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Jan 29, 2004 04:24 PM

Queen Mother Cafe -- Review

  • b

Had lunch at Queen Mother Cafe along Queen St. West. At first, I thought we had made a bad choice. The place looked dingy and the decor was devoid of identity. The no smoking sign says "No Fumar" so I was expecting Mexican.

Then I was thrown off by the menu which featured Thai and other southeast Asian items alongside whole wheat penne and turkey burger. I finished skimming the menu and I was still at a loss as to how to classify this place.

Anyway, I ordered the Ping Gai, a crispy grilled chicken breast served with rice and a sweet-sour-salty dipping sauce of lime and coriander. It was very, very good. No wonder the place filled up so fast a little after 12:00.

My friend had the Pad Thai and she liked it as well, although I thought they were too generous with the sauce.

Prices are reasonable ($10 for the Ping Gai and $9 for the Pad Thai) and servings are generous. Definitely a keeper.

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  1. f
    Frances in Toronto

    i had the pad thai as well before at the Queen Mother but i must say i will never go back. it was GROSS. i think they used ketchup, not fish sauce.

    you want decent pad thai around that area for cheaper? must go to Salad King which is on Gould Street, just off Yonge, north of Dundas. $7.50.

    that was really the worst pad thai i ever had... ever. it is salty and goopy and gross and cost $9. what a rip off. ew ew ew. i don't know why anyone orders pad thai from here.

    i would stick to the non-asian food at Queen Mother. then again i'm not ever going back so i don't know if their non asian menu is any decent (i would hope it is better).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Frances in Toronto

      I was just going to say the same thing. The pad thai was the poorest most unsatisfying asian dish i ever had. pad thai is one of my favourite dishes to order and it truely was a disgrace at queen mother cafe. i do recall the ketchup taste and lack of attention to asian ingredients. every time i pass by that restaurant i am reminded of that experience and tell people about how horrible that place is. i do not wish to come back there even IF asian food is not their strength.

      i had a similar pad thai experience with the noodle shop directly on the corner of yonge and wellesley. this odd artificial pink ketchup colouring to the noodles turns me off and tastes cheap. anyway.

      if you like that quality of atmosphere and large portions. you might want to opt for the red room. it has want you want but CHEAPER. it is located s. of college on spadina. try the pad thai there. it is not so bad. both the tofu (tofu puffed cubes) and chicken pad thai are good and comes with salad with balsamic dressing.

      across the street from queen mother cafe, i do recommend going to tigerlily's. try their coconut seafood noodles it is amazing! wonderful harmony of asian ingredients. it is worth the 15$.

      there are some new alternatives to try.

      1. re: M
        Stinky from USC

        New to Toronto, and one of my first stops was the Queen Mother. I was referred to Queen West as being a great place to explore my first weekend in town, and happened by this gem on my way to the subway.

        While the Pad Thai is not the greatest I've tasted it is among the best. I am well travelled and have tried pad thai in london, la, nyc and thailand, and the Queen Mother Cafe ranks well.

        Not only is the menu excellent I found the service to be top notch. My only complaint is having to go downstairs under the kitchen to get to the patio.

        Plus one of the few places you can get Tiger in Toronto.