It’s been 10 long months since its kitchen last sent out an order, but judging from the reaction over Salad King’s soft opening this past weekend, there’s no question about who reigns over the corner of Yonge and Dundas. The mainstay of cheap eats might have been shut down on the eve of its 20th anniversary (following a building collapse), but after battling through a tricky renovation in a new space, the King is back, with even shinier new digs.
Designed by Munge Leung—the same team responsible for the old location’s signature stainless steel décor—Salad King’s new 4600-square-foot space is brighter and more open than its former home. The restaurant is perched on the second floor of the historic Thornton-Smith Building, kitty-corner from Gould Street and right above a Foot Locker. The room features three distinct dining areas: a 40-banquette set of seats flanking the bright, Yonge Street–facing windows; a 32-seat semi-enclosed structure adorned with hand-carved Burmese artwork and custom-made bubble pendant lights; and the restaurant’s signature cafeteria-style tables at the heart of the room, with space for 88 communal diners. Meanwhile, those waiting for their take-away orders of golden curry may find a seat in a nook by the takeout counter, away from the dine-in crowds.
Despite all these changes, owners Ernest Liu and Linda Fung are adamant that the recipes and Salad King’s famous 20-chili scale will stay the same. Indeed, that scale is now the star of a mural lining the ground-floor entranceway. In a canny nod to the restaurant’s crazed social media following, the mural also features quoted tweets from fans. Meanwhile, the scavenger hunt we wrote about a couple weeks back began yesterday. Contest rules for the Long Live the King scavenger hunt can be found at longlivetheking.ca.
Salad King, 340 Yonge St. (at Elm St.), 416-593-0333, , saladking.com