Of any of the categories, the Thai vote was the closest. There were any of six restaurants within touching distance of the top three. But, at the top this year is Sukhothai, located across the street from Oliver Square on 104th Avenue.
Sukhothai makes an outstanding green curry, with a bit of a bite, but with plenty of the basil and sweetness shining through. Maybe even a bit better is the Penang curry, with cream swirled into the rich, red sauce. It’s sweet, it’s savoury and it will challenge the palate – but in the best possible ways.
It also needs to be mentioned that Sukhothai has an extensive vegetarian menu. A lot of the curries can be enjoyed with tofu and rice, so for the non-meat-eaters, there’s actually the luxury of choice while dining mates enjoy the beef, chicken or prawn dishes. –Steven Sandor 11525 104 Ave., 780-426-4020, sukho-thai.com
Viphalay’s downtown location, on 99th Avenue, is a converted house – which is fitting, considering it feels like you’re getting Thai home cooking there. The curries and stir fries are perfect to warm your tummy on a cold winter’s eve.
The chicken satay skewers are fragrant with garlic and lemongrass – complemented beautifully by the peanut sauce – while the tamarind chicken stir fry has a wonderful umami flavour. The green curry is nice and spicy, dotted with zucchini, broccoli and sugar peas. If you want something a little milder and sweeter, go for the Penang curry. Either way, make sure to get a big order of coconut rice over which you can spoon your curry. –Glenn Cook 10724 95 St., 780-423-3213 / 10523 99 Ave., 780-756-8188, viphalay.com
Over the years, this magazine has spent many column inches praising the Tom-Yum Ga Tee soup at Boualouang; in fact, by now, I could collect our praise for this and publish what amounts to a rather long essay about this mildly spicy coconut-and-lemongrass brew. Let’s just say it’s my favourite soup in town.
But there are lots of other things to recommend at this small Chinatown eatery. There are the red chilies that give the drunken noodles a wonderful-but-not-overpowering kick, and the Pad-Puk sees your choice of meat accompanied by a great combination of lime leaves and lemongrass. Of course, you’re going to get the soup, but leave some room for other dishes as well. –Steven Sandor 10569 97 St., 780-423-4207
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