Pad Kee Mao at Khao Thai
Pad Kee Mao at Khao Thai
Khao Thai
Foods from Khao Thai

2012 May 27
My boyfriend and I went here Friday evening around 7PM. I'd never been here before and have always wanted to try. Thought it was a cute little place, always busy.

We didn't make any reservation but we were able to get a table right away. Maybe because of the thunderstorm that evening... Nevertheless the place was very busy, even with the pouring rain.

The atmosphere was great. The food was very reasonably-priced and the staff very friendly.

I had the yellow curry with chicken and the boyfriend ordered a chicken stir-fry with cashew nuts. Both about 15$. The service was very fast and the food amazing!!! I've always loved Thai food but this is probably one of the best I've tried in Ottawa so far.

The sticky rice was really good too... :)

All in all, couldn't find anything to complain about. Even the washrooms were clean.

Will definitely go back.

2011 Dec 2
My husband and I ate here recently. The decor is very nice and I enjoyed the photography books by the little bench so patrons can have something to look at while they wait to be seated. (It's a good idea to make reservations - we had to wait nearly half an hour.) The service was faster than we had expected given how busy the place was.

We split the deef-fried tofu, which was good - nothing out-of-this-world delicious but it hit the spot and the sauce was tasty. My husband had the beef curry and loved it. I had the beef pad siew and while it was delicious, I felt that the portion was too small. I left the restaurant still feeling hungry and ended up getting a beaver tail. Maybe I'm just too used to Chinese restaurants that give you such huge portions that you have enough leftovers for lunch AND dinner the next day... but it left me unsatisfied.

Overall, we both liked the place. I wouldn't be opposed to going back if my husband came down with a craving for their beef curry. Otherwise, next time we want Thai food we'll be checking out another place. What's the point of going to a restaurant where you leave hungry after a main course and half an appetizer?

2010 Sep 26
Went this past Friday with my boyfriend and another couple, on the other couples reccomendation.
I had the shrimp cake app and pad thai. Best pad thai I've had in Ottawa! Light and very flavourful. The shrimp cakes were not as good as I expected, a little bit chewy but they were not horrible. My friend had the red curry and the smell of it was amazing. All of the other dishes looked and smelled great. My boyfriend and I were very full and pleased afterwards.
It was very busy and we had 3 different servers through the meal which caused a bit of confusion at the end. Nothing to complain about though.
Definately going to take visiting family here.

2010 Sep 13
Two of us went to Khao Thai on Friday evening, at around 7:30. We didn’t make a reservation, but next time we will, as the place was packed – but we only ended up having to wait about 15 minutes for a table.

The décor in this place is great and the ambiance was also quite vibrant. The staff was welcoming and courteous.

Let’s talk about the food. We ordered off the vegetarian.

Por Pia Pak (deep fried spring rolls)
Tow Hoo Tod (feed fried tofu)

Spring rolls as well as the tofu were very good. I can’t say I like tofu that much, but I could eat this every day. The sauces that accompanied both dishes were very good as well.

For the main course, we had:
Pad Thai Jay (pad thai with tofu)
Pad Khee Mao (Rice noodles stir-fried with vegetables, tofu, fresh chilis, Thai herbs and fresh basil leaves)

Both of these dishes were also very good – loved the flavours!!, and we were eating out of each other plates the entire time. The Pad Khee Mao had tofu, which was unexpected, but again, it was delicious. The only complain is that the Pad Khee Mao was a little bit too greasy.

With the meal we had the Riesling which was a great accompaniment.

I thought the value was pretty good - only $12 per entrée and a total bill of $67 + tip.

Overall, this was a great meal; everything about it was good, and will be going back there soon.

2010 Jul 23
I went to Khao Thai yesterday for a send off lunch. I was excited to see the shrimp pad thai on their lunch special board immediately upon entering. Since I like shrimp so much I decided right away that this is what I would like to order. The lunch special included the soup of the day, deep fried spring rolls, and a main course (in my case pad thai).

The soup of the day was a "vegetable soup" was a very watery broth, sliced mushrooms, julienned carrots, cilantro and mint. I was quite disappointed at first since the soup was quite flavourless and I was worried about what the rest of the lunch would be like.

The next course was the deep fried spring rolls and they were actually very good. I am not a fan of these spring rolls since previous experience with them have been quite greasy. However they were nice flaky spring rolls, not greasy at all, and the dipping sauce had a nice kick. (It tasted a little like there were chile flakes in the sauce.)

Lastly onto the pad thai. The noodles, shrimp, and tofu were perfectly cooked and came with crushed peanuts, bean sprouts and a wedge of lime on the side.

There were 16 people at the table so I can't account for all of the meals ordered. However my fellow diners who ordered the green curry said it was really good and had lots of meat and vegetables and a slightly spicy taste to it. The diners that ordered the yellow curry mentioned that the dish contained mostly potatoes and very little broth or other ingredients or spices.

2010 Jun 11
If you have never been to Thailand or eaten real Thai food, this place will be probably some of the best Thai in Ottawa. If you have eaten real Thai, once again, this place falls short of the real thing.

But if I had to suffer through Ottawa Thai, this would be one of the places that I would do it.

Warning: Don't get seated near the door during the winter, the draft is terrible, and avoid the middle of the room because its right beside the kitchen, its smoke and heat lamps - no thanks.

