- by: Andrew Kilpatrick
TASTE OF THAI SELECT: Linda Modern Thai
Linda Modern Thai is probably not as well known as its sister brand Salad King which is popular with the downtown Toronto crowd. What this restaurant is offering is unique and definitely worth checking out. Linda Modern Thai at 11 Karl Fraser Road in North York is part of the Shops at Don Mills outdoor shopping mall located at Don Mills Road and Lawrence Ave. Situated amongst the high-end brand-name shops is this unique upscale dining experience.
Run by the same people that have made Salad King so famous in affordable eats, Linda Modern Thai aims to do something different. With a more relaxed and luxurious interior than most Thai restaurants, the place is really all about fine dining with unique dishes that you won't find anywhere else. The modern part of the name refers to the rich and bold flavour common in Thai cuisine, fused with local ingredients that are more atypical in Thailand. They give up a bit of the conventional authenticity in exchange for a best-of-both-worlds approach to ingredients and flavour.
Linda Modern Thai opened in 2003 and was originally situated above Salad King in downtown Toronto. It operated as a higher-end choice for customers downtown until 2009 when it moved and became the first restaurant in the new Shops at Don Mills complex. The current location has a beautifully decorated and comfortable diningroom that is spacious but still offers the feeling of privacy between sections.
Thai Iced Tea
Unlike most Thai iced tea which is usually quite sweet, Linda Modern Thai offers a bit of a toned-down version which is still full of flavour.
Translated from Thai, "Mien Kum" means "many little things in one bite." Take a leaf (probably a betel leaf, but they don't specify) and add onions, lime, chili sauce, dried shrimps, and so on. Close up the leaf and eat the whole thing at once. It's surprising and refreshing, and each one can be made differently according to your tastes.
Sai Krok (House-made Sausages)
A great appetizer, the house made sausages consist of a chicken and a pork sausage served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. The chicken sausage is mild with a fine texture and includes nice herbs inside. The pork sausage contains garlic and is quite spicy.
Gra Bong (Vegetable Fritters)
Sort of reminiscent of Indian pakoras but larger and with more variety of taste, these deep fried vegetable fritters were quite fun and interesting to eat. The sauce on the side is salty and savoury. The breading is surprisingly light.
Crispy Taro and Rice Noodles
A unique combination of breaded deep-fried taro served with rice noodles and vegetables served with a golden curry gravy. This is a very hearty and filling dish with an interesting combination of textures and flavours.
Market Fresh Seafood
This dish changes depending on the best fish available by season. The deboned sea bass pictured came with a lovely chili sauce, rice, and steamed vegetables.
Mango Sticky Rice
This traditional Thai desert was presented beautifully with small strawberry pieces which complemented the other flavours perfectly. The varied texture and intense flavours were a perfect way to contrast a savoury main dish.
If you live nearby or are considering shopping at the Shops at Don Mills, make sure you plan some extra time to stop in for dinner at Linda Modern Thai.
Visit Linda Modern Thai online: www.lindamodernthai.com