I have to admit that I never really thought I would enjoy Thai food as I assumed it was all super spicy and would be way too hot for my liking.
Thankfully, after meeting my friend Mark, a whole new world of food was introduced to me and now some of my favourite dishes are Thai ones.
Recently I discovered one of the places to get good authentic Thai food in Victoria, and that is at Baan Thai Restaurant.
If you are in the downtown area, it is pretty easy to find, and just a short walk from the Inner Harbour. If you’re a local, they also have a location in Oak Bay, but just note that this review is of the downtown location.
Mark and I decided to try the restaurant for lunch on our first time out.
When we first got there, we were seated right away and ordered some drinks. I decided to try their “Thai Iced Tea” ($3.00), and Mark got a bottle of “Singha Beer” ($6.00).
If you’ve never had authentic Thai iced tea, let me tell you it’s not like the iced tea you would get anywhere else. It’s quite a bit different but if you like iced tea, you will probably like this.
So one of the great things about Thai food is that you can usually order it in Mild, Medium or Hot (or even hotter!) so incase you don’t have a palate for heat like myself, you can still enjoy the flavours of this ethnic food.
I ordered the ” Lunch Combo A” ($9.75) and asked for it Mild. There are 3 combos to choose from on their lunch menu, plus 6 other dishes.
The combo I ordered comes with a starter “Gaeng Jerd” (vegetable soup), which is basically a clear broth with celery, carrots and cabbage.
The main part of this combo is the “Por Pya” (spring rolls) and “Gaeng Gai”. This is a rice dish, topped with a coconut milk and red curry sauce and served with chicken, bamboo shoots, and red and green peppers.
The spring rolls were very crispy and I loved the sweet sauce they came with. I wish there had been more than two!
I thought the rest of my meal tasted pretty good, comparable with other Thai restaurants I’ve been to. The sauce wasn’t quite as sweet as I am used to, but that would be the only thing I might have changed.
Mark ordered the “Kee Mao Gai” ($9.25) which, according to our server, is the most popular dish in Thailand (not Pad Thai like you might have thought).
This dish consists of flash fried rice noodles, topped with chicken, egg, onion, red and green peppers.
Mark ordered his hot, which he said was perfect for him, but if you are one of those crazy heat freaks, you can go one level higher and order yours extra hot.
To finish off our lunch we decided to split a dessert. The “Gluay Tod & Ice Cream” ($5.50) sounded like something we’d had before and liked so we ordered that.
This is a yummy dessert if you like deep fried banana. It comes in a crispy batter with ice cream on top, and drizzled with honey and roasted coconut. Mmmmm….
Overall we had a pretty good experience on our first time at Baan Thai.
The food was good, and the service was efficient, though not overly friendly to start (but she did warm up to us after we chatted her up a bit).
The atmosphere was a bit lacking I thought, especially since this is an ethnic restaurant. I always say that when you go to a restaurant that serves food from another country, you should feel like you are visiting that country.
The decor was okay, but I am not sure if the top 40 radio music in the background really suited the place.
For a restaurant where I would be simply dining and not lingering though, it was just fine.
IN A NUTSHELL…
Baan Thai Restaurant
Address: 1117 Blanshard St., Victoria
Phone: (250) 383-0050
Hours: Lunch: Mon – Sat 11:30 am – 2:00 pm ** No lunch on Sundays
Price: $$ ($10 – $15 per entree)
Dinner: Sun – Thurs 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Fri & Sat 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm