Showing posts with label green curry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green curry. Show all posts

Jatujak Thai Cuisine (Toronto)


Jatujak Thai Cuisine is quickly becoming a chain of restaurants serving cheap-and-cheerful Thai food in the Toronto suburbs. After seeing so many of their dishes on Instagram and finding positive Google/Yelp reviews to back up the pretty pics, I decided to head north to their outpost located on Steeles a stone’s throw from Scarborough. From the outside, the storefront looks like any other plaza establishment, but once you enter, the dining room is surprisingly spacious and modern.  

Order a lunch special and they’ll arrive in no time – sometimes a worrying sign of premade food that just sits around and is assembled to order. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with the pad Thai ($8.95). The heap of brown noodles studded with chicken, onions, and bean sprouts didn’t look like much, but once I had a forkful the seemingly too-wet noodles was the perfect consistency and the sweet flavours nicely balanced by the sour and savoury elements. While I couldn’t smell much wok hay when the dish was presented, the pad Thai did have a mellow smoky element that briefly peaks out while being consumed.

I’d skip the chicken green curry ($8.95), it’s run-of-the-mill and a tad sweet for my taste for something that has two chilies listed beside it on the menu. Truth be told, I was probably still a little salty from hearing that the steamed fish curry wasn’t available, something I really had my heart set on.

Jatujak’s beef khao soi ($15.95) could also use a kick of heat to really push the bowl to the next level. Still, it was a tasty dish with the creamy curry broth incorporating a hint of citrus. The combination of silky egg noodles with crispy ones were also on-point with equal amounts of both textures. There were also tons of brisket in the bowl, so this is a great choice for those who really want their protein.

Until my work-from-home schedule ends, and I re-join the downtown rat race, I’m glad to have found Jatujak who will satisfy my Thai cravings until I can taste Chef Nuit’s creations again. I guess their affordable price points, large portions, and ease of getting a table also doesn’t hurt either. If only they had the steamed fish curry – one day, you will get into my belly.


Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 5651 Steeles Ave East


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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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Kub Khao Thai Eatery (Toronto)


Don’t let their location at an independent gas station scare you, the Thai food at Kub Khao is legit. The store front dining room may look dingy, but the seating area at the back is colourful and cheerful, the tapestry reminiscent of the lovely woven textiles across Thailand. Accordingly, if décor is important, ask to be sat in the back.

Sadly, their moo ping ($6.95) wasn’t the slightly spicy version I found at Destination Thailand, but still decent. The grilled pork skewer are glazed in a sweet tangy tamarind sauce with more on the side. They’re hot and tender, served quickly so they’re almost as fresh as a street vendor handing you one fresh from the grill.


The chicken pad kee mao ($11.95) uses wide flat rice noodles stir fried with egg and vegetables. It may look like your run-of-the-mill noodles, but watch out for the whole green peppercorns hidden throughout, which adds an earthy heat to the dish (albeit more subdued that the strong black peppercorn).


With the shrimp paste coating the rice kernels, the smoked chili fried rice ($10.95) was delicious – something I’d definitely order again. This works well as a vegetarian dish incorporating tofu puffs that add a soft crunchiness against the tender rice. Even though there was a chili on the menu, the rice wasn’t spicy, rather having a nice savoury essence.


As you scoop the beef green curry ($11.95), get to the bottom of the bowl as the chopped banana peppers settles there. For the first serving, I found it was just creamy and sweet from the coconut milk – still good but far too commercial tasting. I even had to ask for hot sauce just to give it heat. However, the second serving, after reaching the chili sediments at the bottom, we felt the tinge of spice, which really makes the curry. Although the dish already comes with steamed rice you should opt for an extra order ($2), why waste any of the lovely sauce, the best part of the curry.


Perhaps it was due to the holiday season, but there were only two people working at the front of the house during our week night visit. Even though service was slow (due to the sheer size of the restaurant that needs to be managed by two workers), I must commend how quickly they were operating.

The mom and pop operation means stir fried dishes come out slowly, so I’d suggest getting some appetizers if you’re hungry as they arrive quicker. Moreover, the noodle and rice dishes aren’t overly large so a couple of starters amongst a table of four isn’t a lot. Just be patient. Eating at Kub Khao may not be speedy, but what you’ll get is much better than the ketchup-laced pad thai of the suburbs any day.  

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3561 Sheppard Avenue East
 Website: http://kubkhao.ca/

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Kub Khao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Siam Heritage サイアムヘリテイジ東京 (Tokyo)

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Address: 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda (Shin-Marunouchi Building, 6th floor)

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-SIAM-Heritage-TOKYO/181142475342972
Type of Meal: Dinner
 


Located in the Shin-Marunouchi Building, The Siam Heritage specializes in Thai cuisine offering crowd favourites done with traditional ingredients. Price points are on the higher end, but dishes are fairly sized and meant to be shared. If you wish to try a number of items, there is a set menu available, which may be a better option for parties of two or fewer.

My husband and I ended up ordering way too much food, so what’s listed below could easily feed three people. Before our starters arrived, the waitress brought over a collection of ingredients (from what I can recall - peanuts, lemon grass, dried shrimp, shallot, lime peel) where she made us each a leaf wrap topped with a sweet sauce. Despite some of the ingredients sounding hard and unpleasant tasting (i.e. lime peel), everything actually went well together and the wrap was an interesting start to the meal.


