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  • Danny MacRiner

Modern yet Authentic Thai on Danforth

Recently I had been seeing posts from this Thai restaurant on Danforth show up on my Instagram feed. I started following them and was always entertained by their social media content. I made it a point to go in and check them out to see if the quality of the food matched the quality of their Instagram content. I guess social media marketing really works!

Some of their posts included helpful tips like how to eat their Pad Thai...

the reaction in the kitchen when someone like me comes in and orders it spicy...

and how to make use of the traditional Thai condiments that they provide...

Speaking of those condiments, I was very excited when they were brought to the table. They are all too rare at most Thai restaurants across Toronto but the flavours they provide are a staple of a good Thai meal. During the little bit of time I had spent visiting Thailand these condiments would always be on the table no matter if I was eating on a plastic table on a street corner or in a fancier restaurant.

They allow for everyone to slightly adjust the flavours for their own distinct palette. My go-to combination is some fish sauce, with just a little bit of sugar to balance out the saltiness and then possibly some of the chili oil depending on how spicy the food is to begin with.

The Tom Yum variation of Pad Thai on the menu caught my eye right away. I was familiar with Tom Yum Soup and its sour and spicy flavour combination so I was really interested to try chef/owner Mo's creation of a Pad Thai with those flavours. As an added bonus they were offering a special version with king prawns so I couldn't turn that down.

It came to the table laid out on a banana leaf and looking amazing as you can see in the picture above. As an added bonus there were some shrimp chips included on the plate too. I appreciated the extra heat in the Tom Yum Pad Thai and the healthy portion of Thai Basil added to the plate was really nice as well. It's not just a garnish people! Mix that basil right into your Pad Thai, the flavours go great together!

The Laap (sometimes referred to as Laab or Larb) is a popular dish in Northern Thailand and Laos and was packed with Thai herbs giving it some really incredible fresh flavours. It's a minced meat salad with your choice of beef, chicken or pork (beef version is pictured). Don't let the term 'salad' fool you though, as it also packs a good amount of spice. The sticky rice that it came with was the perfect consistency to allow it to be eaten with your fingers in little clumps. The Laap was a new dish for me but something I had been wanting to try for a long time and it definitely did not disappoint.

I was warned by the staff to save some room for their homemade coconut ice cream but I was too full to take on another course. I swear I tried my best! I didn't want to completely miss out on their dessert menu so I opted to take an order of the Thai Roti Pancakes home with me. I figured it would travel much better than the ice cream. The crispy roti filled with banana, Nutella and condensed milk was still excellent later that night!

I loved the entire experience at Sala's. Mo and her team are incredible and make you feel genuinely welcome the moment you walk in the door. They do a great job explaining the menu and their specials as well. Most importantly the food is incredible. They bring in as many ingredients as possible from Thailand to ensure the dishes have those authentic flavours. I also really appreciate the different variations on some Thai staples, such as the Tom Yum Pad Thai. They seem to offer special menu items pretty regularly too so there is always the option to try something new.

Let them entertain you on Instagram and then go check out their food. I think you'll be hooked and agree that they deserve to be in the conversation with the best Thai restaurants in the city!

Sala Modern Thai Kitchen

www.salakitchen.com/

1262 Danforth Ave. Toronto, ON