Talay Thai
Talay Thai
Foods from Talay Thai


2014 Jun 19
I went here for dinner for the first time last week and will definitely be back. We started with the Por Pia Sod - salad rolls with curried tofu, mushrooms, etc. I usually see these made with plain or fried tofu which can be somewhat bland, but the curried tofu added a nice bit of extra flavour. The peanut sauce they were served with was delicious.

I had the Panang Pak (vegetable and tofu red curry) as a main, with sticky rice. The curry was creamy and flavorful with just the right amount of heat, although it was maybe a touch too sweet. It had a good variety of vegetables. My husband had the Jungle Curry. They warned him it was extremely spicy, but he has a high tolerance for heat and found it manageable.

The service was friendly and efficient, and the price was reasonable, especially considering we took home another dinner's worth of leftovers.

2014 Mar 17
Saturday nights are take-out nights at my place and since I wanted a break from my regular rotation last Saturday I decided to get take-out from Talay Thai. I had only ordered from them once before not long after they opened. The deep fried tofu I ordered to start was delicious. The fried rice I ordered as the main was the oddest version I had ever seen - just steamed rice with chopped up raw vegetables stirred in. I don't see that version on the menu anymore so maybe they took it off? Since Talay Thai has been getting good reviews on ottawafoodies I just chalked it down to having ordered the wrong thing. Since it's not on my regular route to anywhere (like Chinatown, Elgin, the Byward Market) I keep forgetting about it. So when I was going through my take-out menus last Saturday I came across Talay Thai's menu and decided to try them again.

I started with shrimp spring rolls (#1 on the menu) and they were probably the best I have ever had. The spring rolls were light and crisp and not a sign of grease. I scarfed them down so fast it didn't occur to me until after that they forgot to include the plum sauce-;)

I ordered chicken panang (#39 on the menu) and some jasmine rice as a main and enjoyed every morsel. The chicken was tender and the coconut milk and curry flavoured broth was creamy and had just the right amount of heat. I enjoyed my meal so much I resolved not to wait so long to go back.

When I got there to pick up my order around 7:30 on Saturday night every single table was occupied. It's nice to see a local business doing so well and to earn a well deserved success.

2012 Oct 30
Tried out Talay Thai tonight and it was everything I was hoping for. Haven't tried many other Thai places in the city but after here, I don't see any reason to try anywhere else.

We ordered the shrimp spring rolls, mango salad, beef panang, duck strifry in a ginger curry sauce, and a spicy chicken noodle dish....please forgive me for not remembering all the right names. Everything was amazing. My favourite by far was the beef panang but that's not to say everything else wasn't awesome. Mango salad was also nice to go with everything to cool your mouth down.

Service was friendly and best part was being able to order a bottle of Pinot Grigio for $25. Was it the greatest, no, but it was fairly decent and suited our meal just fine.

I'll be back both for dining in and for taking out. They don't have delivery which is a bit of a disappointment but it is definitely worth the trip in my opinion.

2010 Jul 7
The food here is certainly fresh and delicious; I have enjoyed, and would recommend, the mango and shrimp salad, the chicken wontons and the duck curry that comes in a carved out pineapple.

However, something that has happened while dining here on three separate occasions never fails to irritate me. They close for dinner at 10 p.m. and close for lunch at 2 p.m. Twice for dinner I arrived with a dinner companion at 9:30 and both times the hostess (who I believe is also the co-owner of the place along with her husband) paused at the entrance, as if she didn't quite want to seat us and said, "You know, we close at 10, right?"

This happened again when I arrived for lunch at 1:30 and again she hesitated before seating me and said, "You know we close at 2, right?" I wanted to ask her what would happen if by chance, I had not finished chewing my food by 2 p.m. - would she yank it out of my mouth and throw me out of the restaurant?

Seems to me that if they don't want to serve at 1:30 or 9:30, they should simply turn over the Open sign on the door so that it reads "Closed". I am most surprised that this attitude would come from a husband and wife operation, as it is quite discouraging to customers and not at all welcoming.

2010 Jul 1
I cannot say enough about this place - my husband and I went in by chance one evening and as long as we're in Ottawa we will never stop going back. The food is stunning, service is the best in the city, and even the washrooms are pristine and quite beautiful. No detail goes unnoticed, and I wish the owners continued success.

We have had the spring rolls, red curry, green curry, chicken with chili and basil, and the sticky rice. The red curry is dreamy.

The waitress (owner?) even taught me how to make their lemongrass tea when I asked where they got it (it turns out they just chop and simmer lemongrass in water...who knew).

I love finding family-owned places, especially when the food and atmosphere is so perfectly executed.

2010 Jun 3
I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into Talay Thai. The last time I was in this restaurant was 10 years ago and it was called Gina's. Greasy breakfast, BLTs, and if you couldn't smoke, it hadn't been long since the law was passed. I'm not sure what was there between Gina's and Talay, but I do know that the transformation between the two is incredible. Beautiful, warm and welcoming was the feeling I got within seconds. We were lucky enough to get the table right up against the window looking out onto Bank street. Colourful orchids lined the windowsill, distracting the eye from the view of the gas station across the street.

