It starts with a glance at a bowl filled with an assortment of beige – plump, chewy mushrooms and pieces of chicken swimming in a milky broth. Then, you take a sip of the creamy Tom-Ga-Tee, a Thai hot and sour soup. As soon as your tongue collides with that initial steamy mouthful of soup, you realize that it may look plain but it tastes savoury – the lemongrass adds depth, not to mention some zip.
But the Tom-Ga-Tee, a rich coconut milk-based soup ripe with lime and galangal, is just the start of our epic lunch journey. Boualouang Laos and Thai Cuisine has an impressive menu, one that is best divided and conquered as a team.
The green curry, a staple at every Thai menu worth its lemongrass, throat punches you with its spicy pow – but you love it. In fact, you want more. So you drizzle some of the smooth mixture atop a snow-white mountain of fluffy coconut rice. The slightly sweet rice juxtaposes nicely with the fiery curry.
The Yum dish is a blend of glass noodles, cilantro, mint leaves, carrots, green onions and chicken, topped with a heavy dose of crushed peanuts. The peanut sauce has a slight edge to it and the delicate noodles are perfectly tender, creating a dish that you’ll keep eating long after you feel full.
To truly reach the level of legendary, try the drunken noodles. Stir-fried noodles are soaked in a red chili-based sauce and mixed with cabbage, broccoli, basil, onions and tender beef. The dish has a consistent, pleasant burn that isn’t overpowering. Order it medium-spice level for the ideal amount of flavour.
Cool down your tongue with a Thai iced coffee, which is similar to a Vietnamese iced coffee but comes already mixed for you. The syrupy sweet condensed milk mixture seeps into the powerful coffee blend for a drink that doubles as dessert. (10569 97 St., 780-423-4207)