Pai, Northern Thai Kitchen in Toronto

Kyle took me to Pai, a Thai restaurant with a basement entrance that reminded me the student pub at UBC, The Sub. The dining room was big and the lights were dim, but ambiance was energetic with a younger crowd starting to fill up the space. Despite of the lack of artifacts or decors that reminded us being at a Thai place, the food was quite remarkable, showcasing some great flavours of Northern Thai cuisine.

We started with a couple special cocktails. Kyle’s Tea Ross ($9) was a boozy version of Thai ice tea. With the usual creamy content replaced by Khalua and Cream de Cacao, and a shot of Vodka sneaking in your blood stream. My Lowry ($11) was filled with exotic aromatics of lemongrass, mint, basil, lime, etc, and the final touch of lychee juice had really sent me off the to a happy place. Sipping on those drinks seemed to reminisce about the good times of me lying on the beach sipping a tasty drink in Thailand. Wait a minute… I have never been to Thailand! But I guess I got the idea what it was like. 🙂

lowry
lowry
tea ross
tea ross

I loved how they aciphex over the counter served Miang Kung ($14). The idea was to make wraps with chilled tiger prawns, fresh betal leaves, and a variety of condiments: ginger, garlic, lime, chili, roasted coconut, roasted peanuts, coconut sugar, and tamarind sauce. The presentation of the dish included a sample wrap, which I found quite smart. I think all DIY wrap dishes should be served this way. 🙂 This dish was so simple, but all the flavours were there and it was a fun hands-on dining experience.

miang kung
miang kung
miang kung
miang kung

I think the word ‘Platter’ was a little confusing in Sai Ua Platter ($14) – it was more like a whole dish with different components: veggies, protein, and rice, with the the protein being some grilled pork belly sausages with fresh tumeric, kafir lime leaves, lemongrass, garlic, and shallots. The sticky rice had a great texture, but the greatest part of dish was the northern Thai relish that contained oyster sauce and shrimp paste, with some intense flavours, binding all the components together.

sai ua platter with northern Thai sausage
sai ua platter with northern Thai sausage
Pai, Northern Thai Kitchen
Pai, Northern Thai Kitchen

Website:

http://www.paitoronto.com/

Map and other reviews:

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