2009 Oct 26
I finally got around to trying Khao Thai on Saturday, and was pretty excited about it based on all the positive things that I've heard here. For those of you who know me, and something of a disclaimer: I'm a huge Thai fanatic. I've been eating Thai food since 1997, and began studying it intensively in around 1999 (and am still doing so) because I love it so much and enjoy making it at home regularly.

I'm so happy to be back in Ottawa from Toronto. Toronto has *terrible, terrible* Thai food... far worse than I've had even in small towns. Ottawa, on the other hand, has a lot of good Thai food and a handful of restaurants offering excellent grub. I can make better food at home, but sometimes I'm lazy and don't want to grind out my own curry paste and just want to order from a restaurant.

I generally trust Ottawa people to make great recommendations regarding Thai based on this, seeing as they've usually had exposure to fantastic Thai.

That being said, I was really excited to try Khao Thai given the generally positive reviews here. I don't know if I managed to catch them on an off night or something, but I ended up incredibly disappointed with my order. The first thing that caught my attention was that, strangely, the restaurant didn't smell like a Thai restaurant. Usually, when I walk into a Thai establishment, my nose is tickled with the smell of basil, jasmine rice, and chillies, and it's delightful. Khao Thai seemed somewhat scentless and stark despite the fact that there were quite a few tables full. Maybe they just have really, really good ventilation? In any case, it didn't feel right.

I began with the appetizer combo. The vegetarian spring rolls were not very good: skinny, with very little filling, and flavourless, with a bland dipping sauce. I'm not a huge Royal Thai advocate, but their spring rolls are leagues ahead of this place. The satays were small and dried out. The orange slice appetizer (which I was excited to try, as I've never had this before) was not bad, but was a little unbalanced.

Off to a mediocre start, I hungrily dug into my mains, namely panaeng curry and pad ki mow, only to reach further disappointment.

I ordered the pad ki mow Thai hot, and although I only consider my spice tolerance to be moderate, this was under-spiced. Had I ordered it medium, it would have been flavourless. I prefer my pad ki mow with fresh rice noodles as opposed to dry, and this was clearly made from dry noodles, which were undercooked. There was no good wok char on the noodles at all, and they were not soft and pleasant to chew. I ate about six bites and lost interest completely.

The panaeng was a little better, but still quite bland. It was just really under-flavoured, which seemed to be the theme of the night, unfortunately, and it felt somewhat two dimensional in terms of flavour.

Overall, I'm pretty sure that I won't go back. Ottawa has so much good Thai food that it's not worth the risk of another bad night out to see if Khao Thai was just under-performing that night (which they shouldn't be on Saturday, which I'm assuming is one of their busier nights). Even Royal Thai around the corner, which is mediocre by all standards, is considerably better, IMO.

2009 Feb 16
My partner and I have had a tradition of going to a new Thai restaurant every year for Valentine's day. After our experience at the Khao Thai, that tradition has come to an end. We had one of the most romantic and best eating experiences of our lives.

The food was excellent, ample portions and reasonably priced. The staff were friendly and attentive, without being obtrusive.

The decor of the place was fine, and the restaurant was clean and tidy.

We'll be going there on a regular basis.

Definitely 5 stars!!!


2008 Nov 17
My husband and I went for dinner with 9 friends last night. We were surprised at how busy it was on a Sunday night; the place was packed. We had some initial difficulty getting the server's attention at the beginning of the meal, but overall, the service was pretty good.

We ordered around 10 mains plus appetizers, so I don't remember all the dishes. Some of the dishes included: seafood salad, veggie spring rolls, shrimp spring rolls, fresh spring rolls, green curry (chicken and vegetable), mixed vegetables and tofu, pad thai (shrimp and tofu), grilled eggplant and a beef dish. I only tried the vegan dishes, and they were very tasty. Each had it's own very distinct flavours.

My only complaints about the food were the portion sizes (very small) and the price (high for the portion sizes). Even with all of that food and 7 individual sized rice portions (the number recommended by the server), we ended up having to order another pad thai, a second order of the beef and more rice.

I would go back again for dinner because the food was so good, but only on a special occasion and after a large lunch.

2007 Jan 25
Went for lunch for the first time last week. Although have been numerous times for dinner. Food is always fresh and tasty. Their yellow curry chicken and potato dish rocks! Yum Yum. Mango salad when in season is bursting with juicy goodness. Just the right mix of spicy and sweet. I think this is one of the best thai places in the city. Which surprised me with it's prime location, (usually the down town places thrive on location not tastiness)



2017 Sep 16
I went with Spicy heat level this time and it was awesome. In addition to the sliced chilis they added a bit of chili sauce too. Every mouthful was an escapade! I also really appreciated the presence of broccoli and gai lan along with the more usual peppers and onions, making this more of a balanced lunch option. The beef was tender and tasty.

Another nice thing about the lunch menu is that you get a small starter bowl of sweet-salty-sour vegetable broth. It is simultaneously bland and not bland in a most addictive way, much like good tea.

2017 Jul 20
The Pad Kee Mao (˜$13) is offered in three spice levels: mild, medium, and hot. I went for medium and was pleased with the depth of flavour and the lively sliced chilis. I'd risk the hot level next time, but may regret it. So far, this is the best option for Thai food I've experienced in the ByWard Market.