Destination Thailand Preview

Destination Thailand is Canada’s largest Thai festival and will be held this Saturday (Sept 10th) at Yonge and Dundas square. The all day event, running from from 11am to 8pm, celebrates the country’s cuisine, culture and of course Signha beer. Organized by the Royal Thai Embassy and the Thai Trade Centre, the event will feature delicious food from Toronto’s top Thai restaurants. All of the restaurants are Thai Select certified, a mark of authentic Thai food around the world. Globally, there are 1429 Thai Select restaurants and 88 are in Canada. 8 of these restaurants will be at Destination Thailand including my favourite, Pai Northern Thai Kitchen.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

I had the chance to visit The Thai Trade Centre in Toronto last month and preview some of the tasty food that will be available at this year’s event. From curries to desserts, each vendor showcased their take on classic Thai dishes. I started my food journey at Pai, where Chef Nuit plated up Chicken Skewers with Grilled Pork Jowl and Sticky Rice wrapped in a banana leaf. The skewers and sliced pork jowl were grilled right before serving, which meant the amazing aroma of grilled meat filled the air. My mouth watered as I eagerly watched my plate come together.

Soi Thai was serving up Khao Kha Moo, a stewed pork hock dish, over rice with a side of pickled veggies and half a hard boiled egg. This bowl was savoury, hearty and the pork hock wonderfully tender. I liked the contrast of the acidic pickled veggies to the super rich hock.

Bangkok Garden offered a Vegetarian Curry and Toasted Cashew Chicken, while Golden Thai had a pot full of creamy Lamb Curry and fried Tempeh Skewers. Linda Modern Thai’s chef put together bites of Beef Salad and Lemongrass Chicken. Both of these dishes used fragrant herbs and were strong in flavour.

To me, the most interesting dishes I had tried that night were the selection of sweets from Patchmon’s, a shop specializing Thai desserts. These included cookies, layered cream pots, and custards. Patchmon imports many of their ingredients directly from Thailand and all of their desserts are handmade by the owner. Some of the flavours heavily featured were coconut, taro and tapioca. I loved the Sweet Tapioca with Coconut Cream and Steamed Flower with Coconut Filling.

With dance performances, muay thai demonstrations, Thai massage, refreshing Signha beer and amazing food, the 3rd annual Destination Thailand event will bring an authentic taste of Thailand to the heart of Toronto.

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