Posted in Restaurants

Review: Khao Thai – Ottawa

103 Murray Street, Ottawa – Website

Khao Thai 1

Date of Visit: March, 2019

I was planning to visit this place on the first night of a recent trip to Ottawa, but I arrived late and, after a gruelling flight, had no enthusiasm for venturing out on the town. The following day, my lunch plans got changed when the restaurant I wanted to visit turned out to be closed and so I kept walking a little further and ended up at Khao Thai. Their lunch menu is not as extensive as the dinner version but I pretty ended up having what I would have ordered anyway and I very much enjoyed it. I was very glad that I didn’t miss out on this place as it turned out to be well worth the visit… Continue reading “Review: Khao Thai – Ottawa”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Thai Roasted Chili Paste

Thai Roasted Chili Paste 1

This little food item has been sitting in my cupboard for quite a while waiting to be used but, this past weekend, I finally got around to giving it a try. In one sense, I was a little disappointed in that, despite being called a ‘chili’ paste, there was barely any heat to it at all. That being said, though, it did have other compensating qualities that still make it quite useful… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Thai Roasted Chili Paste”

Posted in Recipes

Thai Shrimp Curry

Thai Shrimp Curry 1

I am not sure of the pairing of shrimp with grilled eggplant and grilled zucchini has ever actually occurred in an actual Thai recipe, but the spice paste I have put together for this dish is very Thai in spirit. I have a very dense (over 600 page) cookery book simply entitled ‘Thai Food’ written by David Thompson (no relation as far as I know), and it contains hundreds of recipes, almost all of which feature a unique spice blend based on the Thai palate. I find endless inspiration for culinary adventures in these pages and I love mixing and matching various ingredients in different quantities for my own creations. I never know exactly how a given concoction will turn out, but I am happy to report that the blend I arrived at for today’s post is a definite winner and well worth using again… Continue reading “Thai Shrimp Curry”

Posted in Nunavut, Restaurants, Travel

Thai Food Comes to Iqaluit!

Thai Food Iqaluit 1

There is a tiny little establishment here in Iqaluit known as the Grind & Brew which, besides serving coffee, also has a small menu and a few tables for dining. Thus far, however, I have only eaten their pizza as a delivery order but, not long ago, we received a flyer, in the form of a new, improved menu, indicating that Thai, and a few Chinese dishes, are now available. It took a while, but last night, feeling a bit too lazy to cook, my wife and I finally got around to trying a couple of their Thai selections…

We ordered 2 main dishes: The Shrimp in Red Curry sauce (on the left) and the Beef with Pepper Paste and Ginger. The selections both came with a single portion of steamed white rice and were supposed to be accompanied by vegetable spring rolls but these were forgotten. Having missing items on delivery orders is a recurrent and very annoying reality here in Iqaluit but, in this case, I was a little taken aback at how such a small and simple order could get messed up. The restaurant definitely loses points for this omission, in my books.

As to the quality of the food, I can fairly state that it was very tasty. The ‘chili’ heat was what I would describe as mild to moderate and the vegetables, chiefly peppers and onions, were nicely crisp-tender  as they should be. On the whole, though, there really wasn’t any of the complex flavor of a high-end Thai restaurant, (no hint of lemongrass, or Galingale, for example), but for all that it wasn’t bad at all. The food is, I should say, is Thai ‘fast-food’ rather than traditional but, given the Arctic location, it is very welcome.

My only real quibble, other than the sloppy delivery, is the portion size. The meal was about $53 with delivery charges, which is not out of line with other northern restaurant meal costs, but there really wasn’t a lot. For the same amount of money, the Navigator, our only other local source of Chinese cuisine, would provide enough for my wife and I to have leftovers for a second meal…. here, it was just one plate each.

Anyway, I am glad to see a little bit more variety coming to the local food scene and, sometime soon, I will investigate the menu, and the premises, a little more fully and do a more thorough review…

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Bangkok Fried Noodles with Shrimp

Bangkok Noodles 1

Aficionados of Thai cuisine have almost certainly eaten the popular specialty known as Pad Thai at one time or another. This dish, often regarded as one Thailand’s national dishes, essentially consists of stir-fried rice noodles in a sauce that combines the flavors of sweet, sour, salty and spicy-hot. Vegetarian varieties exists but, typically, some meat or shellfish is included, as are eggs in many cases. Today’s recipe is a very loose interpretation of the basic idea as I will be using lemon juice for sourness, rather than the more common Tamarind, and the standard beansprout component is replaced with zucchini and green peppers… Continue reading “Bangkok Fried Noodles with Shrimp”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Larb Stuffed Endive Boats

