I’m glad I’m not a luddite when it comes to embracing technology. That little rose gold, smart device in my hand is a world filled with surprises…and not just for broken English conversations with grandma back in the old country.
It’s 8 p.m. on a Saturday and, after a bout of heavy shopping, J and I are driving around aimlessly in an unfamiliar, suburban neighborhood looking for a place to eat. It doesn’t help that we’re fussy foodies, so not any old place will do.
Well, thank goodness there’s an app to solve this very first world predicament.
And so it was, with our trusty iPhones leading the way, that we chanced upon Jatujak, a cosy, but vibrant Thai restaurant hidden in a sketchy little plaza in Scarborough. Entering through the glass doors was like opening a Pandora’s box of bold colours, chalk-drawn murals and modern decor – the place was buzzing, and despite the late dinner hour, we stood behind a short line of folks waiting to score a table in the busy 40-seat dining room.
Named after the largest outdoor market in Thailand (and supposedly, the world’s largest weekend market), Jatujak offers a feast of flavours, paying homage to traditional Thai street foods.
We paired this with a second appetizer of Thai Curry Puffs – definitely very flavourful with a soft interior, but in our opinion, a little too greasy for our taste.
For our mains, we went big … with a side of Jatujak Fried Rice and a bowl of Gaeng Masaman, a mild Thai curry rooted in ancient Eastern cuisine. It’s safe to say that we weren’t prepared for the size of these plates, so dining family style is definitely recommended. The rice packed a good punch and, as you can see, definitely provided a fair dose of our daily vegetable intake.
The flavors of the Massaman curry paste are drawn from spices that are not frequently used in other Thai curries, such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. This makes the curry not as spicy as you would find with other Thai curries. This one does come with a small bowl of rice, so we could probably have done without our extra fried rice order. But…I mean…look above!
The service at Jatujak was quick, friendly and efficient – these folks are there to feed you and feed you well! As we packed up our leftovers, it was amazing to see large groups of diners still trickling in through the door. I guess in Toronto, it’s never too late for some street-style Thai food.
Visit: Jatujak for information.
Address: 1744 Victoria Park Ave. Toronto, ON M1R 1R4
Hours: 11am – 10pm