Volume 96, Issue 67
Wednesday, January 29, 2003

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Ben Thanh
Ben Thanh delivers Thai delights

Ben Thanh Restaurant
57 York St.
438-4888

By Joanna Adamiak
Gazette Writer



Beth Kerim/Gazette
 
If you're looking to check out one of the best Thai restaurants in London, stop looking. Ben Thanh offers delicious Thai cuisine, and is conveniently located on the corner of York and Ridout Streets.

From the moment you enter the restaurant, it becomes clear that Ben Thanh offers a pleasant and welcoming environment. The wait staff is friendly and eager to assist every customer.

Each meal begins with a piping hot kettle of tea, which is brought to the table at the same time as the menus are delivered. The menu features a wide variety of Thai dishes, with choices that could suit almost anyone's taste buds: for the vegetarians among us, there is a broad selection of meatless dishes, while for the carnivores among us, there are plenty of tantalizing entrées as well.

Ben Thanh also offers a selection of fancy drinks. The jackfruit (krisnanna) smoothie is a delight with its sweet, exotic flavor. The pineapple bubble tea is also a taste sensation, mixing the distinctive flavour of pineapple with "bubbles" of tapioca balls.

Overall, the prices on the menu are extremely reasonable, and there are many great deals. This makes Ben Thanh a feasible choice for students on a "student" budget.

In terms of appetizers, the deep-fried spring rolls are an excellent way to begin the meal.

A tasty vegetarian choice is the stir-fried vegetable vermicelli bowl with mushroom sauce. This meatless meal is well-prepared and bursting with a mixture of delicious flavours. The serving size is enormous, underscoring the good value of the food at Ben Thanh.

Another enjoyable option is the barbecued grilled pork ball vermicelli. The name alone may be enough to make your mouth water, and the taste is out of this world. The tangy pork balls create a perfect complement to the vermicelli.

For those who may not be familiar with Thai cuisine, the servers at the restaurant are more than willing to answer any cuisine-related questions. Throughout the meal, they are attentive and helpful, always ensuring that you are enjoying your meal to the fullest.

As for the final course – dessert – there are a number of sweet, delicious choices. After a full meal at Ben Thanh, however, you may not have room for much more. This makes the green tea ice cream a perfect choice. Don't let the green color of the ice cream scare you: this light, tasty treat will definitely appeal to your sweet tooth.

Ben Thanh offers a memorable and delicious dining experience. The prices are affordable, the food is authentic and the friendly staff is always available to assist customers. And with the huge food portions offered, you will likely have the added bonus of taking home a doggy bag for a second Ben Thanh meal at home.

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