By Lori Bosworth
When I worked at the Ministry of the Attorney General at Gerrard and Bay Streets, my coworkers and I would head over to Salad King at its former location on Gould Street for a reliably excellent and inexpensive Thai food lunch. A few years ago, the owners opened up an upscale Thai restaurant, Linda Modern Thai at The Shops at Don Mills and I was recently invited to sample the menu in honour of Linda Modern Thai’s receiving the Thai Select Premium designation, a global certification awarded to restaurants serving authentic Thai foods, using Thai cooking methods and importing ingredients from Thailand.
Linda Modern Thai is not a huge space, but what’s appealing are the sequestered sections, which allow for privacy virtually anywhere you sit in the restaurant. We started with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ($9) and a glass of Fresh Strawberry Juice ($5) with no sugar added. The strawberry juice was naturally sweet and a perfect complement for Thai food.
Our first appetizer was the Mango Salad. I usually order this dish in Thai restaurants and I have to say that this was the best mango salad I’ve eaten. A mix of shredded mango, red onion, cabbage and coriander, the flavours and textures blended perfectly.
Our second appetizer was the Satay ($13), which comes with a choice of six skewers in chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu (we had already eaten two skewers in the photo below), as well as two spring rolls with peanut sauce. The beef skewers were tasty, but a bit chewy while the shrimp were perfectly cooked. The chicken, however, was divine in its tenderness, the result of a mildly-spiced marinade. If I were ordering the satay again, I would choose just the chicken and shrimp. The shrimp rolls were packed with veggies and enveloped in a crispy batter.
Our final appetizer was Mieng Kum, one of Linda’s signature dishes. To assemble, you take a Betel leaf and fold it at the bottom to make a cup. You then fill the leaf with various ingredients including dried coconut, tiny dried shrimp (which found its way into several dishes), chopped red onion, chopped cucumber and chili and then dip in in a Tamarind Chili sauce. The end result is surprisingly good with a plethora of textures and tastes.
You can select from three different curries at Linda Modern Thai including Panang Curry, Green Curry and Golden Curry. We chose the Golden Curry with Chicken Breast ($13) and the Green Curry with Crispy Beef ($13), the latter of which was recommended by our server. The beef is cooked for three hours and then slow cooked for another 24 hours and is served in a very light batter. Needless to say, the beef was so tender, it flaked right off of the fork. Both curries were mild yet fragrant and there was a good portion of meat along with vegetables served with both dishes.
My dining partner and I were both impressed with the fine quality cuisine at Linda Modern Thai and the portions were so ample, we ended up taking some dishes home. The restaurant’s soothing decor definitely encouraged a leisurely lunch.
Linda Modern Thai, 11 Karl Fraser Road (Shop of Don Mills), 416-642-3866