The chefs at The King and I make only one request of their patrons: please be patient. Because the kitchen’s repertoire includes a dizzying array of menu items, the skilled chefs only prepare a dish once it has been ordered. Diners can choose one of the familiar Thai dishes, including pad see ew with egg and broccoli and jasmine fried rice with cashews, pineapple, and a choice of meat. For more adventure, diners can try one of the house specialties, which, like a Martian ice-cream truck, introduce more exotic flavors: the pud phet ta lay finds shrimp, squid, and sea scallops stir-fried with green beans and bamboo shoots, and the pla rad prig ignites a fried whole fish with spicy chili basil sauce.
Pomelo's menu packs a flavourful diversity of Southeast Asian dishes prepared with high-quality ingredients and fresh produce. Eventide eaters can browse the dinner menu and begin with an appetizer such as fresh avocado-and-crab rolls ($3) or skewers of marinated tiger shrimp, which are easily distinguished from real tigers by their 10 legs ($8). Entrees include a spicy serving of mango chicken with roasted cashew nuts ($14) and a Saigon rack of lamb ($24), as well as some herbivore-friendly options cooked with fresh veggies and tofu.
An Eastern-focused spice house, Thai Senses tickles tonsils with an eclectic menu, which escorts diners on a culinary tour of Thailand's varied edible delicacies. With an ambrosial essence wafting from the chef's quarters, guests can indulge their epicurean appetites with the orange cashew chicken, stir-fried with vegetables and chili paste ($10.95), or tangle their forks in a vessel of drunken noodles, garnished with chicken, beef, or tiger shrimp ($10.95, extra $3 for shrimp). For a taste of authentic Bangkok cuisine, submerge ladles in a thai street-noodle soup or challenge sweat glands with a spicy order of Mussels in the Jungle, freshly snared by camo-clad fishermen ($11.95).
The chefs at Freshly Thai can whittle a fresh cucumber or crispy carrot into the intricate shape of a flower. These artful garnishes are just one sign of the attention lavished on every MSG-free meal. They sweeten sauces naturally with honey instead of white sugar or melted lollipops and squeeze fresh tamarind and lemon juice on-site. Medicinal herbs including turmeric and galangal flavour dishes such as panang curry with scallops and kaffir-lime leaves in creamy coconut milk broth and the Magnificent Mango, a dish of pan-fried mango, onions, carrots, and cashews with garlic and ginger served over a bed of broccoli. Many of the spot's dishes are vegan and gluten-free, substituting vegetarian sauce for the fish sauce ubiquitous in most Thai cuisine.
At Thai One On, chefs cull their recipes from the traditions of Thailand—a place where plump mangoes fall from towering trees and waters abound with colourful shellfish. To whip up the dishes of this faraway world, the culinary team folds fresh ingredients into curries, noodle dishes, and specialties such as beef with oyster sauce that's marinated in Thai wine. The kitchen overflows with the aromas of fresh basil, garlic, and ginger as stir-fries sizzle with pad-thai noodles and pots of red and green curries simmer. To craft one of their favourite dishes, the Fish Devil, chefs lightly deep-fry the best of the deep blue with onions, sweet peppers, and a fiery sweet-and-spicy sauce.
Out in the airy dining rooms, guests sip lychee milkshakes in cushy red booths. Vibrant paintings speckle the wall space, depicting traditional Thai scenes such as grassy fields with majestic temples and pristine beaches with tourists frantically searching for their passports.
The aromas of Hakka Chinese spices, Thai chilies, and Indian curries mingle inside Duke Dragon, an eatery dedicated to the cuisines of multiple nations. To pull this off, the restaurant's chefs must wear many hats. At any given moment, they might be sizzling a pan of manchurian fried rice, chopping basil and mango to season Thai-style chicken, or simmering creamy palak paneer. They also whip up meat-free dishes, giving vegetarians access to these exciting international flavours.
With so many options on the table, it would be a shame to taste just one. Try augmenting your meal with an appetizer of stuffed pakoras, deep-fried tiger prawns, or lollipop chicken. The latter dish is served with a length of carefully exposed bone, allowing diners to indulge without getting any sauce on their fingers or retractable claws.