Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Cambodian Village

Harvey Kirkpatrick

March 8, 2011
via CAAI

After a few less than delicious experiences, over the past few months I’ve been steering clear of Cambodian and Thai restos. Last week however, I reluctantly sat down at Cambodian Village (347 King Street East) after a friend recommended it. While this space has the same basic decor as it’s next door neighbour, Bubba’s, you shouldn’t judge Cambodian Village from the outside. Stepping into this establishment, the aroma of delicious food instantly melts away the odour that emanates from the pizza and poutine shop next door. With fewer than 20 seats, we were lucky to get a table during the dinner hour. After our orders were placed at the counter, I had a sneaking suspicion that we were in for a real treat.

My dinner companion and I both received orders of the Cambodian Spring Rolls (A, $4.95), which consisted of three pork filled rolls and a traditional dipping sauce. The rolls were prepared to perfection, which is to say that they weren’t over-fried, nor were they dripping with oil. While I haven’t had spring rolls in some time, I thought that this appetizer was pretty generous in size, and in the amount of filling they contained. If you’re not down with pork, you can always opt for the Vegetarian Spring Rolls, while other appetizers include Thai Fish Cakes, and Fried Mussels. In summary, crispy and delicious.

For my main course, I ordered the Thai Style Green Curry (#13, $8.95), which consisted of stir-fried chicken with vegetables, and coconut-milk, served with rice. As you can see the portions of chicken and veg were again very generous, while the sauce barely fit onto my plate. Although I ordered my curry extra hot, the creamy coconut milk-based sauce helped keep the heat at a manageable yet challenging level. I found that the sticky rice held together well when mixed with the left over green curry sauce. I’m not a fan of mushy rice. Needless to say, there wasn’t much on my plate when I was done.

This is the Thai Style Pad Thai (#15, $9.75), a dish containing stir-fried noodles with shrimp and chicken, bean sprouts, green onion, and roasted peanuts. While I tend to find Pad Thai a bit too sweet for my liking, my companion remarked that it was both tangy and spicy. Similar to the rice served with the green curry, the noodles within this dish were done right, chewy without being underdone, and they contrasted nicely with the crunch of the sprouts. As was the case with the Spring Rolls, you can also order a Vegetarian Pad Thai ($7.95) if you’re so inclined.

With over 40 menu options, including meal-sized soups, Cambodian Village is exactly what you would expect for traditional Cambodian or Thai food. Having said that, I’ve never been to either Cambodia or Thailand, just the local haunts that serve cuisine that passes as authentic. Cambodian Village may not look like much on the outside, but the speedy service, large menu (with pictures), excellent taste and affordability are enough to put it near the top of my list when I get a hankering for green curry. I’ll definitely return within the next few weeks.

Have you tried this place out, and if so, what would you recommend?

No comments: