I am quite joyous with the recent surge of Asian cuisine in Toronto. Be it Filipino or the never-ending surge of ramen-centric restaurants, these were the flavors that I was accustomed to growing up. To have a variety of authentic Asian cuisine within Toronto was a cure to homesickness and cravings that would never go away. The most recent addition was the opening of Sukho Thai’s second location at St. Lawrence Market neighborhood. When I received the invite to come to its soft opening today, it didn’t take me long to decide on my attendance. Reading their consistent good reviews with their first restaurant at the Distillery District, I had high expectations that they would be able to pacify my need for Asian comfort food. To this event I decided to bring my friend Valerie as she was a fan of Thai cuisine as much as I do.
Walking in the restaurant, I took note of the minimalistic, contemporary approach of the interiors. Handsome dark hardwood floors and matching black walls and ceiling engulfed me. Somehow the space did not cramp me despite its heavy and bold tones as it interjected layers of texture with a feature brick wall, hanging ceiling, steel pedestals and raised sections of the dining area. The restaurant gave an impression of space despite the choice of dark colors. We were led near the window and of course I chose a table that would give me the best light. I was happy I was prudent to come early as I was able to make the choice. In a matter of minutes the restaurant filled with fellow foodies invited for lunch and it would have been hard to be selective.
The lunch started with a generous basket of Shrimp Chips with Tamarind Dip. This one transported me back to Manila of me snacking on similar tasting chips dipping it with what we call bagoong (shrimp paste). The first taste I got scored high with me and if this was the tone of the whole meal, I would surely be such a happy foodie.
For my appetizer, I selected the Spring Rolls and Valerie went for the Tom Yum Kung Soup. The server also asked if were were interested to try some Thai Iced Tea. I was glad to have said yes as that drink was comforting. Similar to the taste of green tea, I think I would add this drink of my must-haves in each Thai meal I eat. The spring rolls arrived together with the drink and I was happy that the spring rolls was big on flavor despite being vegetarian. The dip that came with the serving added an extra punch to an already tasty spring roll. Valerie’s Tom Yum Kung soup arrived next and just like the first two dishes, was very pleasing. It was so good, I would have been happy to pair just this soup with jasmine rice for lunch. It gave comfort and it gave layers of texture and flavor, to pair it with rice would give anyone a complete meal.
But there was more. I was seriously thinking I might not be able to finish as I was starting to get full. What I have ordered for my main was the restaurant’s most popular, Sukho Thai Pad Thai. I have read on the reviews that it was a must. Normally I tend to stay away from pad thai’s as there were so many renditions of it that it seems to be too westernized for my liking. But for today, I broke my rule and went for the restaurant’s most popular dish. Valerie, in turn, opted for Nua Gra Teaum, a dish with stir-fried garlic beef, fried egg and jasmine rice.
Tasting my entree, I was happy I overlooked my prejudice with eating pad thai. The noodles amply al dente and flavorful. Unlike most that I have tried before, this pad thai was not greasy nor was it sickeningly sweet. It had the right balance of sweet heat and punches of nutty layers of flavor. I believe I want another plate of that pad thai once I have recovered with the amount of food we have eaten for lunch. Valerie’s Nua Gra Teaum reminded me of Filipino’s tapsilog which was marinated thin slices of beef, egg and garlic fried rice. This was the reason I love eating cuisine from the same region as the Philippines as it gives me comfort and discovery at the same time. Dining experiences like Sukho Thai’s transported me back to Manila and experiences like that would always be appreciated in my book.
To Matt and the rest of the crew of Sukho Thai, congratulations with the successful expansion of Sukho Thai. This addition would surely be a hit among us foodies. Valerie has already planned on us coming back soon before the year ends :)