine food and great service, in my experirence.

        1. Full tummy RE: bigpestle Nov 22, 2010 02:14 PM

          For that kind of event at a Thai restaurant, I would choose Mengrai or Linda. Both excellent options with the kind of atmosphere one is looking for for a Christmas lunch.

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          Mengrai
          82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

          18 Replies
          1. re: Full tummy
            k
            KitchenVoodoo RE: Full tummy Nov 26, 2010 09:49 PM

            I'm sorry but I can't recommend Mengrai. The food I had there had obviously been cooked very far in advance - it appeared on our table less than a minute after we ordered. Greasy, soggy, salty, and way too sweet. The sort of stuff that a diner dishes up when they have a bus load coming through for a show. The owner hovered over us too much, and he had terribly bad breath!
            See if you can arrange for the cooks at Sukothai to cater a private lunch at your office, or some other space that you can rent for a few hours.

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            Mengrai
            82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

            1. re: KitchenVoodoo
              pinstripeprincess RE: KitchenVoodoo Nov 30, 2010 10:13 AM

              there's been a pretty big shake-up in the kitchen at sukhothai, the food just isn't the same.

              i'm holding out for a month from now when nuit should be resurfacing at a new location.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                Full tummy RE: pinstripeprincess Nov 30, 2010 11:45 AM

                Nuit isn't cooking there right now?

                1. re: Full tummy
                  pinstripeprincess RE: Full tummy Nov 30, 2010 11:54 AM

                  hasn't been for at least a couple weeks.

                  1. re: Full tummy
                    c
                    childofthestorm RE: Full tummy Nov 30, 2010 11:55 AM

                    Whoa really?

                  2. re: pinstripeprincess
                    l
                    LTL RE: pinstripeprincess Nov 30, 2010 12:12 PM

                    That is disheartening to hear. It's a good thing I didn't drop by last Friday as planned.

                    Any more details you can provide on the "new location"? Is it a second Sukhothai post?

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                    Sukhothai
                    274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                    1. re: LTL
                      TorontoJo RE: LTL Nov 30, 2010 12:21 PM

                      New partner, new restaurant in the entertainment district. Not a second Sukhothai, though Jeff's father will continue to own Sukhothai.

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                      Sukhothai
                      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                      1. re: LTL
                        pinstripeprincess RE: LTL Nov 30, 2010 12:26 PM

                        it will be unrelated to sukhothai and a bit more of an upmarket place than the take-out style. i don't know a tonne of details but can say that there will be old favourites on the menu and quite a few new items too.

                        you can find it in the entertainment district under the name khao san road
                        http://khaosanroad.ca/

                        and by the by, if it hasn't already been made clear by previous postings, i do know the chef/owners.

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess
                          l
                          LTL RE: pinstripeprincess Nov 30, 2010 12:46 PM

                          Thanks for the info, Jo and PSP! Also, sorry if my post came across in any way as skeptical. I just got excited at the prospect of a potentially easier and more reliable way to access Nuit's cooking. Through your posts and meeting you at prior Chow meets, I know your intel to be reliable :)

                          1. re: LTL
                            pinstripeprincess RE: LTL Nov 30, 2010 12:54 PM

                            no skepticism detected. just have been sitting on this info for a while, but as a friend of chef/owners, i'm limited in how much i can talk about it by the chow mods and figured i might as well throw in a disclaimer for any new folk who aren't familiar with my gushing about nuit's food here.

                            1. re: pinstripeprincess
                              TorontoJo RE: pinstripeprincess Nov 30, 2010 01:15 PM

                              Oops, I should make the same disclaimer -- I know the owner and love Nuit's cooking.

                          2. re: pinstripeprincess
                            g
                            ggom1 RE: pinstripeprincess Dec 3, 2010 04:20 AM

                            Wow, this totally just made my day! I'm only a few blocks from the new location; it'll be great to have them nearby and I'm hoping that the new space is also larger than Sukhothai? Do you know when they're planning to open?

                            1. re: ggom1
                              pinstripeprincess RE: ggom1 Dec 3, 2010 05:20 AM

                              definitely larger, just over 50 seats. if things go to plan it should be open near the end of the month.

                              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                g
                                ggom1 RE: pinstripeprincess Dec 3, 2010 07:47 AM

                                thanks! i'll definitely be keeping an eye out

                          3. re: LTL
                            c
                            currycue RE: LTL Dec 1, 2010 07:05 AM

                            Noticed the kitchen staff change when I dropped by last tuesday, but the food was still good. Very slightly different, but still good.

                            1. re: LTL
                              Food Tourist RE: LTL Dec 3, 2010 09:48 AM

                              Got Sukhothai delivery on Wednesday night and it's still very good. Garlic beef with fried egg, mango salad, Sukho pad thai, penang chicken -- all similar to a few months ago.

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                              Sukhothai
                              274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                              1. re: Food Tourist
                                p
                                Pincus RE: Food Tourist Dec 3, 2010 09:59 AM

                                Phew!

                                1. re: Food Tourist
                                  pinstripeprincess RE: Food Tourist Dec 3, 2010 02:23 PM

                                  glad that it's been good for others... but my pad thai's haven't been as nuanced and my last penang didn't even visually resemble what i had before.

                        2. c
                          currycue RE: bigpestle Nov 30, 2010 07:27 AM

                          Loved their atmosphere, the fish and shrimp were outstanding. Very unimpressed by their curry. Had to send it back several times.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: currycue
                            p
                            Pincus RE: currycue Nov 30, 2010 08:18 AM

                            Did it come back on its own, or did the serving staff help it along?

                            1. re: Pincus
                              c
                              currycue RE: Pincus Dec 1, 2010 07:04 AM

                              It was still way too spicy and lacking complexity of flavour. Sukhothai blows them out of the water.

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                              Sukhothai
                              274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                          2. p
                            phoenikia RE: bigpestle Nov 30, 2010 09:14 AM

                            How is Mengrai's Panang?

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                            Mengrai
                            82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: phoenikia
                              c
                              chalenegirl RE: phoenikia Feb 25, 2011 07:41 PM

                              i had the panang curry today with chicken and Suhkothai's curry beats them in flavour, consistency, and overall quality. the depth and flavour just wasn't there. not bad, but not good enough to finish. the resto is very nice though with great service.

                            2. Flexitarian RE: bigpestle Dec 2, 2010 09:07 AM

                              I've been going to Sukhothai almost since it opened and before people discovered it and also know the owners (so there, my disclaimer, lol). My boyfriend lives around the corner.

                              Enjoying Nuit's cooking will now be more of an effort now - higher priced, paying for parking, farther to go, more of a dining experience which takes more investment in time, etc. but I congratulate them on what will likely result in increased income for them.

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                              Sukhothai Restaurant
                              11 4th St E, Cornwall, ON K6H2H7, CA

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Flexitarian
                                kwass RE: Flexitarian Dec 2, 2010 11:53 AM

                                is it still worth going to sukhothai?

                              2. hal2010 RE: bigpestle Feb 5, 2011 09:30 PM

                                I was at Mengrai tonight and tried a special southern Thai curry. It had fresh pineapple and a deep golden brown sauce that was quite unique. The closest thing I can compare it to is massaman curry but it was smoother and shinier. No coconut milk, but lots of holy basil and lemongrass. It was outstanding over sticky rice. One of the best Thai curries I've had.

                                Also had deep fried tofu sticks dusted with coconut , which were fairly bland and had to be rescued by a sweet tamarind sauce. And their "street" Pad Thai which is my favourite in the city.

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                                Mengrai
                                82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

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