Introducing: Khao San Road, the new Entertainment District restaurant from the people behind Sukhothai
On Friday, Khao San Road, the highly anticipated new Thai spot by Jeff and Nuit Regular, opened after months of on-line buzz. The Regulars’ first Toronto restaurant, Sukhothai, opened in Regent Park in January 2008 and almost immediately developed a cult following for its fiery northern Thai cuisine (the pair left the eatery in the capable hands of Jeff’s parents). Nuit is in the kitchen at Khao San Road, so we look forward to the same authentic ingredients that characterized Sukhothai’s dishes. Items like Thai pumpkin, wild ginger, holy basil and curry powders are imported to the new restaurant from Thailand with the goal of creating dishes that are as similar as possible to those found in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
The menu at Khao San Road offers favourites from the Sukhothai menu, like pad thai ($11) and Jeff’s favourite, khao soi ($13)—the recipe for which we featured last year. New on the menu: homemade squash chips ($5) to cater to vegetarians; crispy garlic shrimp ($9); pad gra prao, a spicy chicken or beef and basil dish ($12); khanom jeen ($8), north Thailand-style slow-cooked pork ribs; and Thai iced tea ($4.50). As the place finds its feet, Nuit plans to develop new dishes as well as offer a Thai Sunday brunch and coffee from Chiang Mai.
The restaurant is named after Bangkok’s infamous Khao San Road, a bustling street filled with food vendors and drunken backpackers looking for a party—a fitting moniker given that it’s located in the Entertainment District where Spotlight Resto Lounge once sat. The dining space is casual, with 52 seats, bare wooden tables from Forever Interiors, a long metal bar serving up Singha Beer (well, once the liquor license materializes), and two high-top communal tables at the front. Paintings by local Toronto artists hang on the wall and a new photo space, like the one at Sukhothai, is in the works, where diners can bring and share their travel photos from Thailand.
Khao San Road, 326 Adelaide St. West (between Peter St. and Widmer St.), 647-352- 5773, khaosanroad.ca.