Salad King

Out of all of the restaurants in Toronto, Salad King has earned a top spot. Known for their exceptional Thai cuisine, this hole in the wall is anything but. Located upstairs at 340 Yonge Street, once you enter, you’re transported to paradise. Yonge Street is a mecca for anyone looking to surround themselves with good food and fun. Only steps from the entertainment district and Ryerson University, Salad King is in a great location.

Let this be a disclaimer: I have never had Thai food before. Although I have watched my friends eat Thai Express time and time again, I am stuck in my ways. When I told my cousin that I would be eating Thai food, she laughed, and recalled when I used to only eat Chef Boyardee and peanut butter cups. Long overdue for change and going in with an ‘I’ll-try-anything-once’ attitude, I let my friends Will and Kami take me to a restaurant I won’t soon forget.

banquette area salad king{Banquette area, image by Renée Suen}

After having Will tell me about all the amazing dishes and times he has had at Salad King, I was looking forward to experiencing it for myself. When we walked in and down the stairs, Kami was already seated at a table in the corner. I had never seen anything like it – rows of tables with seats, almost like an open bar, giving a communal feel to the restaurant. Even when we arrived, Kami was mingling with another person seated at the end of our table. I like that Salad King has a comfortable atmosphere that makes people feel free to talk to strangers while they wait for their flavourful food to arrive.

salad king communal dining{Communal dining, image by Renée Suen}

Our waiter was very nice and took our orders right away. Will and I split the ‘Sea Queen’ as an appetizer, which was breaded squid with thyme and chili with a honey and lime juice sauce, while Kami opted for the ‘Satay Chicken,’ grilled chicken on a skewer with peanut dipping sauce. I have never tried squid before but like I said above, tonight was all about the ‘I’ll-try-anything-once’ point of view. Once I got over the initial feeling that I was eating squid, I quickly devoured my portion. I thought that it may taste weird but it was full of flavour and I was thinking about it all night long.

sea queen{Sea Queen}

For our entrees, Will ordered the ‘Thai Basil Noodles (veggie)’ which consisted of rice noodle, egg, carrot, bell pepper, bean sprout, and a sauce made from garlic, chili, shallot, and dried shrimp. Always one to kick it up a notch, he ordered 5 chilis on the dish. Something you need to know about Salad King: they aren’t afraid of heat. They have their own Spicy Scale so you can add more spice to your dish, ranging from ‘medium – a little kick’ to ’20 chilis – may cause stomach upset.’ Will said that the chef has even went as far as 50 chilis, but with that dish, you can touch it to your tongue and you’re finished… it’s that hot. Kami went for a less spicy but equally amazing dish, ‘Shrimp with Cashew,’ which had shrimp, carrot, onion, bell pepper, celery, cashew nut served in a mild sauce. For myself, I ordered the ‘Garlic Shrimp’ which consisted of breaded shrimp with garlic, carrot, onion, and bean sprouts, served in a mild sauce. All of our dishes were served in a timely manner and after our first bites, we were sold. The flavours, textures, and colours came together to create dishes that made our taste buds come alive.

garlic shrimp{Garlic Shrimp}

shrimp with cashew
{Shrimp with Cashew}

Overall, my experience at Salad King was a terrific one. I truly believe that there is nothing better than dinner and drinks with a few friends and Salad King is the perfect environment to have the best of both. With phenomenal food, a great location, and overall comforting atmosphere, I fully understand how this spot has become one of Toronto’s best.

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