If you frequent the Annex area of Toronto, Thai Basil is probably a familiar name. In fact the Thai Select writers visited several months ago. The Richmond Hill location is about half the age of the Toronto location, having opened about five years ago. It is located at 1070 Major Mackenzie Drive, in the Smartcentres Richmond Hill shopping plaza.
The restaurant has a lovely diningroom with huge faces of Buddha carved out of wood, and colourful banners and dividers that make each table feel cozy and private despite being able to accommodate quite a lot of patrons. The interior feels moden, but with inspiration from traditional Thai culture.
You can probably guess from the name that many dishes feature basil as a main flavour. The restaurant is popular with families and local residents, as well as students and working professionals from nearby schools and offices who enjoy the lunch combo deals that are always available. Popular dishes include: green curry, basil noodles and pad see yew. This Thai Basil offers a slightly different menu than the Toronto location, and also offers evening delivery service. If you're too tired to cook let the fine folks at Thai Basil bring you something tasty!
Thai Pomelo Salad
Pomelo is a very popular fruit in Thailand, but this salad preparation seems rather unique. The sour taste of the pomelo is milder than grapefruit and contrasts well with the salty fish sauce and fried onions served with it. Served with some cold shrimp on top this dish is a great appetizer.
Basil Chili Fried Noodle with Pork
This delicious and hearty dish combines thick noodles cooked in a spicy chili sauce with fresh veggies and minced pork.
Crispy Basil Stir-fry
This unique dish combines a house-made curry sauce with breaded soft-shell crab, served with rice. The dish was slightly spicy and the basil garnish crispy. The batter had a great crunch to it and the crab tasted perfectly cooked.
Thai Green Curry
One can usually judge a Thai restaurant by the quality of its green curry, and Thai Basil definitely gets an A in this department! Served with fresh veggies which are not over-cooked and rice on the side, this curry included tofu that was perfectly tender. The curry sauce had just the right amount of flavour. This dish is also available with chicken, beef, pork or tiger prawns.
Thai Basil Eggplants and Tofu
Served in a hot pot with rice on the side, this very hearty vegetarian dish was absolutely delicious. It had nice big eggplant pieces and absolutely lovely mushrooms in a sauce that had a combination of spicy and garlic flavour. The taste was rich and satisfying.
If you're from Richmond Hill or just passing by and looking for something special, stop in at Thai Basil. The place is very comfortable and the servers are friendly and attentive. You'll definitely be back for more!