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Restaurants

Baan Thai

Posted by Joshua / Reviewed on May 14, 2008 / review policy

Thai Papaya Salad
Visiting Thailand for a couple months has ruined me for the Canadianized Thai food. Instead of blindly ordering a pad thai or green curry, I try to ask a few questions. I try to use a few of the Thai words I can still remember. Anything to get Thai taste.

So it was with his mission in mind that I trusted Baan Thai's website when they said the place was run by a Thai family and they served authentic fare. After a visit with friends, I can safely say they make good on their claim. The four of us left stuffed. And very happy.

I now judge all Thai restaurants by their som tum, or spicy green papaya salad. The one on offer at Baan Thai ($6.95) not only passed muster but was one of the best I've had outside of Thailand. The heaping portion was easily finished off.

Chicken Satay and Thai Spring Rolls
A nice option are set dinners, and we ordered the Dinner for 3 ($35.95). The Thai Spring Rolls were very nice, with a crisp outside and perfectly balanced flavours inside. The chicken satay was truly superb, as it was still very tender and juicy, and it was served with a house made peanut sauce. The Tom Kha (coconut lemongrass soup) was also wonderful, featuring a rich coconut broth and aromatic lemongrass. This is my favourite Thai soup, and Baan Thai delivered.

Red Curry Shrimp
The red curry shrimp more than met expectations with a richness and spicy heat that was very well executed.

Spicy Beef
Both the spicy eggplant (part of the set meal) and spicy beef ($8.95) were popular, and with such different featured ingredients, the two dishes were totally different but nicely complementary.

Spicy Eggplant
Admittedly, Baan Thai let me down in two ways. The first was the pad thai, which was pretty bad. To be fair, we confused them a little by ordering a mix of vegetarian and meat dishes, and it's possible they took out the fish sauce and didn't really make their true pad thai. But still, it should've been better.

Pad Thai
The other disappointment was the mango sticky rice ($5.95), because it was so close to being superb. The rice itself was creamy and rich and everything we had hoped for, but unfortunately the mango was only partially ripe. This dish demands ripe mangoes and the restaurant would have been better to say the dessert wasn't available.

Mango Sticky Rice
Overall, though, the portions were huge, the prices were low and the meal was fantastic. I'll be back, and for a lot more than just the Singha beer ($4.50).

Singha Beer

Discussion

23 Comments

Ian / May 14, 2008 at 09:25 am
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Oh no, my neighbourhood secret is out! Your review is spot on and the owners are super welcoming and friendly. I'd give the Pad Thai a second chance. Highly recommend the Tom Yum Goong soup!
Joshua / May 14, 2008 at 09:39 am
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Ian: Based on everything else, I'd try the pad thai again. But I gotta try some pad see ew first...
apetimberlake / May 14, 2008 at 10:01 am
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Looks great..
But as for being "real thai".
All of the items you ordered are readily available at Salad King
Joshua / May 14, 2008 at 10:42 am
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Salad King has papaya salad in name only. When I asked for Thai taste, I was told they couldn't be bothered. They just piled a few of the ingrdients on a plate and served; it was beyond disappointing.

Baan Thai was thrilled to make the salad Thai style, and you could tell that they actually used a mortar and pestle.

For me, Salad King is a disappointment. They're too busy to take the care to make things more Thai when somebody asks, and a lot of their dishes fall flat.

Baan Thai (and they're not the only one, or even the best) takes a bit more care, uses more Thai ingredients (like Thai chiles), and has better service (they even gave us an extra spring roll when they saw there were 4 of us getting a dinner for 3 plus a few other dishes).
apetimberlake / May 14, 2008 at 11:10 am
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Thanks for the response!
I am sure to visit this spot soon!
Great Review!
pb / May 14, 2008 at 12:23 pm
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Looks great... this may be the push I need to finally explore and figure out where exactly the junction is. Unfortunately your map doesn't help... it's showing the location as Irwin avenue.
Joshua / May 14, 2008 at 12:53 pm
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@pb: Thanks for the heads up. Not sure what happened there, but it's fixed now. Dundas, two blocks west of Keele.
misstdot / May 14, 2008 at 01:39 pm
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Thanks for ther hidden jewel. Seems the Junction is the new "it" spot. My secret best pad thai in the city is just north of the juction, great portions and prices.. The owner is from Thailand and she is just a delight.
Peter Anan 2049 Weston Road 416-614-6060
pb / May 19, 2008 at 06:45 pm
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So, I sought this place out for dinner yesterday. Neat neighbourhood -- I'll have to explore more fully when it gets warmer. Baan Thai was good, although I was a little underwhelmed after your rave review. I had vegetarian Tom Yam soup, which was a huge portion for 5.95 and had good flavour, but was rather heavy on the onion. I followed that up with a green curry chicken which was very tasty and beautifully presented. It was very mild, however, despite the fact that I had said I like things spicy. This is always a bit of an annoyance... actually it reminded me of Thailand, where it was always a fight to convince the locals that a white dude might actually be able to handle a little chili heat. I will probably check this place out again - their menu is definitely going on my fridge for future deliveries.
misstdot / July 7, 2008 at 09:12 pm
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Finally went to the Junction's Baan Thai on Sunday.
Average. My money will continue to go to Peter Annan on Weston Road as the best pad thai in Tdot !
jenny-j / December 31, 2008 at 06:48 pm
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WORST Thai food I've ever had. The pad thai was as mushy as baby food (and I've had better tasting baby food), the broccoli in the tom yum soup was so old it was yellow, and the chicken satay was like chewing peanutty leather. The only edible dish was the yellow chicken curry. Nice flavour but, again, question age of the vegetables. The nausea is beginning to set in. Save yourself and DON'T eat here.
M / December 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm
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After receiving the most horrible, rude, and offensive service and from "The (un)Friendly Thai" down the street, me and my friend were so glad to have found Baan Thai. Their food was delicious, the atmosphere authentic, and the service more than warm and friendly. I'd like to vouch for the pad thai, we had the vegetarian one and it was very good.
Fantastic, fantastic place to eat.
Steve / March 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm
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Good to know! I will surely try it out.

