Moncton continues to surprise me in terms of things to do and places to eat. The latest culinary adventure took us a bit out of the downtown core to Tak’s Thai Kitchen. Today is also the first day that I’m using my Blackberry Z10 to take pictures for a post … so the picture quality will be a bit different.
Walking into Tak’s place … and yes … the owner’s name is Tak. She’s absolutely a delight as she came out to chat with us at the end of the night and told us a bit about herself and where she was from. Thankfully, I had browsed through her menu/culinary/tourist guide … the menu has several pages of information on the Thai culture and makes for some interesting reading, if you’re so inclined during your meal. It’s the first time, I’ve seen such an original approach to a menu – and the menu has pictures of all dishes, so that if you’re not familiar with Thai food, you won’t be lost as to what you’re eating.
In Toronto, we have a lot of Thai restaurants, but the majority of them aren’t that great … with bland Tom Yum soups, flavourless curries and super sweet, tomato paste Pad Thais. This is definitely not the case at Tak’s … the food quality at Tak’s is surprisingly excellent … I mean this is Moncton after all! I ordered my standard first time Thai restaurant menu
- Shrimp Tom Yum (3 Chilis)
- Pad Nam Prig Pow (Beef cooked in Roasted Chili sauce) (3 Chilis)
- Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai (5 Chilis)
The presentation was beautiful, portions were good and everything seemed very fresh – very bright, full, well-balanced flavours. The spiciness is authentically Thai, although I had to convince the waitress to get my food as spicy as I wanted it – indeed they were hesitant to cook the food the way I wanted it. Tak told us that many customers come by – and ask for a 4 chili or 5 chili spice level, then send back the food, because it was too spicy. As my first time, it was hot, but it could have been hotter … Tak assured me that the next time I came in … I just had to ask for her and it would be done to spec … WIN!
The online reviews mentioned slow and poor service … I can’t really confirm or deny that. We went to the restaurant at closing time … they were very accommodating, but we were the only people in the restaurant at 9pm … so the service level was per our expectations. The nice thing about being all alone in the restaurant is that I had a chance to check out the decor. For me, decor is a bonus not a requirement … but she’s done some very nice things with the space and added some very Thai touches to her restaurant.
Overall … so in the end … here are the bullet points
- Good and friendly service
- Very interesting elements to the decor … if you’ve never been to Thailand before, it’s definitely nice.
- Excellent food!!
- Portion size is on par … definitely the Pad Thai was a very generous. The Tom Yum was smaller than expected … but still packed tons of flavor.
- This is definitely a place that makes our work team’s rotation, even with the 10 minute drive from downtown.
- After dinner entertainment at Magnetic Hill … BOOM!
BTW … as an even better added bonus, Tak’s is a 3 minute drive from Magnetic Hill. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it … “Magnetic Hill is an example of a gravity hill, a type of optical illusion created by rising and descending terrain”. We drove up and checked it out … the illusion is awesome … but the scene at Magnetic Hill at 11pm can easily remind someone of the Blair Witch project … it definitely reminded me of it … so I was more concerned about getting stabbed by evil ghosts than an awesome optical illusion.