De Thai brings the right ingredients for success to Marda Loop

Four years ago I reviewed the Indian-inspired cuisine of Rasoi at this very spot in Marda Loop; three years before that it was Jo-Jo’s French Bistro (incidentally the site of my very first review for Fast Forward Weekly ). Based on what I sampled at De Thai I have a feeling that this new tenant will be around for the long haul.

It’s a Wednesday night and my husband and I can think of no better way to climb over the mid-week hump than with a sweet and savoury Thai meal. Arriving around 7:15 p.m. we are promptly greeted seated and served. The space is only half-full but I do hear a woman beside me comment on how uncharacteristically slow it is so you may want to make a reservation.

The new occupants have kept the graphic purple wallpaper and cream banquettes of Rasoi. In fact the space remains mostly the same — a smart decision as it works just as well with Thai cuisine as it did for Indian fusion.

Perusing the menu we find a nice range of appetizers curries noodle dishes and vegetarian options. For your reference the dishes are categorized by one two or three chili peppers.

We decide to start with the De Thai wings ($10) a small plate of four large wings marinated and deep-fried until golden crisp. We both love the crunchy exterior and juicy chicken but agree they lack a depth of flavour. An extra zing of sweet or heat would do wonders for this starter.

Starting on the feast placed before us I spoon up the brown curry Mas Sa Man. Like most of the curry and noodle dishes this dish is available with beef chicken pork or shrimp — we go with the beef ($15). Featuring cubed waxy potatoes earthy roasted peanuts and savoury onions this dish is toasty and sweet and goes perfectly with our coconut rice.

Moving around the table we try the drunken noodles with shrimp ($17) a triple-pepper selection that brings the ruckus with a roasted chili paste. Made with wide egg noodles baby corn thinly sliced carrots and plump shrimp this dish made my nose run for all the right reasons.

Rounding out our entrees we try the candied chicken which is a house specialty ($15). It sounds sweet but in reality this dish has a savoury edge. Tossed with slices of red and green peppers the sweet and salty chunks of deep-fried chicken hit the spot with a sneaky heat that pops up after every bite.

After getting our leftovers packed up to go we opt for a wee dessert of deep-fried banana (think banana spring roll) and coconut ice cream ($6). If you have a major sweet tooth I would order an extra banana roll ($3). For us it’s just enough to cure that craving for a sweet little somethin’. The coconut ice cream is creamy and dreamy and the banana roll pairs perfectly with a drizzle of melted chocolate.

De Thai is a great addition to Marda Loop. The service and menu are fairly straightforward but the flavourful dishes really make this spot a standout.