Thursday, July 31, 2014Mostly Cloudy 18°C
Restaurants

Thai Noodle

Posted by Kaela Greenstien / Listed on April 19, 2011 / review policy

Thai Noodle TorontoThai Noodle straddles the border of Kensington Market and Chinatown at the corner of Baldwin and Spadina. Its tacky appearance puts it more into the nondescript Chinatown restaurant category, but what it lacks in aesthetics, it more than makes up for with it's food. Thai Noodle specializes in (surprise) Thai noodles, otherwise known as Guay Tiew, and touts itself as the first real Guay Tiew restaurant in Toronto and possibly all of Ontario. Since it opened in fall of 2010, Thai Noodle has been my go-to Thai restaurant.

I grabbed take-out for my roommate Allie, our friend Harry and myself on a snowy Sunday evening. Before I left, Allie carefully instructed me on the importance of ordering vegetarian spring rolls ($4/4 pieces), making sure I completely understood how vital it was to get enough.

Thai Noodle TorontoThe spring rolls are fairly standard, crispy delights served with sweet chili sauce and generously stuffed with glass noodles, carrots, black mushrooms and bamboo shoots. I'm not crazy about them, but Allie is minorly obsessed and almost friend-broke-up with me when I ate the last one. The spring rolls are a delicious deep-fried indulgence, but make sure you order plenty if you want to keep your meal civilized.

Thai Noodle TorontoFor my main, I chose the chicken Pad Thai ($7.95). The other week I had tried the vegetable Pad Thai (also $7.95 oddly) and was disappointed by it's lack of flavour and over abundance of clumpy, greasy noodles. I decided to see if the chicken was any better and it certainly was. There was notably more flavour and sauce while the soft, flat noodles stayed loosely separated rather than globing together. The noodles were generously sprinkled with roasted peanuts and had a subtle lime bite to them.

Thai Noodle TorontoAllie ordered our favourite, the green curry. Like the red and golden versions, the green curry is prepared with thick chunks of fresh eggplant, bamboo shoots and bell peppers. The eggplant is the star of the vegetables in the curry, cooked perfectly without becoming soft or mushy. The sauce is creamy and intensely flavourful with sweet basil mixed in. The green curry is spicier then its red curry counterpart but, it's still mild enough to warrant adding hot sauce in my opinion. The green curry is my plat préféré at Thai Noodle and even the servers recommended as one of the house specialties.

Thai Noodle TorontoHarry decided on the spicy eggplant dish ($7.95), a heaping of their spectacularly cooked eggplant mixed with red and green peppers and cooked with a light sauce. The 'spicy' level is definitely set for North American's liking so fear not those with a delicate palate. The sauce adds a healthy dose of flavour to the dish without overpowering the thick slices of fresh vegetables.

I went back the next day for lunch to try the noodle soups and for the first time I stayed in the restaurant to eat. Our waitress was friendly and explained different menu items and their traditional preparation in Thailand - it helped that she was actually from Thailand.

While I came with the intention of trying the soup, I was persuaded by a photo on the menu to try the khao soi gai ($8.95). The photos on their menu are probably the most appetizing I've ever seen in the vicinity of Chinatown.

The khao soi gai (top photo) was a mixture of thick curry soup, specially crafted by the head chef, with cooked noodles topped with crispy fried noodles and fresh sliced onions. The soft and crunchy noodles made for a perfectly delicious mix of textures. I was sufficiently starving and nearly devoured the entire heaping bowl, but alas, the enormous portion was still too much to completely finish off.

Thai Noodle TorontoMy friend had the Guay Tiew Ruer Nuer, a simple Thai soup with rice noodles, beef and bean-sprouts in a brown soup broth ($8.95). The soup broth was well seasoned and salty but, as my friend eloquently noted, "not gross salty". Our waitress explained that it's Thai style to first taste the soup and then add chili peppers, hot sauce, sweet and sour sauce or sugar to taste as she placed the four jars of condiments on the table.

Besides the soups, nearly all the dishes allow you to choose between vegetable, tofu, chicken, beef, shrimp or seafood giving vegetarians and meet-eaters multiple options. Thai Noodle offers a plentiful menu without being overly ambitious and diluting the quality. Their range of Guay Thai along with traditional Thai menu options, like curries, are bright in flavour, large in quantity and low in cost.

Thai Noodle TorontoOpen daily 11am-10pm. Free delivery over $20 before HST. Multiple vegetarian choices. Vegan: vegetable pad-thai and spring rolls.

Discussion

17 Comments

booya / March 11, 2011 at 03:03 pm
user-pic
Had the Tom Yam vegetable soup and Red veggie curry with Jasmine rice. It's important with Thai food that the spice mix is right. They've done a good job with this. Soup is good to share. They give you lots of curry but not enough rice. (Also sucks that you have to pay extra for the rice.)

All in all, one of the best Thai restos I've been to in TO!
david / March 21, 2011 at 09:42 pm
user-pic
This is just a gem of thai food, not only great noodles but the most fantistic pad thai.. I just have to go back ..But this time I will impress my Thai girlfriend
Em / April 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm
user-pic
"Vegan: vegetable and tofu curries, vegetable pad-thai and spring rolls."

