Volume 95, Issue 72

Friday, February 8, 2002

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Spicy pad Thai heats up the downtown core

InterVarsity Choral Festival prepares to hit the high note

Disc of the Week

This is Bad Taste, no literally - it sucks

Hoobastank crawls into sickly sweet pop

Boys cry, too, y'know

Spicy pad Thai heats up the downtown core

Bangkok Pad Thai

735 1/2 Richmond St.


Four Stars (out of five)

By Dale Wyatt
Gazette Staff

Some people will try anything to stay warm. Luckily, there is a solution cheaper than a flight to Jamaica.

With the weather turning ugly and the temperature dropping dramatically, certain habits inevitably change. So, when planning a dining experience at a restaurant, why not go for some spicy food to warm you up inside?

Bangkok Pad Thai conveniently located on Richmond Street near Oxford and formerly known as Pad Thai Rice Bowl is a delight sure to get your blood pumping with it's extensive menu and welcoming ambiance.

The restaurant's decor is subtle. The walls are not crowded with pictures or decorations and they are painted a soft yellow colour. Music can be heard, but only faintly, making it easy to converse with your fellow diners.

There is no denying vegetarianism is a popular trend. This often makes eating out difficult because vegetarian diets limit the number of potential eateries. Pad Thai's menu, however, accommodates both vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Your first choice comes with your beverage.

The beer section contains a few unique choices, one of which is Tiger Beer imported from Singapore. This beer is pleasant and has little to no aftertaste. The house red wine, on the other hand, is a beautiful treat that fills your mouth with a very bold flavour.

There are many appetizers to choose from, ranging from your standard Thai Spring Roll for $1.75 to the more adventurous Coconut Shrimps Balls priced at $7.95.

The Thai Chicken Wings for $7.25 are a spicy delight. The wings come specially marinated and deep fried, creating a crispy, spicy treat sure to please.

For the more adventurous, the Tofo Soup for a mere $3.50 is simple, but fantastic. The tofo melts in your mouth and the broth carries a strong garden taste, due to the wide assortment of mixed vegetables.

Choosing a main dish is no easy task as the range of choices plays on the imagination, making you want to try them all. Luckily, portions are served bite-sized, allowing you to easily share with others.

The Cashew Chicken priced at $10.95 is wonderful to say the least. It comes in a perfect-sized portion, covered with roasted cashews all blended in a thick special sauce. The tender chicken is cut into small pieces and mixed throughout the plate so every bite is worthwhile.

For vegetarians (or just healthy eaters), the menu is smaller but still filling. The Pad Kee Mao for $10.50 is a blend of stir-fried rice noodles, smothered in a spicy chili sauce and accompanied by fresh, tasty vegetables. It comes in generous portions, but don't expect to have enough left to take home a plate this good is addictive.

For dessert, the homemade Coconut Cookies for $3.50 look so interesting you almost don't want to eat them. Sadly, they are not filling at all and the coconut flavour isn't very strong.

However, the Pumpkin Egg Custard for $3.95 is filled with a pleasant coconut taste. The texture is a little unorthodox, but the taste makes up for it.

Overall, Pad Thai makes for an unproblematic, friendly and quiet eating experience. The prices vary and in order to make sure you have enough to eat an appetizer is a must. Sharing is also a great way to try new things and cut down on the bill.

You might want to call ahead though, this place gets busy fast.

Or hey, just order in Bangkok Pad Thai delivers citywide.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002