Update: As of 2017, Khao San Road has moved to a new location.
If you’re talking about Thai food in Toronto, Khao San Road will undoubtedly come up in conversation. Although I had always been meaning to pay a visit, the stories of long lines to get in have always been a deterrent. A couple of weeks ago we were in the area with time to kill, and not being terribly hungry, we decided to finally drop by and line up if so required.
Khao San Road
Location: 326 Adelaide St W
Hours: Monday to Saturday lunch: 11am to 2:30pm
7 days a week dinner: 5pm to 10pm
Atmosphere: Casual, bustling
We arrived a few minutes before noon on a Wednesday and was seated immediately. As there was the two of us, we had a bar seat, which I actually enjoy. It was my first time at Khao San Road, and I’m rather lucky as there is usually a bit of a wait (they even have their peak hours and waiting times listed on their website), and they will only seat you if your whole party is there. Shortly after we arrived, there was a small line waiting, but nothing terribly crazy.
Lunch is more limited than dinner, but with a slightly discounted price. We both decided on one of their signature dishes, the khao soi ($12). They have vegetarian options upon request, so we ordered one with beef and one with tofu.
The khao soi came in a tall bowl and smelled amazing. Underneath were egg noodles and beef brisket in a golden curry, and was topped with crispy egg noodles, coriander, scallions, and a lime wedge. The golden curry was flavourful and layered, a welcome change from many one-dimensional curries. There was a generous amount of beef, and I had a bit of trouble finishing it all. In the end, there was a lot of curry left over, and it was hard to resist the temptation to pack it away and eat it at home on a bed of rice.
Khao San Road will definitely be expecting another visit from me, and though I was lucky to be seated right away, I won’t be coming during their peak hours. Hungry = angry.