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Sukhothai - A Gem of a Chowfind!

Fwagra Jan 26, 2011 06:14 PM

We were two at Sukhothai tonight. What an amazing place! The place is run by a family of supernice Thai people. They were very warm, hospitable, and welcoming.

The food is incredibly good. We started with spring rolls and garlic chicken: deep fried little chicken fingers, Thai style, with a sweet garlicky dipping sauce. Delicious. Every piece a winner. Then, we move onto Beef Khao Soi. Unbelievably good: perfect (fatless, gristleless) pieces of brisket beef simmered in a yellow curry with egg noodles. Wow, a Thai restaurant with beef that's not scary!

Then, we had their Sukhothai Pad Thai. Very nice. Perfectly al dente rice noodles! Another first. The best Pad Thai I've had. No red ketchupy slimy mess here, folks. This was light and fresh, with a few shrimps.

Our third dish was Gaeng Panang: a savoury peanuty chicken curry with steamed white rice. Again, the chicken pieces were picture perfect each one. Not a trace of fat, gristle, bone, or anything unpleasant. Just well-trimmed boneless white chicken meat, simmered in another sublime and rich Thai sauce.

Delicious cassava cakes for dessert, and a Fanta cream soda to boot.

Thanks to those that have touted this place on CH. I can never eat at Salad King or Young Thailand again. Ever.

Run, don't walk, to Sukhothai.

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  1. miketoronto RE: Fwagra Jan 26, 2011 06:25 PM

    haha not really a Chowfind... seems to be the widely agreed upon "best thai" in Toronto by the press and by chowhound people.

    Regardless, glad you enjoyed it. Always done takeout there and have a feeling it would be considerably better eating in.

    1. pinstripeprincess RE: Fwagra Jan 26, 2011 06:39 PM

      it is not run by a thai family.

      6 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess
        Fwagra RE: pinstripeprincess Jan 27, 2011 04:53 AM

        Ok, well, whatever. My mistake. They're a really nice Asian family. Better?

        1. re: Fwagra
          pinstripeprincess RE: Fwagra Jan 27, 2011 06:28 AM

          well, why make the distinction if it doesn't matter to you to get it correct? just don't include such information then, that's all. it's run by a nice filipino family and has had a thai chef/cooks.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess
            Fwagra RE: pinstripeprincess Jan 27, 2011 07:08 AM

            Ok then. Sorry.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              JonasBrand RE: pinstripeprincess Jan 28, 2011 10:49 AM

              Some clarification and a bit of history...

              Sukhothai is run by a wonderful couple: the wife (chef) is Thai and husband Filipino. They met in Thailand. It is a great spot and as authentic as it get in Toronto!

              This spot was discovered on Chowhound and later (thankfully) picked up on by the press after a post in search of Khao Soi.

              274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

              1. re: JonasBrand
                TorontoJo RE: JonasBrand Jan 28, 2011 11:07 AM

                And now some more clarification and history. :)

                Jeff (Filipino) and Nuit (Thai) have left Sukhothai. They no longer have anything to do with it. They will be opening Khao San Road at 326 Adelaide West in the very near future. This is with a totally new investor, with no relation to Sukhothai.

                Sukhothai is owned by Jeff's father, so there will likely be some confusion. But Jeff and Nuit have made a clean break with the restaurant.

                274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                1. re: TorontoJo
                  Fwagra RE: TorontoJo Jan 31, 2011 04:37 PM

                  Thanks for the clarification.

        2. t
          toveggiegirl RE: Fwagra Jan 26, 2011 08:19 PM

          Does anyone know when the 2nd location opens? I hope they'll be able to keep up the quality when it does. I'm curious to see the new menu.

          10 Replies
          1. re: toveggiegirl
            pinstripeprincess RE: toveggiegirl Jan 26, 2011 08:27 PM

            it's not a second location. it's an separate restaurant with jeff and nuit at the helm.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              toveggiegirl RE: pinstripeprincess Jan 26, 2011 09:26 PM

              Sorry, I should have written second restaurant. I know it has a different name and menu.

              1. re: toveggiegirl
                TorontoJo RE: toveggiegirl Jan 27, 2011 03:49 AM

                I'm pretty sure that Khao San Road opens next week sometime, but I haven't heard a definitive date yet.

                And to reiterate PSP's note above, this is not a second restaurant -- the couple that ran Sukhothai have made a clean break with Sukhothai to open Khao San Road. Think David Lee leaving Splendido to open Nota Bene. No one thought of Nota Bene as Splendido 2. :)

                1. re: TorontoJo
                  toveggiegirl RE: TorontoJo Jan 27, 2011 05:07 AM

                  Found their twitter feed.

                  1. re: toveggiegirl
                    Pincus RE: toveggiegirl Jan 27, 2011 10:51 AM

                    Great detective work! Thanks!

                    1. re: Pincus
                      merlot143 RE: Pincus Jan 28, 2011 07:17 AM

                      I always liked the food at Sukhothai but found the overall serice to be really inefficient. Yes, they are nice and friendly but you still get grumpy if you're waiting 45 minutes for an entree (after everyone else at the table has been give theirs)

                      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                      1. re: merlot143
                        foodyDudey RE: merlot143 Jan 28, 2011 07:29 AM

                        You can have to wait 45 minutes AFTER the others at your table get served? I'd be more than a bit grumpy if that was the case. I've never heard anyone mention that before.

                        1. re: foodyDudey
                          pinstripeprincess RE: foodyDudey Jan 28, 2011 07:42 AM

                          maybe because it's not common.