I've been faithful to Young Thailand (a few doors down), but now have the courage to "cheat"
jake / April 17, 2010 at 10:32 am
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I've never walked out of a restaurant until baan thai. After being giving a warm unopened pop-top beer and a glass of ice I noticed tiny little bugs crawling all over table. Then a first pad thai came the consistency of mush, all the ingredients disintegrating when touched. We waited another 5-10 mins for the appetizers we ordered, which never came, and other meals order. At which time we decided to cut the cord while there was still time to catch a curry somewhere before kitchens closed. Paid for our ginger ale and wont ever look back.
kristin / December 28, 2010 at 03:26 pm
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Thanks...this is of great help. I am visiting from the NYC area and am headed to Baan Thai as we speak! BTW...som tom is my absolute favorite!

Benjamin replying to a comment from M / March 15, 2011 at 05:33 pm
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@M Funny that you didn't like The Friendly Thai, that is my favourite Thai restaurant in the city I eat there all the time!

Baan Thai always looks a little run-down from the outside... maybe I'll push through and eat there soon. But please do try The Friendly Thai right down the street!
CHE / August 12, 2011 at 09:26 pm
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The original comment about the Pad Thai is spot on. I sat waiting in anticipation for my takeout order next to another individual who also got the Pad Thai, his veggie, mine shrimp.

I get home, the overcooked noodles are tasty (I'll give 'em that) though sloppy and mushy, but it seems they simply gave me half of a veggie Pad Thai order, the threw in 5 freezer burned, tasteless, over cooked (I think they're actually making me ill) shrimp without cooking it with the sauce
and then charged me $3 extra for that garbage... sorry, the shrimp were garbage, I'm not exaggerating.

Disappointing.
I can't speak for the rest of the menu though, too bad about this experience, I will never return.
Nicky / December 18, 2011 at 07:34 pm
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Cannot believe that we didnt know about this gem! Just finished a feast and had to comment. Delivery 30-40 mins, hot, fresh and authentic. I cannot stand the chain restaurants and i had begun to loose hope that there wasnt a good joint in the Junction or Bloor west village for that matter... then i see this review. The dinner combos are such a steel. We where stuffed and the quality was spot on. Baan Thai you made my Christmas!
Alexander / February 15, 2012 at 12:02 am
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I really thought Baan Thai was my little secret. This place is unbelievable. One of my top picks without a doubt. I recommend going here to anyone who likes Thai food. It's amazing!
lp / June 15, 2012 at 03:30 pm
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If the Pad Thai let you down, why oh why is it on the best of list? Regardless, I'll give it a whirl :)
NewtoTO / July 13, 2012 at 05:22 pm
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Is this place under new management? We went in July 2012 under recommendation from this page, and it was terrible. Our first clue was that it was practically empty. They looked confused when we asked for sticky rice and explained they didn't have any, and then all the dishes were half filled with carrots and broccoli. We were super disappointed. On to try somewhere else tonight.
K / August 4, 2012 at 02:21 am
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Ate there tonight: some of the best Thai food I've had in this city. Will definitely go back. I'm really surprised at all the negative comments. We had the papaya salad and the veggie red curry and it was great. A lot of the Thai food in Toronto is either sickly sweet or really spicy, with none of the complexity of Thai cuisine. This had all the intricate flavours you hope for in good Thai food.
matt / June 28, 2013 at 10:59 am
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Yeah, My girl and I went here mid 2012 because we liked the tacky decor and it seemed quiet. The server was super nice, but the food was really bad. The pad thai had so much ketchup in it, and curry noodles that was just curry powder and dry egg in broad noodles. Neither looked anything like these nice pics. I see that this review was from 2008, so maybe they have a new cook. too bad.

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