Showing posts with label chicken devil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken devil. Show all posts

Chiang Rai Thai Kitchen (Toronto)

Chiang Rai is a jovial restaurant with YouTube DJ beats playing and a stream of people grabbing takeout orders. The bright and cheerful dining room emits an energy, despite it only being half full on a Friday.

You'll find flavour in their famous pad Thai with shrimp ($23). Sour, savoury, and slightly sweet notes flood my mouth on the first bite, especially a strong tamarind element. It complimented the chewy noodles, which were stir fried to perfection and resisted sogginess despite being slathered in sauce. The finely chopped roasted peanuts also helped to counteract the wetness of the dish.

I would skip the tom yum fried rice with vegetable and tofu ($18) as it's also very tangy and two sour dishes were too much for one meal. Indeed, tom yum's recipe has lemongrass and lime, but these tart elements soaked into the rice it was powerful. Still, I enjoyed all the herbs: galangal (a peppery ginger), basil, and kaffir lime leaves, which added a freshness to the starch. The fried rice was just too wet - Chiang Rai likely uses fresh rather than day old rice – to the point that it tasted better as leftovers.

If you’re a fan of chicken devil, the crispy chicken chilli sauce stir fry ($19) is a stellar version of the dish. I love the big nuggets of battered chicken that’s very lightly covered with the spicy, savoury, and sweet sauce so they remain crunchy. Just get to the chicken quickly as there’s not a lot of pieces amongst the vegetables.

Do not take out your food... Chiang Rai takes the time to beautifully present dishes. Each adorned with deep fried rice noodle sticks, beet ribbons, a stalk of green onion, and an orange slice. And while the décor makes for a great presentation, on subsequent visits I’ll ask for dishes plain as it's also wasteful to discard the garnishes. By dining in you'll also benefit from Chiang Rai's cheerful environment. It won’t necessarily feel like you’re in Thailand, but still funner than sitting around at home. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2070 Avenue Road

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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