                          they do have timing issues, no doubt about that, but if a 45 minute wait between people receiving their entrees was a regular thing then i'm sure more people would be turned off and they wouldn't turn as many tables as they do... therefore forcing people waiting in line to wait even longer and form their own distaste. i'm not discounting merlot143's experience, it can definitely be deathly slow (they'll stop taking take-out orders an hour before they close because they're already an hour behind on their prior ones).

                          that being said, when i was still going there i'd show up either early or late to mitigate these problems. not ideal, no, but my choice.

                          1. re: foodyDudey
                            merlot143 RE: foodyDudey Jan 28, 2011 07:43 AM

                            It was very busy at the time, but everyone else at the table had finished eating before I was served. That's lame.

                          2. re: merlot143
                            hal2010 RE: merlot143 Jan 28, 2011 05:21 PM

                            I've found the service has much improved lately. Food used to come to your table as it emerged from the kitchen with no rhyme or reason. One main would come with an appetizer and the next main would come 20 minutes later with another appetizer. Not a problem if you're eating family style and sharing but it could be when, say, one vegetarian at the table was waiting for a particular dish.

              2. f
                froglegs RE: Fwagra Jan 29, 2011 05:52 AM

                It's nice that you had a great time, great food, regardless of who runs the place. You meant well. That is what matters.
                I am going to try this place.
                Thank you for posting a detailed review.

                1. p
                  pbelanger RE: Fwagra Jan 29, 2011 02:46 PM

                  has anyone tried Khao San Road yet? can't seem to find a review.
                  also, if you in northern part of city, try thai shaan inn, at dufferin and eglinton. if suko was 10/10, this is 9/10 for food, but the atmosphere, IMO, makes it better than suko.

                  anxious to try Khao san road though. is the admostphere better than cafeteria style suko thai?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pbelanger
                    toveggiegirl RE: pbelanger Jan 29, 2011 02:53 PM

                    I don't think it has opened yet (although it is supposed to open any day now).

                    1. re: pbelanger
                      pinstripeprincess RE: pbelanger Jan 31, 2011 06:05 AM

                      hasn't opened, so you're not likely to see any reviews except for any of the preview meals they were doing to test run the kitchen.

                      they'll likely post when they're open here:

                      but it will be this week, just a matter of which day exactly.

                      oh and also since the mods deleted my post.... i forgot to mention that it is not cafeteria style (which i'm not sure is how i would describe sukho, more like quick take-out), but it is still casual. a very clean/restrained industrial modern feel to it. i think it's about 52 seats with a nice spacious feel. some design details are still in the works though.

                    2. b
                      bonniec RE: Fwagra Feb 1, 2011 03:22 PM

                      Just a question.
                      I finally tried Sukhothai yesterday, I ordered Takeout, and tried the Garlic Chicken, Sukhothai Pad Thai, and the Khao Soi. However, the Pad Thai tasted quite dry and felt more like fried noodles rather than a "pad thai," it was lacking in that tamarind, "thai" flavour. The Khao Soi was alright, a tad bit too creamy but still good. The Garlic Chicken really was not that great as I had hoped it to be, it didn't really taste like garlic, and I just didn't like the flavour overall. Their Thai Iced Tea is reaaally good though.

                      So the question!

                      Has the quality of this place changed since Nuit and Jeff broke off from it?
                      I'm just disappointed that a place that had such amazing reviews was just an alright restaurant.

                      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: bonniec
                        foodyDudey RE: bonniec Feb 1, 2011 05:22 PM

                        Your observations on those dishes matches mine. I ordered take-out three times from them and never got excited about it. So I never bothered to go back. It apears that the quality varies greatly.

                        1. re: foodyDudey
                          babybluepowder RE: foodyDudey Feb 19, 2011 05:52 PM

                          A group of us ordered takeout a few days ago and had a feast (with the new owners). The food was still amazing but it has changed a bit. We ordered shrimp chips, spring rolls, garlic tofu, tom yum gung soup, tom kha kai, sukhothai pad thai (my old favourite) with shrimp, pad kee mao with beef, green curry with chicken and guaytiaw sukothai. I love their shrimp chips. I've had the shrimp chps, tom yum gung, pad thai and green curry before. I didn't get a chance to try the green curry this time round but my friends enjoyed it. I was happy that the shrimps chips were the same and yummy however the tom yum gung and pad thai were different. The soup was fragrant but the consistancy was different and not as rich and thick. The pad thai did not wow me this time. There was something different about this version. The texture was fine, but it just wasn't as tasty this time. I wouldn't order it again. As for the new items I tried this time, I won't be able to compare the dishes to the previous owner's version but this is what I thought of them. I found the pad kee mao kind of blah, oily and bland. I wouldn't order this again. I didn't like the garlic tofu. Perhaps it was because it was takeout, I didn't like the texture of the tofu. Winners: The tom kha kai was very fragrant and yummy. The spring rolls were nice and crispy and flavourful. The best was the guaytiaw sukothai. The soup was so amazing. I love soup noodles and the broth was so delicious and the beef was so tender. This is my new favourite and would definitely order this again.
                          So I guess I would go back to this place again, but not for my old favourites. I'm going to have to go to Khao San Road to get back my favourite pad thai again and try their other dishes.

                          Khao San Road
                          326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

                          1. re: babybluepowder
                            Wahooty RE: babybluepowder Feb 19, 2011 07:11 PM

                            Just to clarify, Nuit and Jeff are now at Khao San Road, with a new owner, but the ownership of Sukhothai never changed. It still has the same owner it always has - it's the rest of the staff that has undergone some changes.

                            274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                            Khao San Road
                            326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

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