Tom Yum Thai is one of those restaurants I’ve often passed, but never entered. As a bus rider, I find that getting to North of Portage, from where I live in the West End, back to North of Portage on Main is often as a trip, as convoluted as this sentence. As a result, I generally walk when I go to such places as Stephanchew’s Church Goods, or to visit the Exchange District.
Being on the corner of Sherbrook and William, Tom Yum Thai, is often en route, but not the destination. However, a few weeks back, after a pastoral visit at Health Sciences Centre, I figured I’d give it a try for a late-ish supper.
The restaurant is only open until 8. I arrived at 7 and found the outer door locked. However, someone was inside, saw me, unlocked the door and assured me I was welcome to eat there. Not surprisingly I was the only customer in the restaurant.
Late Supper at Tom Yum Thai
The restaurant has an extensive list of Thai dishes to choose from. I chose the Salad Rolls and the Green Curry soup. The Salad Rolls came first and I found them to be a bit of a disappointment. There was no cucumber in them to speak of, and the lettuce and noodles were quite dry. The portion size was quite good however.
The soup on the other hand was quite good. It’s not quite up to the quality of the Sabai Thai Green Curry Soup, but it’s still very good. In addition it comes with a great deal of rice as a side dish. The soup alone could almost make a meal for two.
Trying to get back to the restaurant
My attempts to have a second meal at Tom Yum Thai turned out to be a little challenging. Perhaps the locked door on my first trip should have given me a clue. It took me three more attempts before I was finally able to finish off the return visit.
The first attempt was in the middle of the week of Christmas and New Years, and the restaurant was closed without explanation. I tried again later in the week, only for a power outage in the neighbourhood to cause them to close. Finally, today, I went late afternoon and found them open.
Again, I was the only person in the restaurant, so I can’t give an indication of how well they handle larger crowds. However, I’ve been pleased with the service both times I’ve been there.
This time I decided to go with the Pork Pad Thai and a Veggie Tom Yum Soup. Most of the dishes on the menu are available with a wide range of protein options. The Pad Thai contained two different cuts of pork in it. The customary pork loin was one. The other seemed like a pork chop with the fat and rind left on, and gave those bites a slight aftertaste. Not a bad Pad Thai, but not one I would rush to order again.
I decided to order the Veggie version of the Tom Yum soup. This was delicious and my favourite among the dishes I tried. Not only are there plenty of vegetables in the broth, but there is also a great deal of variety of vegetables, including lots of broccoli and cauliflower. The broth has a good measure of heat, but not so much that it would scare away anyone but the most timid.
I finished off my meal with a nice relaxing Thai Coffee, I love the whipped cream and coffee mixture. Given the number of really good Thai restaurants in the city, Tom Yum isn’t on my list of Thai restaurants to rush out to. Still, if you are in the area, you will get a real good meal if you decide to stop in.