The pla rad phrik at Bua Thai is definitely a meal in itself – the full fish (minus the head) covers the entire plate. At first, the heft seems daunting, but after you sample the white fish that’s baked in a coriander sauce rich in the flavour of garlic and chilis, it’s easy to finish it without any help. But, it’s best to refrain and instead share a number of delicious options on Bua Thai’s extensive menu. Classic favourites, such as the green curry and tom yum soup, are interspersed among complicated dishes like the banana leaf-wrapped halibut, seasoned with red curry paste, coconut milk, lime leaves and fresh basil. This year, the owners of Bua Thai opened a second restaurant a few doors down, Blue Orchid, which has a Thai buffet and Vietnamese offerings on the menu. Winning the Best Thai category is not the first accolade for Bua Thai – in 2012, its delicious de-boned and stuffed chicken wings made our 25 Best Things to Eat list. -C.B.
10049 113 St., 780-482-2277, website N/A
BOUALOUANG LAOS AND THAI
There’s good Thai food and then there is Thai food that leaves an imprint on your tastebuds, one that lasts long after you stop eating. Boualouang Laos and Thai Cuisine belongs in the latter category. The tom-ga-tee – a rich hot and sour soup filled with chicken, mushrooms and coconut milk – alone is worth a visit. Its silky texture dances on your tongue. Another can’t-forget dish is the drunken noodles (pad-kee-mouw), which sees broad noodles mixed with juicy beef, veggies and a red chili-based sauce. The intense flavour is enhanced by the quality of the ingredients. -S.B. 10569 97 St., 780-423-4207, website N/A
NUMCHOK WILAI RESTAURANT
Located on 124th Street, this Thai restaurant serves classic dishes – you can’t go wrong with a green or red curry – for reasonable prices. The servings are generous, but what really makes the dishes stand out is the abundance of fresh ingredients that aren’t overshadowed by fillers. The red curry chicken is full of meat, bamboo shoots, green pepper, red pepper and basil leaves – and the curry has a kick that you can customize. It’s a great place for an intimate date, a business lunch or just a lone meal where the focus is on the fresh flavours. -C.B 10623 124 St., 780-488-7897, numchokwilai.ca
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