Friday, 8 June 2012
Khao San Road
2. Minimal seating for those waiting outside
3. A peek into the restaurant from the outside
4. The window into the kitchen where all the magic happens
5. Cha Nom Yen: Thai iced tea
6. Po Pia Pak Sod Gai Yaw: Fresh rolls with tamarind sauce
7. Khao Soi with braised beef
8. Sam Roas: Chef's special pad thai
I dropped by Khao San Road a few weeks ago for dinner with a friend. Located near Peter and Adelaide, beside a condominium construction site, Khao San Road is easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for. It's a highly popular spot for Thai food though. By the time we arrived, there was already a small line formed in anticipation of the dinner service starting at 5pm. Fortunately, we were seated immediately once the restaurant opened but within about 20 minutes, the place was almost full. (The line can get long so be prepared to wait. And, there's always the take-out option if you're in a rush.)
The food was, needless to say, delicious. The fresh rolls, with the accompanying tamarind sauce, were a light and satisfying start to the meal. Then, the main dishes arrived. My friend had ordered the Sam Roas and I was eager to try some. Each bite of the pad thai was an explosion of heat and flavour - a lovely medley of sweet, sour and savoury as promised by the menu. Now, at this point, I have to make a confession: I have a pathetically low tolerance for spiciness. After about three bites of my friend's spicy pad thai, I was sure that I could breathe fire. Fortunately, the Cha Nom Yen, a sweet milky iced tea, soothed the heat.
After many eye-watering experiences struggling through spicier dishes in the past, I wisely ordered the Khao Soi mild. The crunchy egg noodles on top offset the texture of the creamy coconut curry and tender braised beef. The rich coconut curry was slightly tangy, slightly spicy, and even slightly messy to eat as I was prone to making occasional splashes. Although the Khao Soi was delicious, I couldn't help but think it would have been better if ordered medium spicy at least. But I suppose, for someone like me, a tradeoff in flavour intensity is worth it to finish off the dish without any tears.
Then again, I didn't actually finish the Khao Soi in one sitting - Khao San Road provides relatively large portions. I'm not complaining though; my friend and I both happily took leftovers home.
Khao San Road
326 Adelaide St W
Toronto, ON M5V 1R3