Pai Toronto

PAI PAI PAI! FINALLY! I’ve heard so many good things about Pai, a Thai restaurant located near the financial district.  I took my mom here on Saturday around 3pm and it was quite busy. We both didn’t have a proper lunch, so it was lunch and dinner combined (we had a shopping date planned for later on), it was dunch or linner for us.

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We hardly have fancy meals together, so I kinda treated myself to a lemongrass tea. The lemongrass flavour was subtle and definitely too much simple syrup.

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We couldn’t decide what to order and I didn’t do research before arriving, so we asked our waiter what the popular dishes were. We got Grabong (fried strips of squash), Pad Thai (stir fried noodles) and Khao Soi (curry noodles).

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Grabong: it was too much for two people. Lots of squash fritters with a sweet tamarind dipping sauce…I was bored of eating it when we devoured half.

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The Khao Soi was the most disappointing. There were lots of beef in the curry and little noodles and they anything special. It was just wide wonton (egg) noodles and very salty. The curry did have coconut flavour, but I don’t remember any other flavours that stood out.

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The Pad Thai was ok. The presentation was nice, everything seems to be served on a banana (?) leaf.  The lime helped bring out the flavour and cut some of the spiciness (we got medium).  The Pad Thai was salty.

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The atmosphere here is lit. The restaurant is located downstairs,  having minimum natural light from windows, it was a low lit restaurant, with lots of banners and flags hanging in the dining area. Along the wallk, at the bar, it reminds me of my dad’s workshelf in the garage, just filled with bottles and whatnot. Friendly vibe and surprisingly, many young families too. 

Looking in to the restaurant…

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You can opt to sit on the floor.  I wish I’d seen that when we walked in.

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So what’s the big deal? I don’t even know myself, but I’m guessing that people like the vibe and of course the food. What a perfect match!
Click here for Pai’s website.

Thai Green Curry – Recipe From Haste’s Kitchen

It’s going to turn out all wrong, that’s me every time I attempt to try a new recipe. Call me pessimistic, but I’ve tried a bunch of recipe that didn’t turn out the way it looked in the cookbook or just awful in general. This summer (it may not be officially summer, but I’ve got four months off before college starts again), I want to attempt as many recipes and new foods as I can (goal: 2-3 dishes per week).
And you know some recipes are safe to try because you’ve made something by the same author from previous recipe before; and it turned out right. I see it as sticking to the same clothes…no matter how many clothes you own, you (or I) always tend to stick to the same tees, jeans and sweaters (or whatever your daily outfit consists of). That’s how I feel about Haste’s Kitchen aka Ian. Enough with the chit-chat and onward with the important stuff.

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This thai green curry paste and curry is super simple to make; great for a weekday meal. I would say that most of the ingredients are really easy to get at the local supermarket (I live in a city, so there’s more grocery store options to choose from. Kaffir (lime) leaves and lemon grass might be more difficult to find.

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Gather all the ingredients and just blend it in the food processor or blender and blitz until everything is blended together and you end up with a smooth like paste texture.

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You get something like this. Before you make any judgement, taste it. It’s lime-y and then there’s a kick of spice from the hot peppers.

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The original recipe makes more curry paste for one. Since I was making dinner for my family, I had to multiply everything by four. I don’t think that there’s a correct portion for vegetables and chicken for this dish. I had two chicken thighs, half a chicken breast, about 10 button mushrooms and three full handfulls of snow peas.

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Stir fry the chicken, add the paste (I put all of the paste in) and cook it for a few minutes. Then I only added one can of coconut milk (about 350ml). Let it boil for 7-10 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook till al dente.

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This curry goes well with a big bowl of rice or noodles. Naan works perfeclyt too.

Why this recipe works:
– The curry paste could be made on the weekend if you have a busy work/ school week ahead. Just open a can of coconut milk and use any veggies you have in the fridge (ie. frozen peas, kale, carrots, eggplants, broccoli). You’ll have dinner in less than 30 minutes.
– I would consider this a beginner’s dish. There’s hardly any chopping skill involved (aside from cutting the vegetables and meat).
– Adjust the flavours; play with the spiciness of the peppers to the amount of lime/ lemon juice…you’ll have different results every time.
– This recipe is perfect for a party dish or potluck event. Easy to put together and just reheat before serving.

Get Haste’s Kitchen’s recipes here: Thai Green Curry Paste & Super Simple Thai Green Curry Chicken. All the details, cooking methods and ingredients are in the videos. Click here for his website.

Tom Yum Soup – Haste’s Kitchen

Ian makes clean eating look so easy. Then again, nothing is easy if no effort is made. I’ve been watching Ian’s videos on youtube for sometime now and I’m always blown away by his recipes. Just thinking of tom yum soup makes my mouth water.
His soup video is a real quick noodle soup that’s perfect for lunch. I handed the recipe to mom and she made slight modifications (still using the same ingredients but serves 4).

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– 3 lemon grass sticks, sliced
– 20 lime leaves
– 1 medium carrot, sliced
– 1 red and green pepper, julienned
– 3 garlic cloves
– 3 small green chilli
– 1/4 small cabbage, sliced
– ~ 25 button mushrooms, sliced
– 2 lemons and juice
– ~6 ounces fish sauce
– 1 tablespoon grated ginger
– 2/3 pounds shrimp, shell on
– 2 handfuls of coriander and green onions, chopped (optional)
– dry flat noodles, soaked (I used a 454g pack of rice sticks, you may use vermicelli or any other noodles)

1. Boil 1/4 pot water (I used a 12-16 quart pot). Added garlic, ginger, lime leaves, fish sauce and lemon grass. Leave for roiling boil for 5 minutes*
2. In the meantime, boil a large pot of water to cook the noodles
3. Add chilli, lemons and juice, cabbage, carrots, peppers, mushrooms to the pot and let it boil
4. Dump the noodles into the boiling water and quickly drain them (they take seconds to cook)
5. Just before serving, place the shrimp into soup to quickly cook; for about 2-3 minutes.
6. Serve noodles and soup with lots of coriander and green onions

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Don’t forget to visit Ian’s Youtube channel here (click here to watch him make tom yum soup) and subscribe if you’d like. : )