Toronto, ON M5H 3G8
Chef Nuit Regular and her husband Jeff are the couple behind some of the best Thai restaurants in the city, and Pai is no exception. Tucked away in the entertainment district on the site of a former Golden Griddle, Pai serves the unadulterated flavours of Thailand.
The resto is named after a small town in Northern Thailand where Nuit and Jeff met, and where they opened their first restaurant, Curry Shack. The décor is full of throwbacks to the motherland. There’s even a 20-seat snack bar/overflow area known as Be-bop, named after a legendary bar in Pai.
Nuit (above right) and Jeff (above left) financially partnered up with Janet Zuccarini (owner of Gusto 101 and Trattoria Nervosa), who allowed them the freedom to execute their vision.
There’s also a private dining area, which guests can book out to experience a carte blanche menu from the chef. In total, the space is around 4,500 square feet, and it seats over 80.
The menu features several of chef Nuit’s hits, including the yellow curry known as khao soi and the ground meat dish known as pad gra prow, and of course Chef Nuit Pad Thai. There are also new additions such as a papaya salad (above) with tomato, green beans, chilis, tamarind juice, fish sauce and dried shrimp.
At a daily lunch counter, they pay homage to the food stalls and fresh produce markets that line the streets of Thailand.
“We wanted to bring that experience here by having a counter at the restaurant with daily prepared street market dishes for customers to pick and choose from,” explains chef Nuit. “It’s a fun and fast way for our customers to enjoy delicious quick lunches.”
To bring the market experience into full context, imported Thai specialty ingredients, oft unavailable elsewhere in Toronto, are displayed for sale. Fresh Thai vegetables, fruits and herbs are also on offer, if you are inspired to cook your own versions of these transoceanic dishes.