Syphay: Sugar and Spice

Complex ingredients collide to make dishes that delight your tastebuds.

They are just five simple skewers of beef. But the meat is thick and juicy and, when dipped in the accompanying sauce, the peanut flavour melds with the saltiness of the beef. It’s a simple and delicious start to a feast at the downtown location of Syphay, but not necessarily an indication of what is to come. The rest of the dishes are just as flavourful, but more complex in the mix of ingredients.

This year marks both the ninth anniversary of Syphay’s southside location, and the opening of its new second location, downtown. Both restaurants serve a wide range of Thai and Laotian cuisine – and the green curry is an example of a more complicated melding of flavours.  

Coconut milk, green curry, green and red peppers, snap peas, broccoli, basil leaves, kaffir leaves and chicken combine to create a spicy dish. The crunchy vegetables soaked in green curry provide a slow burn, with a sweet and slightly sour edge to it. The broth at the bottom of the dish is perfect to sop up some coconut rice. 

But be careful when pouring the broth on the plate next to other dishes, as it could be hard to tell the flavours apart. The yum vermicelli is also a spicy dish with cucumber, carrot, red onion, chicken, mint and cilantro. But the sauce is completely different from the curry; it’s a peanut sauce that’s a blend of sweet and spice. 

The Syphay platter is the most subtle but still delicious, especially for those who enjoy deep-fried anything – in this case, it’s deep fried shrimp, spring rolls and little triangles of deep-fried enclosed shrimp and pineapple. Dip the pieces in the sweet chili sauce and it’s a break from the spice. (9441 Jasper Ave., 780-423-4241, website N/A)

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