We started off with Por Pia Sod – curried tofu, mushroom, lettuce, lemongrass and basil wrapped in warm rice paper and served with a heavenly, spicy peanut sauce. I wanted to lick out the dish it was so good. I will definitely be back for this app!

Next my husband and I shared two dishes, a classic Pad Thai with al dente fried rice noodles, meaty shrimp, egg, bean sprouts and peanuts, and the Talay Ob Woonsen – steamed shrimp and squid with vermicelli noodles, chunks of fresh ginger, scallions, coriander and black pepper. I can't say the Pad Thai was the best I've ever had, but the other two dishes were delicious.

Service was warmhearted and prices reasonable. Apps range from $4.95 to $7.50 and mains from $10.95 to $14.95.

2010 Apr 8
A friend and I went to Talay for dinner a couple of nights ago. I've been meaning to try this place and was happy when she suggested it. The couple at the table next to us, who were leaving as we were perusing the menu, asked if we'd been there before and told us that we'd be hooked after our visit. How right they were!

We shared two main dishes (Panang Pak and Pad Kee Maow Pak without egg) and had the accompanying rice. Oh boy, were they good! The Panag Pak was creamy and was just perhaps a little light on heat, but the combination of flavours more than made up for it. The slivers of lime leaf on top added nicely to the dish. The Pad Kee Maow Pak had a nice tamarind sauce and packed a good amount of heat. Both dishes had plentiful amounts and variety of fresh veg and deep fried tofu. There was tons of food; we both left overly full. It was so hard to stop eating!

The service was very pleasant and prompt. I was greeted and seated promptly, we received several water refills, and most importantly (given how hungry we were), we received our food very quickly.

I look forward to checking out the other veg appetizers and mains on their menu. My only complaint is with the fact that they don't have any veg soups or salads. (That being said, there are quite a few veg appetizers.)

The meal was also very reasonably priced. My half of the food and jasmine tea came to $19 with tax and tip.

2009 Sep 22
Went yesterday after checking out Arum right across the street - the recommendations below made me want to try it!

As was said, excellent decor, and the hostess in her purple dress matched wonderfully. Little details count, and the hefty cutlery actually added to the experience!

I get the feeling I made a poor choice to sample proper Thai flavours: I was doubly tempted by #23 Nuea Ta Krai, stir fried beef with lemongrass and mushroom. It smelled nice, but only from up close, and the tastes were subtle - good, but not what I would expect from traditional Thai's explosions of flavours I have experienced elsewhere. However, I also didn't get a very representative dish, and it certainly was good in and of itself!

I admit I was a little disappointed by the Por Pia Pak spring rolls - they smelled delicious but the tongue flavours seemed a little muted.

The hot lemongrass tea, on the other hand, was almost as good as Maison Samorn's - a very high compliment. I also asked the hostess about where hot lemongrass tea comes from, and it seems I had heard right that it's an Ottawa invention; she said lemongrass tea in Thailand is usually cold and very sweetened. (At every single Thai restaurant outside of Ottawa I've been to, I have had blank stares when I asked for lemongrass tea; no one had ever even heard of it. I was starting to think I was hallucinating back home.)

I definitely want to return anyway - relaxing atmosphere, soothing decor, and many choices to try. Definitely a curry next time. (The Gaeng Keow Warn may be a better dish to sample.)

I came in around 6:15 and was briefly alone, but by the time I left at 7pm, three groups had come in, and this on a Monday night with the construction; people are making the effort to go to it, a good indication of quality.

2009 Sep 7
Excellent food, reasonably priced. I ordered (and highly recommend) #41, red curry duck with pineapple, tomatoes and coconut milk - served in a hollowed-out pineapple. The dish had a one chili pepper "spiciness" warning, but it wasn't overly spicy at all, very manageable.

Lovely decor, and the service was excellent, despite the fact that we were a group of 10 people and showed up without a reservation.

The restaurant was quite empty (despite it being a weekend), probably in part due to the location amidst the rubble on Bank street. But it's well worth the trek!

2009 Aug 29
w/ 2 birthday celebrants leading the charge, a group of us shared a table at Whalesbone for the mains (delish, but they get enough press) and then moved onward through the infrastructural-ruins to Talay Thai for a second round of desserts, drinks and a couple additional plates of food for the emaciated (err, inebriated).

I'm not the best source on the sweet stuff, but in the spirit of playing up Bank Street vendors, i'll suggest that dessert-geeks give TT a try: in the photo are a couple triangular wedges of their ice-cream -- mango, beautifully plated, very tasty. Note also the impromptu b-day candle -- propped up in a zucchini base (i thought it was kinda neat).

Not photo'd is Talay's interpretation of "crème brulée" mentioned in my earlier post, this one presented to the bday girl, again w/ a candle, and delicious enough to garner tastes from everyone.

A final note: we just showed rather rudely, right before close, but the service was accommodating and the food --mee grawb (noodles), seafood yam (salad) and another noodle dish-- tasty as before.