Sunday, March 11, 2007

Restaurant Review - Thai Angels

On the recommendation of my very beautiful Thai friend, who happens to be friends with the owner, we visited the newly opened Thai restaurant called Thai Angels. One could well miss this restaurant, tucked between a convenience store and an electronics store, just steps away from the intersection of College and Spadina, west on College Avenue on the south side, but one should not miss this restaurant for its authentic Thai dishes. I had a little time to peruse the menu before I went in, and was intrigued by the many different and interesting dishes represented, the crab with Jasmine rice looked good, among others, quite a few different than the normal fare found on most Vietnamese-Thai restaurants. Seated at our modern decor table, we looked over the many offerings, and decided finally on several appetizers and a meal each. The area around the restaurant is mainly commercial, there were few patrons there when we arrived, though it did start to fill up the later it got. Thai Angels offers delivery and take-out, and lunch specials each day.

First out to our table was a special appetizer, small rice cakes with ground pork in a savoury sauce, which were delicious. I had a chance at that time to meet and talk to the charming and engaging owner of this restaurant, who delivered this special offering herself to our table. Next came out two appetizers, the first deep-friend Thai fish cakes, the other deep-fried Taro sticks. The dipping sauce that accompanied each of the appetizers was different than I was used to, it was not the Thai fish sauce and carrots, which is apparently a Vietnamese custom, to my surprise, but a far superior relish with cucumbers, toasted peanuts and garlic in a sweet rice vinegar sauce (at least, I am guessing at some of the ingredients). Both appetizers were deep-fried a little too much, for my and my friend's tastes, they were very thin, but were soon gone as we savoured them. Next came each of our meals. I had ordered a red coconut curry with red snapper, my friend had ordered the Thai-style Phat Thai. Phat or Pad Thai is a traditional dish of Thailand, and this offering again was different than the version I had consumed many times, it was not noodles-in-a-tomato-sauce, again which is more Vietnamese than Thai, it came with a darker sauce that I have read is made with tamarind. Again, the flavours were superior to the other Pad Thai dishes, with chicken, which my friend asked to not include, as she does not care for it, shrimp and bean sprouts and tofu as some of the combination of ingredients. The red snapper came breaded and covered with a coconut curry sauce and covered with carrots, bamboo sprouts and red bell pepper, and was very tasty, only mildly spicy. As we sat and enjoyed our meals, we were able to relax and enjoy each other's company in conversation. I learned that the dishes were mostly central Thai in origin, the cuisine in northern and southern Thailand is different. It certainly opened my eyes as to how good the food in Thailand can be. This restaurant is definitely worth a return to.

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