TASTE OF THAI SELECT: Bangkok Garden
Bangkok Garden is probably the oldest Thai restaurant that we have visited on our tour of Thai Select establishments, and it's still going strong. Originally opened in 1982, Bangkok Garden has been offering amazing Thai food at the same location for over 33 years. We spoke with the Head Chef who started working for Bangkok Garden just after it first opened. He told us that he loves cooking and is still as excited about making Thai food as the day he started. Indeed his enthusiasm and skill is paying off as Bangkok Garden is one of very few restaurants to be awarded the Thai Select Premium distinction by the Thai government.
Located at 18 Elm Street just off Yonge Street in Toronto, Bangkok Garden has two different dining areas. A new front area with a very moden style and a bar, and the original diningroom with a mezzanine, lots of wood and plants, and a huge window to the side. The restaurant shares a century-old building with the Elmwood Spa. Both businesses are owned by the same owner, a Canadian woman who lived in Thailand for several years before returning to Canada and bringing some of the culture with her in the form of the restaurant and spa.
Bangkok Garden has changed rather little over the years, keeping the food quality and service consistently high. They offer take-out and delivery for downtown customers. For the working crowd their lunch buffet allows for quick eats, but you can still order from the menu if you prefer. On the weekends the restaurant is only open for dinner service.
For each season Bangkok Garden has something special to offer like their recently completed summer Coconut Cool Down deal. They also participate in the annual Winterlicious event, so don't miss it!
Made with tofu and veggies these fresh rolls offered a unique and pleasing combination of flavours. The dipping sauce was light and not overpowering. A great and crisp dish to start off a meal.
Big mango pieces served with mint leaves, peppers and crushed peanuts give this traditional salad a great flavour. Unlike most mango salads, this one was made completely vegan without fish sauce and it still tasted great. No matter what your dietary needs, Bangkok Garden has something to offer you.
Pad Thai Vegetarian
Also available in a vegan version, this Pad Thai tasted great and had an excellent tamarind sauce with a round and full flavour. The veggies were very fresh and the peanuts and sprouts added a nice crunch. The tofu had a great texture. This dish is also available with chicken or shrimp.
Cashew Nut Chicken
Tender chicken served with vegetables in a very savour sauce this dish had a nice savoury flavour. Beware of the dried chilis, or don't if you like some extra kick!
This smokey grilled, deboned Cornish hen had amazingly tender texture. The sauce had a very traditional sour, spicy, salty flavour that reminded us of Thailand. Definitely a premium choice!
The Chef's favourite, the grilled seafood includes shrimp, mussels and squid done on the grill. Close your eyes and imagine being on an island beach in Thailand... this dish captures the flavour of a real beach BBQ!
If you live or work downtown, make sure you check out Bangkok Garden. It's a great place to go for lunch, or take someone special for dinner. If you've never been inside you'll be surprised by the lovely atmosphere and excellent food!
Visit Bangkok Garden online: bangkokgarden.ca