While not everyone may believe in plastic surgery, sometimes it can be good to get a bit of a facelift…just ask Joan Rivers. Last Thursday, one of Toronto’s landmark Thai restaurants, Bangkok Garden, celebrated its own face lift of sorts with the renovation and re-launch of its swanky new bar. The once heavily wood panelled bar, has been transformed into a bright, airy and modern space (blessed by monks, I might add). Splashes of bright ocean blue and golden yellow punctuate the space and accent the sleek white interior.
Prior to pad Thai being on almost every Asian fusion menu known to mankind, Bangkok Garden has been a gateway to authentic Thai food in the city since 1982. In addition to longevity, Bangkok Garden has been rewarded for authenticity—given the Thai Select Premium designation from the Thai Consulate. It seems Bangkok Garden has its own six degrees of separation—ask around, and you’re guaranteed to find someone who’s stopped by its historic Elm Street location at some point. After sampling some of the delicious offerings they had last week, I quickly understood why.
Guests were able to sample suds from local breweries including Great Lakes Brewery, Hogtown Brewers and Steam Whistle. For many, the piece de drink resistance was the Tom Yum Siam martini, flavoured with Thai chili, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves. Beverages were supplemented by a variety of Thai favourites. Pad Thai, spicy soup and fresh roll (known here as Jungle Rolls) stations ensured guests were able to sample a full range of Thai treats. Perhaps the biggest treat of the night was being present as owner Sherry Brydson donated $10,000 to SickKids. Proving Bangkok Garden is beautiful, inside and out.