A shrimp rice paper roll (¥600 for two rolls, only one shown below) arrived adorned with a pretty flower. It was much fresher than what I’ve typically had at pho places, where the wrapper was moist and springy and didn’t break apart.  It could be improved by putting more shrimp in it as I found the roll predominantly took on the lettuce, carrot and sweet & spicy dipping sauce flavours.


We had to order tom yum koong (¥2,400), a traditional spicy and sour soup. Siam’s version definitely had a kick to it and was as strong as the ones I’ve had in Thailand. At first, we were wondering why a bowl of soup would be so expensive, but upon seeing the portion size realized the reason – we each were able to have two smaller bowls and in hind sight I guess we should have asked. Complete with prawns, lemon grass and mushrooms the ingredients were typical and decent. Pieces of chilies also came with the broth so you really had to be careful to not eat them, unless you wanted your tongue to burn even more. Overall, a good soup but very powerful so is better suited for parties of three or more.


Luckily, the green papaya salad (¥1,800) arrived next and cooled down our scorching mouths. It had a really nice medley of sweet, sour and salty flavours with the green papaya being a little crisper than mango. Even this dish had some small red chili pepper pieces tossed throughout but at least in a bearable volume. I did find the wedge of lettuce a bit strange so we ended up leaving it untouched; Siam should consider serving the salad in larger lettuce leaves which would make the dish look more attractive and allow patrons to easily eat the lettuce.


Siam’s chicken in green curry (¥2,300) was wonderfully fragrant and not just from the typical coconut milk – likely a plethora of ingredients that I couldn’t decipher but gave the curry a bit more depth and wasn’t as heavy. Additionally, the use of Japanese eggplant in the dish was great as they soaked up the sauce and were deliciously tender and flavourful. With it came all-you-can-eat rice, with the waitress bringing over a container at the beginning and spooning individual portions onto our plates. But, she diligently came back throughout the meal to offer us refills.  


Lastly, came the pad thai (¥1,800) where it contained a pretty heavy dose of fish sauce but also some sweetness and heat balancing it out. Although some tamarind must have been used (on account of the colour and slight sourness), it was used in moderation so didn’t become overpowering. Throughout the noodles were very tiny dried shrimp (pictured in the second photo) adding a further depth to the pad thai. Despite being stuffed I still had a portion of the noodles as it delicious and one of the best I’ve eaten.



Siam offers a nice atmosphere with plush linen covered tables and comfortable chairs. Service was outstanding and I had a delightful time conversing with our waitress who was so helpful and extremely friendly. I also commend the restaurant from a diversity and inclusion perspective, for its almost all female staff and employing a person with disabilities; up until this point, most restaurants we ate in had a predominantly young male workforce. All in all, Siam lives up to higher price points as it was one of my better experiences with Thai food.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

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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!




Pai Northern Thai Kitchen (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 18 Duncan Street
Website: http://www.paitoronto.com/
Type of Meal: Dinner



When Janet Zuccarini and Jeff Regular gets behind the kitchen and cooks Thai, people follow. I’ve been trying to get a taste of their original creations for years. From Khao San Road to Sukho Thai, it seems that every time I finally make it into the restaurant, they sneak away to open yet another place. This time I did it – I’ve eaten at Pai while the Regulars (as they are referred to by media) are still in power.

Since Khao San Road, they have realized that there is nothing wrong with taking reservations. As a person who hates waiting in lines, I’m thankful for that. And trust me, you’ll want reservations, as even visiting on a weeknight Pai was packed.

The set-up looks familiar – simple wooden tables packed close together in a long narrow restaurant. At Pai, there are a couple of cool features including a tatami sitting area and a rotating wooden barrel at the bar. Their menu still revolves around starchy Thai comfort foods, but sadly my beloved garlic shrimp is nowhere to be found.

On this visit, I took the advice of the waitress and ordered gaeng kiaw wan ($15). The green curry is served in a coconut, with an extra portion in a bowl on the side. Alas, other than being decorative the coconut doesn’t add much (I tried scraping the sides for some coconut meat but there was none to be found), but it sure does look nice.


The curry is chocked full of tender chicken slices, bamboo shoots and bell peppers, with basil and kaffir lime leaves to provide more flavour. To be safe, I went with a medium level of spiciness, so there was a bit of heat. But, the slightly sweet coconut milk was definitely more pronounced. So, I’d likely up it to the “foreigner spicy” level next time.

Keep in mind the spiciness of each dish really differs. My friend ordered her khao soi ($14) “mild” and I really didn’t find a noticeable change in heat between her noodle dish and my curry. I’ve had this egg noodles in golden curry dish at Sukho Thai and they taste similar. But, at Pai the beef arrives in much larger chunks – not good or bad but requires the eater to try to break it up with chopsticks.


Although I didn’t try it, the vegetarian pad thai ($14) my friend had smelled very good.


As a warning, food service is slow – so, you’ll likely not want to show up starving. The music is also much too loud, so I’d suggest sticking with a table of four or less if you want a chance of having a conversation. But, I’m glad for the opportunity to eat at a place Janet and Jeff are still managing; their creations do not disappoint. Well, may if Pai can add the crispy garlic shrimp to their menu… than it’d be even better.


Overall mark - 8 out of 10


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog

____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - 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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