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Khao San Road opens tomorrow

miketoronto Feb 3, 2011 09:50 AM

via their Twitter:

"YAY!!!!! We are opening our doors 4 the very 1st time tomorow. We will be starting with dinner service at 5pm :) Thx all 4 your patience."

Exciting stuff!

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  1. p
    pakmode Feb 3, 2011 10:05 AM

    Just got this email from their subcribtion list too:

    I just want to inform you that we will finally be opening our doors for business tomorrow (Friday February 4th, 2011) at 5pm for dinner service.

    Starting this Saturday our hours of operation will be:
    Monday-Saturday: 11:30am to 1:30pm & 5pm to 10pm
    Closed Sundays

    Also, you can find our menu at: www.khaosanroad.ca\menu

    Things to look forward to:
    - We plan on opening Sundays which will include a Thai Brunch
    - We will be offering delivery in the very near future, but for now takeout is available
    - We will be offering seasonal weekly specials
    - We will be doing special menus for events like Thai New Year and a night of Karaoke

    Thanks for your patronage,
    KSR Team

    12 Replies
    1. re: pakmode
      aser Feb 3, 2011 09:17 PM

      menu looks very similar to sukhothai, wonder what the differences will be since the price points are higher.

      1. re: aser
        hal2010 Feb 4, 2011 05:52 PM

        I imagine most of the difference will be in the surroundings.

        1. re: hal2010
          aser Feb 6, 2011 05:59 PM

          I'll be going nonetheless, can't lie and say that they haven't made an impression on me by being so welcoming. Yes the food is good, but the hospitality pushes it above & beyond.

          Probably stick to ordering the non-sukho thai dishes, and heading to sukho thai for the mainstays.

          As much as people like to hoo and haa about their disassociation from sukhothai, it's still owned w/i the family and I'm relatively confident the quality won't decline. I haven't noticed any dip in the last few months when their involvement lessened, they seemed to have left the business w/ a solid foundation in place. I mean, why wouldn't they want their pops to succeed financially?

          No reason we can't go to both khao san or sukhothai.

          1. re: aser
            e
            EarlyDrive Feb 6, 2011 06:09 PM

            word

      2. re: pakmode
        f
        flashy_mcflash Feb 14, 2011 07:45 AM

        Can't wait to try it! Having Khao Soy (my very favourite dish in the world, sadly very hard to find in Toronto) so close to work is dangerous!

        1. re: pakmode
          p
          principessa del pisello Feb 14, 2011 10:05 AM

          Does anyone know if they have their liquor licence yet?

          1. re: principessa del pisello
            p
            plug Feb 14, 2011 10:12 AM

            it did not appear to be the case when i went in on friday

            1. re: plug
              pinstripeprincess Feb 14, 2011 10:18 AM

              they picked up their license late friday and i was sipping on some singha on saturday!

              yum yum... wine and cocktails to come soon.

              1. re: plug
                KhaoSanRoad Feb 14, 2011 10:21 AM

                Yes we do!

                We received our license last friday and received our first shipment of Singha Saturday afternoon.

                We are currently working on a our wine list and developing a few special cocktails just for fun!

                Also in the works: BYOB, local taps and Thai Buckets.

                1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                  p
                  principessa del pisello Feb 14, 2011 10:34 AM

                  Thanks for the quick reply! I'm looking forward to my first visit on Thursday!

                  1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                    d
                    downtownfoodie Feb 14, 2011 12:01 PM

                    THAI BUCKETS??? I thought I saw the last of those when I left Koh Phangan!!!

                    Danger...

                    1. re: downtownfoodie
                      p
                      peppermint pate Feb 14, 2011 12:04 PM

                      I know, huh? Too funny. Love the idea, though it's not quite the same if you can't stagger across a beach to get back to your room afterwards...

            2. JonasBrand Feb 3, 2011 10:30 AM

              Dropped by yesterday, Jeff & Nuit were just putting the finishing touches on KSR. Special ingredients imported directly from Thailand. Exciting!

              1 Reply
              1. re: JonasBrand
                JonasBrand Mar 1, 2011 05:49 PM

                Swung by KSR for lunch today. Tried the Khao Mun Gai Taud ($10), breaded fried chicken over Jasmine rice cooked with ginger, garlic and pandan - delightful flavour and very tasty. Also made it a combo ($3)... small soup (Tom Kha Gai, chicken and coconut soup) with a summer roll, both were great. Thai ice tea ($4.50) was super, but perhaps a tad pricey.

