After reading mostly good things about Thai Nongkhai (#10, 7400 Macleod Trail SE), Miss L and I finally made time to check out their Thai buffet. It was Tuesday, about 12:30 and the place was very busy. A good sign. After waiting for some time for the buffet to refill, we had a sampling of rice, beef, chicken and noodles. The other choices seemed never to refill, or we were just slow. I really wanted some Tom Yum soup, but their version didn't look very appetizing, so I passed. Both of us thought the rice was good, just sticky enough. We also had the Beef with Basil, which we were utterly disappointed with. The beef was not tender at all, and basil never reached the dish. Instead, it was loaded with a very powerful chili which made the chewy beef almost inedible. Don't misunderstand, both L and I love hot spice, so we should have been able to handle it. However, we couldn't. This beef dish literally spoiled all else on the plate. The green shrimp curry was very average. The Pad Thai were really just noodles, and not particularly interesting. Lots of zucchini filler, which seemed out of place. Canned pineapple. No potato. We were both very disappointed. We didn't experience any of the unique Thai flavors that we expected from each dish. Everything just blended into a taste that reminded me of generic Asian food. Having said all of this, the place is very popular and busy, even though it is a little hard to find in this little strip plaza off Macleod Trail South. Service was good and very friendly.
For a long time now, we have been searching for good Thai food in Calgary, without much success. Spice Club is the best we have found so far, but it's not quite at the top of the list. In Canada, in our opinion, Thai Satay and More in Oakville, ON is as good as it gets. We've lived in Calgary for 28 years, travel a lot across the country, and we find that Calgary has a real shortage of good Thai restaurants.