Larb Boats 1

Larb, or ‘Laab’ as it sometimes spelled, is a cold salad of meat, herbs and other seasonings that is not only reckoned to be the national dish of Laos but also quite common in Thailand as well. The meat is often beef or pork, sometimes raw, sometimes cooked, but fish and poultry version exist as well. As to the seasonings and other ingredients, the variations are endless but fish sauce, lime juice, chili, mint and basil make regular appearances, with some versions adding a host of spices including cumin, cloves, star anise, galangal, and others. Garnishes can be fried onions, peanuts, chopped chili, and various herbs and, in Laos especially roasted ground rice powder is commonly used as a flavoring agent and binder.

After seeing a number of recipes where the salad is served as a wrap in lettuce or other leafy herbs, I thought it might make an interesting appetizer if used as a filling for some endive leaves I happened to have leftover from a previous meal. For this experiment, I decided to use my homemade Sambal Terasi paste as part of the spice flavoring but you could substitute any commercial Thai curry or spice paste of your choosing… Continue reading “Larb Stuffed Endive Boats”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Thai-Style Noodles – Kame™ Brand

Kame Noodles 1

When I buy pre-made noodles, they are pretty much exclusively of the dried variety. I have, a few times, bought some packaged ‘meal-in-box’ preparations, commercially made Pad Thai and the like, for example, where the noodles came pre-cooked and vacuum-packed along with little packs of seasonings and sauces for a quick and dirty snack. None, so far, have ever been worthy of trying a second time.

The other day, I came across the noodles you see pictured above. The package suggests (urges) you to cook them with Kamesauces for a quick meal (and presumably these proprietary concoctions are available for sale somewhere), but these noodles, already pre-cooked and ready for the wok, come naked and alone. I figured I would give them a test-drive and see if perhaps they might be something worth having at the back of the store-cupboard for emergency, last-minute noodle fixes… Continue reading “Thai-Style Noodles – Kame™ Brand”

Posted in Restaurants

Review: Royal Thai Restaurant

313 Dalhousie St., Ottawa – (613) 562-8818 – Website

Royal Thai 1

Date of Visit: March 15, 2013

I had heard, or read somewhere, that the Royal Thai, which used to occupy other premises, is now in the same building as the Palais Imperial. When I checked it out, I assumed that the Palais Imperial (a Chinese restaurant) was on the lower floor, with Royal Thai upstairs, but, in fact, you can be seated on the lower floor and be given the menu for both establishments. This was a nice bonus, I thought since, in addition to allowing me to sample a couple of appetizers from the Royal Thai menu, I also able to enjoy an item or two of dim sum as well…  Continue reading “Review: Royal Thai Restaurant”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Thai-Style Pineapple Fried Rice

Thai Pineapple Rice 1

When I featured a commercial brand of Tum Yum Soup Paste in a recent post, it struck me that the paste, in addition to a number of non-soup applications, might be nice flavor base for fried rice and, since I had half a fresh pineapple, I thought I might combine the two.

Serving fried rice in a pineapple shell is not uncommon, especially in Thai restaurants, and, besides being attractive, it is the sort of dish that permits an almost endless range of permutations. Some of the pineapple flesh is always included of course, and shrimp seems to be quite a popular addition. Sometimes, the rice is very plainly seasoned but I also see Thai curry pastes being used as a flavor base and, for this exercise, the Tom Yum paste should work admirably as well. Instead of shrimp, I am going to use some Cuttlefish flesh I have frozen from a previous purchase, along with black mushrooms, some diced ham, and a little green and red bell pepper… Continue reading “Thai-Style Pineapple Fried Rice”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Thai-Style Pork with Pineapple

Thai-Style Pork and Pineapple 1

In my recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post featuring Jack Hua Brand Sour Soup Paste, I promised that I would use the versatile paste in a pork dish rather than the typical Tom Yum soup for which it was designed. I had been meaning to do a stir-fry using pork tenderloin but, since I also planned to use fresh pineapple (as opposed to canned) along with the pork, I had to put the experiment on hold until the fresh article turned up on our store shelves again. I thought of substituting something else instead of the pineapple but I was pretty sure that the Tom Yum Soup paste would go nicely with the rich sweetness of the fruit… Continue reading “Thai-Style Pork with Pineapple”