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

              2. sokoto Feb 3, 2011 11:21 AM

                Looking forward to some good, simple pad gra pao gai -- sadly absent from the Toronto food scene. Interesting choice of name, though -- the Thai folks I worked with absolutely loathed Khao San Road and the "bird shit foreigners" (mainly backpackers fresh from the islands) who hung out there...
                Regardless, I shall be there with bells on.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sokoto
                  Flexitarian Feb 3, 2011 11:23 AM

                  Note, they aren't taking any reservations for now. Is it licenced yet or are they planning to? I doubt it since alcoholic beverages do not show up on their menus but I sent them an email and suggest they tweet that.

                  Two things everyone always needs to know about a restaurant other than the food menu:

                  Do they take reservations and is there booze available, lol.

                  UPDATE: The just took my suggestion and tweet not licensed but coming soon! I always need a nice chardonnay with my Thai food.

                2. Flexitarian Feb 3, 2011 11:33 AM

                  Anyone have any thoughts about a place to go drinks (that is not too noisy) in the area before or after given they are not licensed yet?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Flexitarian
                    KhaoSanRoad Feb 3, 2011 11:41 AM

                    Adelaide St. Pub
                    Open Wide
                    Black Bull

                    -----
                    Black Bull
                    298 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

                    1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                      Food Tourist Feb 5, 2011 08:27 AM

                      It's actually called the Wide Open. They don't serve food there, so that's an incentive to go elsewhere to eat!

                  2. miketoronto Feb 3, 2011 11:35 AM

                    ummm maybe because it's a Thai restaurant for Westerners? makes sense to me, I like the name. Probably a bit tongue in cheek?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: miketoronto
                      miketoronto Feb 3, 2011 11:38 AM

                      KSR just tweeted - no liquor license yet, but soon.

                    2. shekamoo Feb 3, 2011 12:13 PM

                      price point for mains 14 and under. if they maintain quality, what a great bargain it would be. I am concerned a little though

                      1. pinkprimp Feb 3, 2011 02:22 PM

                        I'm excited!! On one hand, I reeeeally want to go tomorrow...on the other hand, if a lot of people have the same idea, I worry that they may not be ready for a huge crowd (and on a selfish note, I don't enjoy excessive wait times for my food).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pinkprimp
                          pinstripeprincess Feb 4, 2011 09:14 PM

                          flow and buzz was good and it was completely manageable, so the wait times weren't an issue. i think the first week "no reservation" policy might have scared off a few people.

                        2. hal2010 Feb 3, 2011 02:51 PM

                          Lunch looks a bit more interesting than Dinner to me. I hope they also have daily specials. It would be nice to see some of the fiery Thai salads on offer. And of course, beer.

                          -----
                          Sukhothai
                          274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: hal2010
                            a
                            acd123 Feb 4, 2011 06:53 PM

                            Yes, some crazy spicy, real-deal laab moo or laab guy would be amazing. Jeff and Nuit, if you're reading this, please put this on the menu. Laab (larb?) is from the north, and that's where Nuit's from, so easy right?

                            1. re: acd123
                              koknia Feb 7, 2011 02:17 AM

                              Laab and those type of salads are from the northeast (Lao speaking Issan), completely different than northern (Lanna) cuisine.

                              1. re: koknia
                                a
                                acd123 Feb 7, 2011 01:57 PM

                                True. Good point. However, I've had great laab in Chaing Mai, Pai (the town where Nuit is from) and elsewhere in the country. I've even had great laab from stalls in Bangkok (served in those little plastic bags with a twist tie - i love that), where it is certainly less popular than in the north. There is no question that even though the dish originated in the Issan region, it is popular all over northern Thailand, albeit with much regional variability in composition.

                                1. re: acd123
                                  koknia Feb 7, 2011 03:44 PM

                                  People from impoverished Issan do all the heavy lifting jobs in Thailand. Construction, service, drivers etc. They are everywhere from north to south and have obviously taken their food with them.

                          2. Flexitarian Feb 6, 2011 10:01 PM

                            I was there Friday evening and thought the food was remarkably good. I will definitely be back. I am sure they will get lots of local traffic as the place becomes known. It's only about a 10 min walk from the bank towers so I am sure it will also get a good lunch time crowd.

