Boat King of Thai Noodles
Boat King of Thai Noodles is named for their specialty, a type of Thai noodle soup slightly similar to pho not found in Toronto Thai restaurants as often as more typical pad thai, pad see ew and curries.
However, the fast casual joint does all these things as well. Order and pay at the cash, take a number and your food is brought out to you. All entrees are priced at $14 across the board.
The 40-seat space feels resort-like as you walk in, the stone tile path to the cash flanked by oars and stalks of bamboo. A mural along one wall took an artist two weeks to hand-paint.
Thai boat noodle or 'kuaytiaw reua' was first made on the Bangkok canals in the 1940s, originally actually cooked on boats where one person would run an entire business doing all the cooking, money handling and dish-washing themselves.
A broth made with beef stock and over 20 ingredients — including a touch of rich beef blood — simmers for six hours to create the base.
Added to the soup from there are imported Thai rice noodles, flavourful and tender beef, beef balls, fish balls and fresh bean sprouts.
The whole thing is finished off with bean sprouts and basil, plus chili flakes and garlic for a traditional final touch.
Laksa noodle is another less common dish, more funky than the boat noodle.
Yellow and rice noodles bathe in a spicy curry paste and coconut milk broth along with prawns, fish balls, chicken and tofu.
Pad Thai is made using tamarind, rather than any ketchup or vinegar, rice noodles tossed with prawns, bean sprouts and tofu in a very sticky sweet and sour sauce, served with a wedge of lime and rustically chopped peanuts.
Noodles for pad see ew are made by a local factory and cut here, stir-fried with four different types of soy sauce, crunchy Chinese broccoli, basil, and egg. We opt for hearty beef over chicken.
Green curry is the spiciest of three options, made with a curry paste of lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chili and shallots pounded and stir-fried in house. With Thai eggplant, basil and a choice of beef, chicken or prawns, it’s creamy yet addictively-spicy.
Agar agar jelly cakes ($6) come in mango coconut and pandan coconut flavours.
Wash everything down with a fresh coconut ($6) imported from Thailand. Just poke your straw through the shell in the indicated spot and enjoy tropical refreshment.
A colour-changing elixir of butterfly pea tea with soda water or Sprite and lime could also serve to quench your thirst.
There’s an eight-seat patio outside here. Owner Monty Choy is also behind Baldwin Village’s Wah Sing.