Really? No eggs? Fish sauce?
Veggietron / April 19, 2011 at 01:02 pm
user-pic
If anybody who's been there knows how many of the veg dishes can be made sans fish sauce, it'd be great if you could share. Some Thai places are accommodating and knowledgeable, some are accommodating but you don't entirely trust 'em, and some say you're outta luck. Which kind is this? (Sorry to the anti-vegetarian contingent, but this being Kensington, it seems an appropriate question.)
Kaela / April 19, 2011 at 01:18 pm
user-pic
Much to my strictly vegan roommate's disappointment and disgust, the curry dishes do use fish sauce. She had asked them about dairy and egg but didn't realize fish sauce was so prevalently used in Thai dishes. The stir-fry dishes, however, are fish-sauce free and can be ordered vegan as the restaurant has just confirmed to me. Sorry for the mistake.
PDG / April 19, 2011 at 04:20 pm
user-pic
Authentic? I lived in Thailand for two years, and never ate food like this. Guay thieu is usually custom built, in a noodle stall, and the ingredients aren't set in stone. Curries are not dumped into a bowl of rice to make a soup, either. And the chopsticks? NOBODY uses them in Thailand, save for the tourists! Thai people eat with a tablespoon and a fork. Instead of pad thai, ask for pad sieu, which is a great anytime food of broad noodles with meat/veg in a brown sauce. Last time I ate Thai in Toronto there were huge chunks of local veg in the dishes. Kinda ruined it for me.
getoverit replying to a comment from PDG / April 19, 2011 at 04:31 pm
user-pic
it doesnt say "authentic" anywhere in the article. i've spent years abroad living in multiple different countries. You're never going to find 100% authentic food from those countries in any other country. The ingredients and local tastes are different.
Northernsoul replying to a comment from getoverit / April 20, 2011 at 03:11 am
user-pic
An utterly useless contribution! I wonder if the Thai restaurant staff give him a secret nod of approval when witnessing him eating with a spoon and Fork…he must be adopted as one of their own, considering his oh so unusual two year term in Thailand. Legend! Hope he writes a book!
missTdot / April 20, 2011 at 09:18 pm
user-pic
Thanks for the heads-up. I've been missing good eats at that corner since Miss Saigon closed.
Rachel / April 21, 2011 at 11:53 am
user-pic
Kaela, another great review. I'm a big fan of your reviews and appreciate the vegetarian tips. This place is super friendly and I'm glad to see them get a nice writeup.

Two things:

1. "its" vs "it's": One is for possession, one is a contraction of "it is".
2. meet-eaters!
handfed / April 25, 2011 at 11:34 am
user-pic
christ, just close your eyes and eat the damn fish sauce
Tablabar / May 10, 2011 at 12:29 am
user-pic
I like the spring rolls....i love this place
Emily / May 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm
user-pic
This is by far the most 'authentic' Thai restaurant in Toronto. My husband and I lived in Thailand for 2 years and we have been trying very hard to find a restaurant that has REAL Thai food. This place is Thai from the servers to the chef. They have gone to great lengths to find the many ingredients that Thai food requires to make the food as authentic as possible. Not all ingredients are available, but it's a close second when not. In addition, the price is definitely right. They have many veg, meat and seafood options. They say their specialty is the soup, but we've loved every dish we've had there. We highly recommend Thai Noodle to all Thai food lovers!
Juan / May 12, 2011 at 11:46 am
user-pic
It's a good experience every time i go. very friendly environment and nice people. i ve been a to a bunch of thai places and as much as i was in love with food, Thai Noodle made the whole thing better, i cant really say if it's more authentic or not but it is different and i like it. I recommend the seafood and chiken dishes. and if i like the tofu dishes (which is not usually the case) i am sure veggans will too.
Anon / December 24, 2013 at 04:43 pm
user-pic
I think this place has moved locations as their Baldwin St location seems to have closed down but there's another place with the same name on Vaughn Road near St. Clair Ave West.
Meme / June 13, 2014 at 01:03 pm
user-pic
Update the address - now on Vaughan Road.

IT IS DELICIOUS.

Gets my vote. Nice, clean and small resto and lovely owners.
Juan / June 14, 2014 at 01:01 am
user-pic
This is one of those places you can recommend anybody and maintain your credibility. If you are into soups like ramen or pho, then their Guay Tiew will create a new addiction in your life. Otherwise, their pad thai is the best in the city, but do not hesitate to try pad-see-ew or khao soi which I prefer even more... sad they are not in kensington anymore. Though the location is bathurst is just as good, and fancy. (This article needs an update)

Add a Comment

Search

Find a restaurant

Or use the options below to assist you in locating a restaurant in Toronto.

Search Results

Please select criteria from the dropdown menus above to start your search.

Reviews

Recent Reviews

Refine the list using the categories below:


Loading...
Other Cities: Montreal