                            1. pinstripeprincess Feb 7, 2011 06:27 AM

                              well durn.... i know the plan was to be open 7 days a week but it looks like that isn't the case right now. we have a dearth of good sunday dining options. hours are:

                              Mon-Sat (closed Sundays):
                              Lunch 11:30am - 2:30pm
                              Dinner 5:00pm - 10:00pm

                              oh and it looks like they're now taking reservations.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                t
                                table4onthefly Feb 7, 2011 04:37 PM

                                I could have missed this bit of information on the site or even in this thread, but can anyone tell me if they do take-out as well?

                                1. re: table4onthefly
                                  y
                                  ylsf Feb 7, 2011 05:04 PM

                                  Yes, takeout is available. It was confirmed by their e-mail which was posted by a user above. They said delivery to come in the future but take out available for now.

                                  1. re: ylsf
                                    t
                                    table4onthefly Feb 7, 2011 06:56 PM

                                    Great! Thanks!

                              2. estufarian Feb 8, 2011 05:18 AM

                                Tried Khao San Road last night and it was excellent. My meal was better then those I’ve had at Sukhothai – and as that was a favourite too, high praise indeed.

                                The main difference that elevated the food (for me) was the superb textures. The Sukhothai food was always very tasty, but seemed like ‘home-cooking’ (not a bad thing). Now, some ‘elegance’ (or ‘sophistication’) seems to have elevated the food, although the ‘heat’ seems to have dropped a bit – maybe that’s why the textures seemed more apparent to me.

                                Make sure you know the address – no formal sign (as yet), just a paper name on the door.

                                MUCH more inviting than Sukhothai – but I assume the rent increases proportionately – but this is a far more serious appearance. I know several people who would not have ventured to Parliament, who will be much happier here – although foot traffic on a cold Monday was very light.

                                No license as yet, but apparently it’s hoped for soon. Service welcoming and non-threatening – laid-back being the best description.

                                But to the food – which is the all-important thing.
                                As appetizers we tried the squash patties - AMAZING – this is likely to become a must-order on every visit (c.f. I order Onion Bhajia in every Indian restaurant I can find). Great texture, greaseless and a sweet/hot sauce for dipping that nuzzles the taste buds.
                                Also had the Tom Yum soup – packed with flavour again, and denser than most versions I’ve had before, and textures were perfect with slippery mushrooms, crunchy veg and very fresh lemongrass. NOTE: This is a small portion (cup) not a bowl, so order one each rather than sharing. And finally the crispy tofu (from the lunch menu) which was technically perfect (textures again) but needed the accompanying sauce to liven up the flavour.

                                For the mains, we ordered ‘very spicy’ but need to calibrate our (or the server’s) taste buds! The good news is that a small dish of fiery chile oil was provided on request – but, on reflection, I guess if I owned a restaurant, I’d serve relatively mild food – it’s easy to spice it up, but if it starts too hot, then the whole dish is wasted (or rejected/refunded).

                                The massaman curry (chicken) was (apart from the lack of spicy heat) just about perfect. The revelation was the potato – absolutely perfectly cooked – not too mushy or too hard, and holding shape when cut with a fork (or spoon). Plus the crunch of the peanuts. Certainly the best version I’ve had in Canada – maybe the best anywhere. Even a slight chew to the chicken (but only white meat – but again that’s what is usually expected in Canadian restaurants).

                                The Pad Phed Pha (a stir fry) was also exceptional in its textures – everything “à point” ; crunch, slight chew, but again, not as spicy as I’m used to – soon fixed with the addition of the chilli oil. Superb flavours again.

                                So for under $50 a GREAT meal.

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

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: estufarian
                                  pinstripeprincess Feb 8, 2011 05:29 AM

                                  were you aware of the "thai spicy" option for heat levels? i think that would have matched what you were looking for.

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                    p
                                    plug Feb 8, 2011 06:39 AM

                                    IMO .. the sukhothai "thai spicy" is still spicier.
                                    while i thoroughly enjoy both establishments... one gripe i have is the quantity.
                                    I"m not expecting chinese takeout sized portions of "ho fun" but sometimes its an inch under the lip of the box.
                                    I know we're not in Thailand but pad thai is supposed to be cheap street food ($1 cdn)

                                    1. re: plug
                                      foodyDudey Feb 8, 2011 06:51 AM

                                      But if we are not in Thailand why mention the price over there? It has very little to do with costs here. Maybe the product settled? But I doubt they weigh or measure what they put in each take-out container, they aren't ISO 9001 compliant.

