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Mengrai Thai - review + pics


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Restaurants & Bars Ontario (inc. Toronto) Thai

Mengrai Thai - review + pics

BokChoi | | Aug 29, 2008 05:19 PM

Forgive this, as it is a repeat of an older post - just thought I would organize my longer posts with a consistent naming system to ease searching. Cheers!

I had previously sampled a fantastic Thai restaurant in Ithaca and had yet to find anything to compare to it in Toronto. That is, until I found Mengrai Thai (Thanks Vorpal!). It’s the closest I’ve found to what I had eaten there, though it still doesn’t quite match the supremacy of that meal - I still dream of it to this day…

Alas, I live in Toronto and not in Ithaca, so Mengrai is the closest I will get. I had the pleasure of going to Mengrai a couple of times over the past 6 months and though the first time was superior, both times I was still quite impressed. One has to start with the Golden Flowers appetizer – a beautiful presentation. It was crispy and light and the tasty pockets held perfectly seasoned treasures – sweet peppers, tofu, or shrimp - a great way to start off a meal. The #54 curry was by far my favourite main dish. The unexpected usage of lychee in the dish created bursts of sweet flavour. It created a perfect harmony of flavours and textures within the dish. Another favourite was the taro roll that came in the appetizer platter. However, being an avid taro fan, I may just be a bit biased. The mango salad accompaniment was also very strong and the best I’ve had in Toronto. And you are correct when you state that the Golden Pumpkin Soup is a must have. Though the first time I had it, it was excellently spiced and had a lot of depth, the second sampling did not yield as a great an experience. The crispy morning glory sides were a great compliment to the soup and also highly recommended (though a bit oily for my tastes). I would also agree that the striped bass was lacking – when held in comparison to the other dishes. I would have to say that the dish was forgettable and would not be on my list of “must-try’s”. We finished off our meal with the coconut sticky rice. It had an amazing coconut flavour and the sticky rice consistency was perfectly al dente. The mango was also a welcome addition to the dish – a very tropically-influenced dish. To accompany our meal, we had the thai iced-tea. It was made with a lot of condensed milk and therefore was too heavy for my tastes and would have to pass on it next time. However, the tea aroma was very pleasant.

Pumpkin Soup:
Thai Iced Tea:
Appetizer Combo:
#54 Red Curry:
Striped Bass:
Sticky Rice:

I would like to qualify my review in that I have yet to sample authentic Thai food from Thailand. As well, since I am not a vegetarian, I have included a sampling of the dishes that I ate (which may or may not be meat-free). However, the menu stipulates that substitutions can be made for vegetarian diners.

Overall, it was a great experience both times and I would definitely return. I believe they may still be working out the kinks in their dishes, as I found that each time I went there was a different presentation to their dishes, as well as different portions and accompaniments. I hope you have a good experience there. Cheers and Happy Eating!