The Reveal – Khao San Road
One of the city’s most popular Thai restaurants just got new digs at King and Spadina.
The menu remains exactly the same – because why change a good thing? – focusing on the familiar classics of Bangkok and central-style street food.
So dig into classic Thai starters, noodles and curries in the colourful, lively new space.
Psst: this location is just as popular as the old one. Loyal customers continue to show their love by lining up for the 5 pm dinner opening.
Bangkok born-and-raised certified Thai chef Top Srisomphan uses local and sustainable ingredients when possible to create her classic fare, as well as items imported from Thailand.
Everything’s made from scratch and each dish is customized to your dietary preferences, including heat levels: from zero for no spice to eight for “Extreme Thai Spicy.” Want to really test your palate? Try Chef Top’s Spicy 11, for an additional charge.
Choose from four menus: lunch, regular, vegan and gluten-friendly/gluten-free. Nothing’s over $18, and portions are plentiful, so you never leave hungry.
Daily specials are also available. Each special is a Mealshare item. With every purchase, Mealshare provides one meal to a child or youth in need.
Choose from a selection of nine house wines, bottles of Singha ($6.50), Thai Bucket (5 oz. dark Caribbean rum, coke, and Thai Red Bull – $25.60), and collection of non-alcoholic beverages, including pop, juices and Thai Iced Tea ($2.50-$4.50).
Fixtures & Fittings
The fun, often loud and festive atmosphere that you know and love from the original location, can be found at the new spot, too.
The vibrancy can be felt throughout the space – with vivid murals and paintings by local artist Jimmy Chiale, colourful walls featuring mixed tiles imported from Thailand, and bright Thai flags slung across the room in back.
Floor-to-ceiling windows lining the front and side of the building fill the space with natural light. Industrial stools and chairs tucked under wood counters and tables lend a cool, casual vibe to the room.
Off the Menu
Khao Yum – crispy rice salad ($12) Owner Monte Wan says that he didn’t understand the labour-intensive dish until he had Chef Top’s. The intricate dish features deep-fried seasoned rice boasting a slightly chewy, fluffy centre with a crispy exterior. Her blend of enticing flavours – raw ginger heat, acidic bites, palm sugar sweetness, depth from wine, grassy cilantro and spicy Khao Yum sauce – and textures (rice, fresh roasted peanuts, scallions) results in a balanced bite each and every time.
Gaeng Phed – red curry ($16, with chicken) Creamy, comforting and spicy, this fragrant curry, featuring thick chunks of kabocha squash, strips of red bell pepper, Thai basil leaves, fresh matruk lime leaf and coconut milk, will be your saving grace on any cool, grey or rainy day.
Available with your choice of chicken, pork, veggie and tofu, or veggie. Substitute beef ($1 extra), shrimp ($2 extra) or fish ($2 extra).
Pad See Ew ($15.50) (beef $1 extra) Pad Thai ($15.50) may be KSR’s bestseller, but you should be ordering these handmade beauties.
Wide rice noodles are delivered fresh and cut by hand in the kitchen. Thick (but not too thick) and chewy with uneven edges, and tossed in with scrambled eggs, they stand up against the crunchy Chinese broccoli, tender beef slices, and concentration of flavours from garlic, oyster sauce and soy sauce.
Wan’s recommendation: Squeeze the accompanying lime wedge over the plate for added zing.
Available with your choice of chicken, pork, veggie and tofu, or veggie. Substitute beef ($1 extra) or shrimp ($2 extra).
Kua Gling ($16) One of four signature dishes, this dish is popular in southern Thailand and has started growing in popularity in other areas including San Francisco and NYC.
Moist ground chicken is tossed in a fragrant, spicy, house-made curry paste. The non-saucy dish delivers the heady scents and flavours of fresh lemongrass and ginger, alongside fresh matruk lime leaf and a good kick of heat. Served over rice, it’s an alluring, intricate dish despite its modest appearance.
Choose chicken, pork or tofu. Substitute beef ($1 extra) or shrimp ($2 extra).
75 seats available for dine-in. Takeout and delivery is also available.
At the Stove: Chef Top Srisomphan
Head Honcho: Monte Wan
FOH: Manger Dan Eisen, FOH Manager Jane Sangkaew
Map It: 11 Charlotte St. (at King and Spadina)
Visiting Hours: Daily 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, 5 to 10 pm
Phone it in: 647-352-5773
How Cool is This?! Head upstairs to Khao San Road’s bar, Bang Sue, for Thai cocktails and snacks. And don’t forget their sister restaurant, Nana (785 Queen St. W.), that serves up completely different Thai fare.
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