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