                                      1. re: foodyDudey
                                        p
                                        plug Feb 8, 2011 07:02 AM

                                        LOL thats fair .. but a large package of rice noodles costs 50 cents here.
                                        I still think the portions are pretty small... IMO

                                    2. re: pinstripeprincess
                                      estufarian Feb 8, 2011 06:55 AM

                                      I guess that was part of the 'laid-back' service.
                                      We just asked for 'very hot'.

                                      1. re: estufarian
                                        foodyDudey Feb 8, 2011 07:16 AM

                                        You should have told them you wanted "rim fire" hot. or were hoping to do the dance of the chili plum fairy the next day :-)

                                        1. re: foodyDudey
                                          hal2010 Feb 8, 2011 03:11 PM

                                          Isn't massaman curry fairly mild?

                                          1. re: hal2010
                                            p
                                            plug Feb 8, 2011 03:26 PM

                                            i haven't had it at khao san .. but the sukhothai version . .which should be similar ... it has tamarind in it and has some sweet notes to it.
                                            so ya its a fairly mild curry, IMO

                                            1. re: hal2010
                                              Wahooty Feb 8, 2011 03:26 PM

                                              Based on my understanding, yes, massaman is generally supposed to be a mild curry, heat-wise (at least that's the theme that has come up in my attempts to make it myself). One thing that I think might happen with "thai spicy" in Nuit's kitchen is that not every dish is supposed to be served with searing levels of chili, so "thai spicy" may have a different definition based on what dish you've ordered. This is pure speculation on my part, as I haven't asked her, but in my case, I was there on opening night and my dining companion ordered his panang curry thai spicy - we both found it hot, but not unbearably so. On the other hand, I know she is capable of serving some truly endurance-test dishes when appropriate. But for those looking for the "I want it made 10/15/50 chiles" kind of scale, I don't think Nuit is going to do that. Not that I think that's what estufarian wanted, I just know many in this town expect such things.

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

                                      2. re: estufarian
                                        s
                                        Strongbad789 Feb 8, 2011 11:01 AM

                                        We ate there last Saturday, and we seem to have had a very similar meal to yours (and a similar experience with the spiciness level).

                                        We started with the squash patties, which as you mention were amazing. I'd order them again in a second. Not too greasy and the dipping sauce was a perfect accompaniment.

                                        On ordering our mains, the waitress explained the heat levels up to 'Thai Spicy', and although I like spicy she said that it might be good to try one level below Thai Spicy and add more chilies if I needed them. On receiving my dish it really wasn't very spicy at all, so I added the dish of chili oil she brought and that livened it up (although it still wasn't what I would call 'extremely spicy'). That was a fairly small quibble, though.

                                        For my main I had the massaman curry with beef, and as mentioned above it was pretty perfect. Wonderful flavour, well cooked, I loved the peanuts as well. My girlfriend had their special pad thai and she loved it as well. I'm ecstatic that there's finally a great thai place in my neighbourhood.

                                        1. re: estufarian
                                          pinstripeprincess Feb 24, 2011 05:26 AM

                                          i had a full meal there last saturday and thought i'd offer up some thoughts. i am friends with all those involved, but really no one is giving me special treatment when i sit down for a meal... they're far too busy to do anything special for me.

                                          started with the gra bong (squash fritters), garlic shrimp, and the new mango salad (replacing papaya). gra bong were nicely fried, not greasy, great hearty flavour from the curry paste and sweetness from the squash. they kind of have an element of sweet potato fries to them. the dipping sauce is great, pungent and bright. the garlic shrimp have been amped up with a healthy hit of fresh kaffir lime leaf and wild ginger (how they find these ingredients i do not know). i love how it cuts through the breading... unfortunately they seem a little greasier than before but i also ate them a bit late into the meal. their new mango salad is shredded and marinated a bit and mixed in with peanuts. it has a good funkiness to it and great texture. it was hard not to eat all of it but that was easily quelled because our mains pretty much arrived with two of our apps.

