Mengrai Thai

If you are looking for good Thai food in downtown Toronto, then look no further ... I'd definitely would recommend Mengrai Thai. It is among one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the GTA. 


I ordered the prix fixe menu ($35.00), which included an appetizer platter (mango salad, the taro yam roll, the shrimp triangle wrapper, and the crisp dumpling), a second course, an entrée (main meal) and dessert. I think this is one of the better choices, as you get value for the dollar.


I thought the soup in the pineapple was an innovative idea and it looked pleasantly appetizing. However, I was not too fond of the soup base as I thought that the taste of the pineapple was relatively overpowering.

One particular dish that I usually order would be the chicken and shrimp pad thai ($13.00). I do like the execution of this dish as it is both flavorful, and perfectly spicy. Additionally, the chef is not skimpy on the amounts of chicken and shrimp.


The atmosphere of the restaurant itself was a very intimate and private one; as there are spaces in between tables. Mengrai Thai is also decorated with intricate Thai decorations, which adds to the cultural appeals of the restaurant.

In regards to the service, I have always had a pleasant experience; whether it's dining in or take-out. The staff here are always very helpful and nice.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food 4.4/5
Service: 4.2/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.2/5
Price: $$$

Address: 82 Ontario St, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3

Mengrai Gourmet Thai on Urbanspoon

Ajisen Ramen

I used to eat quite frequently at Ajisen Ramen when it first opened in Chinatown. However, since they re-did the entire menus; the food prices has been steadily increasing while the food quality and portions has significantly decreased. 


The tom yum lamb teppanyaki ramen ($8.99) was a decent ramen dish. Its broth was kind of salty, and left me really thirsty which could be attributed to MSG in the soup.


One of my favorite non-ramen dishes would be the shoyu BBQ chicken udon ($9.75). The picture to the right is of the udon (taken before I even started eating). As you can tell from the picture; the potion was pretty skimpy, and there was not a lot of noodles or chicken in my bowl. Although, the portions were pretty disappointing, the udon dish did taste rather good. One thing that I can really say about this particular dish was that the soup base was very flavorful.

I also ordered the Japanese deep fried tofu ($4.99) as an appetizer. The dish came with five pieces (5th piece is hidden underneath in the photo) of deep fried tofu dipped in dashi sauce. Three out of the five pieces were a little burnt. The tofu was soft on the inside but the batter tasted like they overused the cooking oil; wasn't very appetizing.

In terms of service, Ajisen Ramen wasn't horrible per-se as the food arrived pretty quickly. However, the servers' attitudes were pretty stoic and a majority of them conveys absolutely no emotions (no smiling or anything). Overall, the service was just average. Ajisen Ramen has a great selection of ramen and other non-noodles dishes, so there's something for everyone. Ajisen Ramen is a decent place to go to for a quick lunch or dinner, but there are other better places for ramen.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3/5
Price: $

Address: 332 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON, M5T 1J5

Ajisen Ramen on Urbanspoon

Aji Sai

About: Aji Sai is a popular AYCE sushi joint located on the busy street of Queen St W. I arrived at around 1:00 pm and the restaurant was near capacity.

Decor: Aji Sai is a modernly decorated AYCE establishment with a hint of Asian fusion. The restaurant was pretty spacious and there are enough space (to get by) in between tables.

Price: I went to eat during lunch time, so it was only $12.99 (+ tax + tip). The price was both reasonable and on par with other nearby AYCE. The great thing about AYCE is that you can eat as much or as little as you like. 

Menu: The lunch menu was printed on a laminated 2-sides pager (first page was the menu and the second page explained the ingredients in the special rolls). The menu itself was relatively extensive (for lunch). There were 12 kinds of sushi, 18 kinds of hand rolls, 30 special rolls, various cooked/hot food, appetizers, soups, salads, ice-cream, etc …

Service:  The wait for the food was kind of long, as we were seated all the way in the back. The service was pretty decent though. The waitress who tended to our table was pleasant and quick to clear plates.

Food: Due to time constraints, as I only had an hour to eat before my meeting, I was unable to ordered a lot of dishes.

The veal chop was way too chewy.

The chicken teriyaki was tender and sweet.

As you can see from the picture; the green salad barely had any dressing on it. I was pretty much eating plain lettuce.

The yakitori was good, as the sauce was sweet in flavor.


I ordered one salmon roll, two white tuna sashimi, and four salmon sashimi. The overall quality of the sushi was decent. The one complaint that I really have about the sushi was that the rice was too overcooked and tasted mushy. The table turnover rates at Aji Sai are high so the fish was relatively fresh.

 The sushi pizza tasted pretty good, but the presentation was pretty plain.

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3.6/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.5/5
Price: $ (lunch)

Address: 467 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A9


Aji Sai on Urbanspoon

Ka-Chi

Ka-Chi is a good place to go for both fast and authentic Korean food. Additionally, the restaurant is located conveniently in Chinatown. There is a total of three different ones and they are all downtown.


My friends and I got to Ka-Chi, and were seated immediately. The server brought over the water and complimentary bachan (kimchi, cucumbers, tofu, seaweed,  potatoes and glass noodles).


Many of the Korean restaurants that I have been to doesn't offer glass noodles as bachan so this was a nice change, The glass noodles were delicious and I asked for 3x the refills of it.

I have been to this specific Ka-Chi location on several occasions and have always found the service efficient. The servers are friendly, courteous and are quick to refill appetizer requests. Below are my reviews of the dishes that I have ordered at Ka-Chi.


I ordered the Ka-Chi's spicy BBQ ribs (grilled marinated beef ribs with Ka Chi's sweet & spicy sauce) ($12.95). The ribs were well marinated, and had a lot of flavor. I thought that the portions were pretty generous and I thoroughly enjoyed my dish. This dish is a personal favorite of mine.


The pork bone soup came with a drink; with coke ($7.75) or nestea ($8.00). There were a lot of meat on the pork bones, but there was an overwhelming amounts of bean sprouts atop of the bowl. I like my pork bone soup spicy, and found that the one here is a little too mild. Although a little too mild for me, it was still tasty.


Ka-Chi also offers several lunch specials which I believe are only available until 3:00 pm. On another visit, I ordered the galbi (marinated beef) lunch special ($8.95) and an order of spicy salmon roll ($5.95) on the side.

The lunch special came with galbi pieces, steamed rice, four pieces of maki, salad, seaweed, and miso soup. For the amounts of food; it was a good value.


The spicy beef stew with vegetables ($7.50) would be a healthier alternative to the pork bone soup. Overall, this specific dish was hearty, spicy and had a good amount of glass noodles in it.

The menu also provided other selections of Korean dishes, and they are within the range of $6.99 to $14.00. I'd definitely recommend Ka-Chi for its affordable prices, well portioned dishes, and the food was also good.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.4/5
Service: 4.3/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.3/5
Price: $

Address: 8 St Andrew St, Toronto, ON, M5T2G4

Ka Chi on Urbanspoon