Yesterday night I went out with some friends for some post-theatre dinner and we ended up at Thai Basil, a classy Thai place at 467 Bloor Street West. I’ve been pretty disappointed with restaurants in Toronto since arriving from Montreal, but I have to say that Thai Basil really raised the bar in terms of taste, atmosphere, and price.
The restaurant itself is narrow, but wouldn’t know it because of the intimate atmosphere and the layout of the tables. We were there at 9:30pm on a Saturday night, but we managed to get a table in no time flat. The staff was quick to greet and seat us, and we weren’t waiting for 10 minutes before our drinks were ordered from their long and unbelievably reasonable drink menu.
The menu consisted of your normal Thai standards, but went far (…far!) beyond what you’d get at most Thai places in Toronto. The food choices ranged from starters (spring rolls, soups, and friends), to salads, to rice dishes, to curries, to seafood; to pork, chicken, or beef; to deserts…etc. If anything, the menu had too much choice and I tried to imagine the poor chefs in the kitchen contending with the dizzying variety of orders that come in each night.
I settled on Thai Basil Eggplant and Pork Hot Pot, and I wasn’t disappointed. The dish was served piping hot and perfectly seasoned. The texture of the fried eggplants was delightful, and the sauce used to bring this dish together was robust and spicy. The quality of jasmine rice I ordered to accompany the dish was also excellent and moist – indicating that, unlike other Asian restaurants (Hosu, I’m looking to you!) in Toronto, it hadn’t been sitting in a bowl for hours before being served.
Being the shameless foodies that I am, I also had a chance to taste the coconut soup, which was also outstanding.
Overall, I’d rate Thai Basil as one of the best Asian food restaurant experiences I’ve had in Toronto. It was all the things I look for in a restaurant: service was quick, the food refined, and everything was consistently good. If you’re even looking for nice meal at a reasonable price, I would highly recommend Thai Basil.