Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thai Dish for lunch

It was sweet Ming's last day today, so we went to Thai Dish on Colborne Street for lunch. We think it's been around for at least a year and we don't know how they can afford the rent on that street. There used to be a wonderful, charming, delicious, little casual French place that had to close because they couldn't afford it anymore and now it's been replaced by the ultra trendy Colborne Lane. Boo!

Thai Dish is a modest-sized restaurant (probably seats 40 at the very most) with great sound-absorbing surfaces, so you can actually have a quiet conversation. Other Thai places downtown like Spring Rolls and Salad King have all hard surfaces so sounds bounce and echo off all four walls, the floor, and ceiling at the same time making it more like eating in a nightclub. The small room was also bright, sunny, and subtly decorated -- very comfy.

As any other restaurant downtown, they have cheap 2-course lunch specials ranging from $7.95-$10.95. I'm a sucker for eggplant, so I had to veer away from the specials and order the Basil Eggplant with rice paper fresh rolls as a starter.

Before our meals came, they gave us complimentary bowls of shrimp chips with a sweet, peanutty sauce. They were crisp, shrimpy, and salty -- a nice snack to have while waiting.

The fresh rolls were decent. One order came with three rolls stuffed with julienned tofu, red peppers, carrots, lettuce, and maybe radish. All the ingredients were impeccably fresh and crisp, but the entire package seemed to lack something. I think I'm used to fresh rolls containing stronger-tasting pickled vegetables.

The Basil Eggplant was also okay. I love eggplant, so I always hope that eggplant entrees will be made up entirely of eggplant. Usually, as was the case here, there is lots of fillers like onions (way too much in this case), peppers, and carrots. The sauce was fine -- not too greasy; not too salty. But, like the fresh rolls, it lacked something. I don't remember any distinctive flavours.

For dessert, everyone had some of their homemade ice cream. Marcelo had coconut, which turned out to be to die for. It was incredibly creamy, rich, and smooth with chunks of real coconut in it. I got the mango, just to be different, and I regretted the decision. It was okay, but if you go here, make sure to get the coconut.

Overall, Thai Dish was definitely respectable. All ingredients, including garnishes, were very fresh which says a lot about them. So many places serve wilted lettuce and dehydrated fruit on the side. Everything was cooked well and there were basically no problems at all, but it didn't blow me away like Salad King does. Now if only Salad King could have an atmosphere as pleasant as Thai Dish.

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