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Mengrai Thai is disappointing

merlot143 Mar 7, 2011 12:49 PM

We had dinner there last night. The atmosphere was very warm and pleasant. The food however was surprisingly bland. We had pad thai, the lamb, striped bass and stir-fried veggies. The only tasty dish was the bass. The veggies were decent, but the same as you would get in a regular Cantonese restaurant. The pad thai and the lamb were disappointing. They didn't have much flavour at all. I don't know how this place got so many kudos. Some like the service but I found them hovering too much.
Sukhothai around the corner is way, way better.

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

274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

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  1. Herb RE: merlot143 Mar 7, 2011 01:55 PM

    Did they ask you about spice levels when you ordered?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Herb
      merlot143 RE: Herb Mar 7, 2011 07:08 PM

      It was medium spiciness. But still, it wasn't a matter of hot or not. The food wasn't great.

    2. hal2010 RE: merlot143 Mar 7, 2011 07:01 PM

      I'm surprised. I find their "street" Pad Thai to be one of the best.
      I have had a couple of bland dishes there, including their chef's special mushroom dish, but I've never left disappointed.

      1. k
        KitchenVoodoo RE: merlot143 Mar 7, 2011 09:13 PM

        I too found the hovering of the "manager" to be extremely oppresive expecially because the food was appaling!! It was "food court" quality, aimed at some bussed in pre-theatre crowd. Def DO NOT recommend.
        Don't like Sukothai either - too much sugar and salt in their dishes.

        1. s
          stephcolb RE: merlot143 Mar 13, 2011 03:24 PM

          i liked the atmosphere of this restaurant and the service was impeccable. but the food was unremarkable. the pad thai was ok, but not even close to the bursts of flavours from Sukho Thai. i've ben2x now with friends. we've tried the street style pad thai, and 2 of the stirfries (which are nothing more than chinese stirfries if you ask me - nothing special at all), thai iced tea (diluted, could be more creamy. the best one in the city is from Khao san Road), spring rolls (which are small, you get 6 of them i think but they are the size of a female pinky finger). lastly, we had a tapioca dessert which was acceptable but i wouldn't reorder it.
          i was disappointed with the food, esp since ppl mention it all the time on this board.

          4 Replies
          1. re: stephcolb
            TeacherFoodie RE: stephcolb Sep 21, 2012 03:36 PM

            Where do you reccommend for Thai food in TO other than Kao San Road?

            1. re: TeacherFoodie
              hal2010 RE: TeacherFoodie Sep 21, 2012 07:29 PM

              Sukhothai and Mengrai Thai

              1. re: TeacherFoodie
                syoung RE: TeacherFoodie Sep 21, 2012 08:30 PM

                I went to Mengrai Thai last weekend and it was excellent. I brought a friend and he said it was some of the best food he's had in a long time, period. Mengrai may suffer from inconsistency at times but I don't know why you would bring up a 1.5 year old thread, the only one critical of this restaurant to ask your question about today. Not sure that's fair.

                We went to Kao San Road last winter and it was very good too and price reasonable but we had to wait even though we had a reservation and the place was packed and noisy to the point that we had to scream to talk to our friends across the table. And I think they no longer allow reservations so be prepared to wait.

                1. re: syoung
                  julesrules RE: syoung Sep 22, 2012 09:56 AM

                  Yeah - I wasn't wowed by Mengrai's food but it has a nice atmosphere for a date or special occasion, for someone who is not looking for noisy, crowded hit spot atmosphere. It's probably one of the "nicer" Thai restaurants in town, location not great but better than Linda, which is also nice.
                  KSR's food is great, but I find it overrated for authenticity, everything is sweeter than I remember from Thailand. We do lack some ingredients in TO like those tiny green eggplants that in Thailand add some bitterness to green curry.

            2. dannyboy RE: merlot143 Sep 22, 2012 10:21 AM

              I always enjoyed it - would go more often if i lived in the east end.

              1. t
                TeacherFoodie RE: merlot143 Nov 23, 2012 03:07 PM

                I have been to Mengrai twice now and will return again. Good service, good food, and a pleasant atmosphere. I like Kao San Road for Thai as well.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TeacherFoodie
                  Flexitarian RE: TeacherFoodie Nov 23, 2012 08:56 PM

                  I like Mengrai Thai and have been there a few times. But, if it weren't for the crowds, the noise and the fact it's farther away, I'd be going to Khao San Road when I want Thai as I feel it's a notch above food-wise.

                  1. re: Flexitarian
                    hal2010 RE: Flexitarian Nov 23, 2012 09:07 PM

                    I've been sorely disappointed by Khao San Road on half my visits there. Service is indifferent and very slow, and the food can range from very good to average. I've had a few lunches there that are no better than the local Thai take-out (where I don't have to put up with the noise and perching on a barstool to eat) For my money Sukhothai is the best value and Mengrai the best overall experience for Thai in Toronto.

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