Feed Me: Time for some Thai at Linda Restaurant


Hi there,

I have been meaning to try Linda Restaurant for awhile but it kind of fell off my radar.  Most of the restaurants I read up on tend to be in the downtown Toronto core.  I know that the owner used to have a Salad King on Yonge and Dundas but again, somehow it was not one of the places on my ‘to eat’ list.  Since they’ve migrated north to the Shops at Don Mills, I have not forgotten the need to eat here.  So on a cold, infuriously bone-chilling afternoon, we scurried into the restaurant where we were greeted by warmth (!) and friendly faces.

First off is the space, which you could interpret in two ways: one, as cramped, and the other as intimate.  Since we were there for lunch, we felt the latter.  However, I could definitely understand how some diners could feel congested from being placed so close to another table.  Fortunately, with fast, friendly service, you could easily dismiss this minor setback.  Not only is Linda a feast for the tastebuds, but the eyes as well.  There is much to soak up in the room.  While it is dimly lit, you can see the mahogany carved panels, the shiny golden statues, and the grand paintings that stretch from the bottom to the ceiling of the room.  It is quite beautiful; furthermore, each table is gently spotlit with an overhanging light.

And so…Food pictures commence… now:

Mieng Kum: rather than use a wrap, aromatic leaves act as the vehicle to hold an array of vibrant fillings: dried shrimp, candied lime pieces, onions, toasted coconut, peanuts, and green thai chilis. Drizzle with some sweet and tangy sauce and pop the entire thing into your mouth.

Phud (Pad) Thai: soft, delicate rice noodles are surrounded by a sea of shredded carrots, tofu, green onions, bean sprouts, fragrant coriander, as well as fish and tamarind sauce (for that umami and sour flavour). This dish was so well balanced and we opted for the wild gulf shrimp upgrade. They were tender and plump.

Salmon in Tom Yum Sauce: the sauce reminded me of sweet and sour pork. It was served with a variety of vegetables and a side of Thai red rice. The rice was presented in the shape of a pyramid. However, flavour wise, this dish was the least favourite of our group. The salmon was slightly overcooked and had a stale and lack- lustre taste to it (sigh the perils of farmed salmon).

Golden Curry Chicken: the sweet, musty aroma of this dish paraded are nostrils as it was placed on our table. We paid the two extra dollars for the upgrade of grilled roti– a wise choice. Soft with crisp, toasted edges, these wedges complimented the curry perfectly. The chicken pieces were oh-so tender and soaked up the rich canary sauce. I loved this dish for the layering of flavours… the richness from the coconut milk, the sweet from the palm sugar, the sour from the tamarind paste, and the salty from the fish sauce. Finally, a touch of warm spice from the chili flakes.  The vegetables added varying textures and tastes that we all appreciated. Everything was singing together in perfect harmony.

Deep Fried Ice Cream: ok, so this was quite a letdown. There was nothing wrong with it, but I think we were charged the hefty $8 something price tag for the labour involved to create this. However, when it arrived on the plate, there was a huge YAWN– as in, “I’ve seen this before, and now completely regret getting this because dessert is the best part of my meal– but now makes me sad”. The plain- jane vanilla ice cream was dipped in a light tempura batter (think of a typical Japanese Restaurant and their banana tempura dish, but just replace that with some ice cream instead). The sauces on the plate and ice cream (chocolate and raspberry) ball itself did nothing for this dessert. Worst of all, the plating scene itself was quite barren. The fried dessert occupied less than 1/8 of the plate with no-mans land stretching beyond it. Ergo– Poor plating design.

Mint Chocolate Sesame Balls: these glutenous balls are small but are packed full of flavour. They are stuffed with a rich dark chocolate ganache-based truffle that comes oozing out like lava when you bite into them. You first get a crisp, toasted flavour from the deep frying and sesame seeds. Despite the fact that the mint sauce looks like primordial ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it had a lovely fresh minty flavour to it. The mint danced on our tongue and collided with the dark chocolate.  It provided a cooling sensation that we felt was the perfect way to end our meal.

Linda Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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