We are in the height of summer. The days are hot. The evenings feel humid – like getting off a plane in after long-awaited tropical get-away. And what all this really means is: let’s find a patio and chill. In the heart of the city, on one of the most well-known streets in Toronto is a hidden gem within our city. Well it’s not too hidden. Elm Street is the home of one of the most famous steakhouses, Barbarians. However, today I’m focusing on Bangkok Garden, a rich oasis, housed in a historical building for over 30 years and is one of only four Thai restaurants in Toronto to be awarded the Thai Select Premium designation from the Thai Consulate (recognizing the authenticity of the food and outstanding service).
Bangkok Nights is this summers theme, bringing exotic cuisine and culture from around the world into the downtown core. The food is really good. Actually it’s surprisingly good. Authentic, taking you to that faraway place; somewhere warm, full of richness.
Skewered chicken breast marinated in garlic, coriander and fresh spices. Pad Thai rice noodles stir-fried with chicken, shrimp and vegetables, sprinkled with chopped peanuts and garnished with fresh herbs.
Galicky shrimp on a boat. Seaweed that has an oddly addicitng fuzzy cream-like texture.
Fried chicken “Dragon Bites” fittingly named hitting with spice moments after the first taste. Cooling papaya and basil works as a palate cleanser as we wait for more !
Shredded fresh green mango salad, tossed with shallots, coriander, red pepper, mint, palm sugar and peanuts. Garnished with toasted shredded coconut. Minced herbaceous chicken served on refreshing sliced cucumber is a definite perfect-for-the-party hors-d’oeuvre idea.
A small patio on the sidewalk leads into a surprisingly deceptive labyrinthine-like interior: painted masks, matte walls, decor and even a pond with Koi. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the chicken soup. On the saddest of days it can lift the spirit – hey, it did for me. And the super-addicting deep-fried banana.