A quick journey into some local food blogs that feature reviews on the Toronto's Thai food scene will land you mostly into the usual pools of red, green and yellow curries, Pad Thai and Tom Yum Kung Soup. However, just as Italian food has more to meet the eyes ( and mouth ) than just your typical Pizzas, Pastas and Minestrone soup. Authentic Thai cuisine can offer a whole spectrum of amazing taste sensation and textural adventure!
Yesterday evening, I was fortunate to be invited to participate in a chowmeet at one of Toronto's busiest table - Khao San Road. The meal was specially arranged by the friendly owner to provide us with the most authentic Thai food experience possible. Result was a delightful evening of navigating through oceans of interesting taste and textural sensation on the palette.
Hand carried out individually to our table by the talented Lady Chef, all the dishes were adventurous, different, aromatic and very tasty. Out went the usual generic mother sauce, which nowadays, overly complacent chefs just added chilies, turmeric...etc to create the desired color effect. In came, for our dishes, uniquely flavored special sauces that were lovingly hand crafted to create distinctive and individual taste and character. The balance of sweet, sour and degree of spiciness in almost all the dishes was near flawless. As one of our most seasoned chowhounder- Estufarian likes to say, the food also offers 'components that created delightful textural inter-play'!
Based on my rusty and half intoxicated memory ( food was paired with beer and a fine array of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir ), I think we had the following dishes? :D
- Crispy sour pork ribs with sticky rice.
- 'Tempura' lightly battered Morning Glory with Mint sauce dip
- Crunchy Squash Fritters with sweet Tamarind sauce
- Beef and Crispy Rice Salad
- Beef Shank and Potato Massaman Curry
- 'Sukiyaki' Han
- 'Drunken' Noodles with Prawns
- Some type of spicy minced pork?
- Dessert of Mango with sticky rice and house made ice-cream
With the food, fellow hound Estufarian provided a gorgeous bottle of off dry Dr. Loosen 'Eroica' Washington State Riesling and Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir whilst for dessert, I chipped in half bottles of Henry of Pelham 1992 and 1993 Riesling Ice Wine.
My favorites of the evening were definitely the Beef Shank curry, Sour baby Pork Ribs and the Drunken Noodles. The Minced pork dish I found a bit one dimensional and dry. But then, I was also half drunk to lend any credible opinion! Ha!
Lastly, though the inherent spicy nature of most dishes and sauces calls for pairing with Beer, I found Riesling is another near perfect pairing candidate.
Once again. great food, fine wine and wonderful company resulted in a most delightful and enjoyable evening!