Just over 7 years ago I spent a month in Thailand feeding my soul, fending off ladyboys that Julien Favre steered in my direction, and eating more cashew nut chicken than any man (boy) should. I returned with a whole new perspective on ping pong, and an appreciation for Thai cuisine.
You know that annoying traveller who goes on and on about how you’ve never had good pizza until you’ve been to Italy and you just want to take a pepperoni and punch it through their head? Well that’s me! You see it blew my mind that every single little place you’d walk into anywhere in Thailand, could make a dish better than most Thai places here. Why? We have Thai people. We have vegetables. We have 28 days straight of traveller’s diarrhea. I mean spices…we have spices.
However a few months ago Tharla and I went to a little restaurant on the east side called Sukho Thai. And I believe Jerry says it best. Wednesday night was Carla’s birthday, so I used my FLHB influence (thanks Adrian) to get a reservation at their newish sister restaurant on Duncan street, called Pai.
Sweet grilled pork on a skewer and three to an order. Did I mention it’s called Moo Ping? What a delightful name. Tasty indeed but maybe a little pricy at $10. However it was Moo Parla’s birthday so being the generous young man I am I sprung for it. And you know what? As I stuffed free napkins and forks into her purse, and she sipped on her tap water, I could tell she was thinking “best birthday ever!”
Crispy Basa Fillet with two sauces – one chili, one tamarind. Carla loves her seafood, so much so that I had her taken to the doctor last week to check for gills. Me not so much. Probably cause of the whole shellfish allergy. Or seeing this at far too young an age. But this fish was fried perfectly in a light crispy coating and melted in your mouth. Serving size was large with 4 hefty pieces. Snarls took down 2, I had 1, and the last one I’ll be using to chum the waters of my bathtub later tonight.
I saved the best for last. I think we have a new champion for best dish on FLHB. Braised beef in a golden curry with egg noodles. Isn’t it pretty? You must try this. The portion was large so there’s some leftovers locked in a safe in my fridge right now. Come try and get it I dare you. I tried to describe my feelings to Carla.
E: “It’s like full of flavour but subtle at the same time.”
E: “No wait it’s like a warm blanket!”
E: “Yeah it like coats your mouth like a delicious blanket!”
C: “You’re the worst food writer ever.”
Final score is a mean 68/81 for Pai. This whole be more critical thing isn’t really working out, but I think Snarla and Degrassi Junior High’s ‘Wheels’ would both agree, there’s nothing wrong with something that feels good. Delicious food, good drinks, aesthetically pleasing – give it a shot, I think you’ll be pleased. If you’ve got a moment, wish Carla a happy bday in the comments!
And I’ll wish a Happy Friday to all y’all!