                                          we had the massaman beef, nice tender potato, good amount of beef, nicely sweet and tangy sauce. i do think the sweetness competes with the heat a bit so if you want it to be spicier it's probably best to order it a heat level up. also had the pad gra pao. this was the first time i'd had this dish and i liked the use of holy basil a lot. it was a nice punch of flavour without being overwhelming. i think they're the only restaurant really using it and they're getting it in from thailand. that fried egg was cooked spot on for me. just oozy enough to get some on my rice but solid enough i could get good bits of it. i almost kind of wish i got it to go for breakfast the next morning.... it has a really comfort-y element to it for me.

                                          were far too full at this point to order dessert so we passed on it but got a thai iced tea instead.

                                          looking forward to when they start expanding the menu to include all the special dishes nuit has swimming in her head and trying out some of the lunch items since they're different from the main menu.

                                          also wanted to mention that we ordered everything medium heat and it was about right for what i was expecting. i think they've been paying attention to the spice issues and have been amping it up.

                                          EDIT: i forgot to mention that they didn't give us water until we asked for it halfway through our meal and checked in on us about the same time. we were eating everything and enjoying it so it wasn't really an issue but i like some happy medium between first bite and digging in. they were pretty good about trying to clear plates though since our table was completely covered due to the app + mains coming at the same time. wish the plates themselves were hot!

                                          1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                            estufarian Feb 24, 2011 05:35 AM

                                            Just been too busy to return (so far) and with Hoof Cafe and NY Subway closing this month will probably not return before March.
                                            But will DEFINITELY return then - and can promise the gra bong will be ordered!

                                        2. aser Feb 14, 2011 10:44 AM

                                          Went on Saturday night, some kinks they have to work out but overall a more welcoming place for dining in. They had problems w/ the POS apparently and our orders were quite delayed. I'll cut them some slack and give them the benefit of the doubt.

                                          Service was warm as usual. I would suggest menus printed on better card stock, as I can tell they're trying to reach a more hip/date night vibe than sukhothai. Also the trash bin in the washroom was overflowing, it appears a tad small the handle the volume of usage on a busy night.

                                          I saw beers being served but just assumed it was for "friends/family" since there was no mention of booze being available. Plus I was still assuming they were lacking a license. Would've ordered one......

                                          Tried the newer items, with the squash fritters being the best of the bunch. Dipping sauce had a nice touch of lemongrass.

                                          Anyways, will be back, to both Khao San and Sukhothai.

                                          -----
                                          Sukhothai
                                          274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: aser
                                            syoung Feb 14, 2011 05:29 PM

                                            They have a liquor license already.

                                          2. p
                                            Pincus Feb 24, 2011 12:44 PM

                                            I'm looking forward to visiting there around the end of March. If it's good, that will give me four Thai restaurants to choose from!

                                            1. Food Tourist Feb 26, 2011 05:24 PM

                                              A friend has been twice already, and loves KSR. I wish I lived closer or that there was free parking! NOW magazine has a great review of the food and "scene + heard" Shinan Govani pronounced the food "kicky". Maybe I will make it over for lunch during March Break. My taste buds are reeling from a mediocre meal from Everest in Mimico this evening.

                                              1. l
                                                lsk Mar 6, 2011 10:05 AM

                                                Had a good meal at KSR yesterday. Ordered squash chips, garlic chicken, green curry with chicken, three flavours pad thai with chicken, pad gra pao with beef, khao soi with beef, and the tapioca. Everything was delicious and flavourful. Portions are smaller than Sukhothai and prices are more, but there's an upgrade in location.

                                                The service has a few wrinkles in it which will hopefully be ironed out with time and experience. They forgot our pad thai until we reminded them when they came by to ask us if we wanted dessert. It came later, but we were content to wait for it. Since our party of four was sharing everything, they were good about bringing us our own plates and bowls without us requesting them, but we needed to request utensils for doling out the food. These are minor quibbles and the staff are still fairly welcoming (especially Jeff).

                                                Caution to those who think they can drop-in and get a table on a Saturday night without a wait. It's advisable to call ahead a few days for a table for the weekend, since the Now review came out. They were completely booked up from 7 to 9.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lsk
                                                  pinstripeprincess Mar 6, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                  they're pretty busy friday and saturday nights, but it's not difficult to grab a table the rest of the week. they've also started doing the full menu during saturday lunch.

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