Sweet Basil
Pad Kee Mao at Sweet Basil
Tom Yam at Sweet Basil
Spring Rolls at Sweet Basil
Foods from Sweet Basil

2012 Aug 4
I tried Sweet Basil tonight for the first time after reading the reviews on Ottawa Foodies. When I entered the restaurant, the place was dark, and I was glad I ordered take out.

The food was okay but the portion sizes are small compare to the prices I paid for the food. The stir fried green vegetables was not worth $10.95. However, the green curry flavor was good except for, once again, the food portion size.

At least I tried Sweet Basil but it hasn't stop me from trying out Anna and Som Tum in the future.

2012 Mar 7
Had dinner at Sweet Basil before Christmas with a couple of friends. It was quiet when we first got there but soon became busy. I ordered the Shrimp Pad Thai and was satisfied with it. I enjoyed that taste of the sauce and had enough to take home for lunch the next day. The service was a little slow but quite pleasant.

2010 Apr 5
I've dined at Sweet Basil.

This cozy eatery is small and quaint and its decor is as exciting as the food. The walls and ceiling are colorfully vibrant and the furniture and accessories bring the room to life with their wonderful shapes and patterns.

The four diners at our table shared the Satay appetizer. It was perfect to share because it was four skewers of marinated beef served with a piquant peanut sauce.

One of my fellow diners didn't even look at the menu. He only had Pad Thai on the brain. He's been to this establishment about 50 times (no joke) and he ALWAYS has Pad Thai. He let me have a bite, just a little one, and I must admit that it was one of the best I've ever had. Pad Thai is stir-fried noodles, shrimp, tofu, egg, peanuts and beansprout with sweet and sour sauce.

Another diner had Pad Ki Mow which is stir-fried spicy noodles with chicken, beef or shrimp with chili, basil and Thai herbs. The diner who had the Pad Ki Mow usually has the Pad Thai and prefers the Pad Thai.

Another diner had Pad Med Mamuang which is sautéed chicken with cashew nuts and dried chili and a side order of rice.

I had stir-fried mixed vegetables with garlic and oyster sauce called Pad Pak.

This is fast food without the 'fast food'. We lingered a little but most diners were in and out in about 30 minutes. The service is fast and good.

The food was fresh very flavourful and beautifully seasoned.

The prices were very reasonable.

2009 Jul 25
We get take out from here several times a month and always enjoy it. As others have mentioned it's not cheap (but neither are any other Thai's I've frequented) but it's always fresh & tasty.

Some people have said the portions are small, but I'm a fairly hungry chap and I'm always full. Maybe the takeout portions are a little bigger than if you dine in. As a nice little touch, you still get the fancy garnishes & ornate carved carrot in the takeout.

My absolute favourite dish is #30, the "Sweet Basil Fish". It's one of the most expensive dishes ($17.50) but delicious so I save it for a treat. It's a decent sized fish fillet (they tell me its grouper) in tempura batter and then topped with this incredibly fragrant sauce and lots of basil, lemongrass & lime leaves.

The Panang is excellent as well.


2008 Dec 19
Went over for lunch with a co-worker and my first impression was that it's very cute. An evening atomosphere even at lunch takes you away gave us a nice break from work.
The service was excellent. Top notch in speed (important for lunch!) - we were in and out in 40 minutes.
I had the #9 with chicken instead of shrimp. This is a vermicelli pad thai with vegetables and usually served with shrimp. The sauce had a nice mild spice. I believe the price was $11 or so plus tax and tip and the portion was enough for just the lunch sitting (no leftovers at all and I usually have some!). I didn't find that the portions were particularly small, just regular. Also, this was just lunch service and I do not know about their dinners. My friend says that the dinner menu is huge. Some people may think that is too much to pay for lunch, but I like to keep in mind that Subway is usually around that price before you're out the door. This is a MUCH better choice.
My friend had the #8 - another pad thai with egg noodles and beef - which I tasted. It was nicely spiced and the beef quality was good. She has been here quite a few times and felt good about recommending it for our lunch.
Overall, a nice little place which I would recommend if you're in the area but there are other thai places (Bon Thai) I like better.

2008 Jun 20
Went for supper last night.

We each had soup:
-Tom Yum Goong $4.50
Hot & sour shrimp soup with lemongrass, chili and mushrooms
-Tom Kha Goong $4.75
Hot & sour shrimp soup with coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, chili and mushrooms

Then we shared the following two dishes with some Thai rice:
-Pad Ped Makua Yao $10.95
Sauteed chicken with eggplant chili & basil
-Panang $12.95
Dry red curry with chicken and coconut milk
With all this we each had a Singha beer.

Total bill with tax and tip: $65

-Food was delicious but portion sizes are way too small for the prices they are charging. My favourite Thai place, Maison Samorn in Hull charges the same prices but your portions are significantly larger so I have no problems paying for it
-Was having a major eggplant craving and this hit the spot
-I bit into a chili by accident (I always do) and almost needed to call in the fire brigade! Singha beer helped alot :)
-Service was pleasant and efficient
-Restaurant is really dark......???
-We were sat at these carved tables for two that are made of very heavy furniture. You can barely move the chair and I finally gave up so because I was sitting back I had to lean over to be able to eat. Chair seat could use a bit more cushion.

All in all we were satisfied but won't be rushing back.

2007 Dec 4
Had dinner Saturday night with some girlfriends. We ordered beef satay, some soups, and an assortment of dishes to share. It was all very good except for one dish, one of the nightly specials Shrimp with asparagus in a ginger curry - didn't really impress. Our meal with a litre of red wine was good value even though portions are not huge. Service was quick. Nice and cosy and expect to return to try some other dishes!

2007 Jun 17
Third Thai joint I went to in my SCIENCE quest. I had to come here three times before I could eat. The first time I arrived a little late and couldn't get a table, the second time it was a Sunday and they weren't open for lunch. The third time I showed up early on a tuesday and waited around until they opened.

The restraunt is fairly nice, but too dark and closed in for my tastes. That seems a theme with all the Thai places I tried, really. Dark and/or claustrophobic. Odd. Anyway, the service was prompt and the lemongrass tea was hot and flavourful.

I had the special platter, with spring rolls, a red and a yellow curry, some vegetables and rice. All were excellent, the best food of all three restraunts without doubt. Creme caramel for desert was also very nice and did a good deal to soothe my tongue after the curries.

The price is my only sticking point here. It's about twice as expensive as the other two places, and while the food is better, I'm not sure it's twice as good. Or at least not enough so to make it a place I'd go for a casual lunch. I'm poor, though, so people with decent jobs could feel more justified.

2007 Jan 26

I am not sure on that one. There is a place down the street called Sacred Garden which claim to be Vegetarian... I am not sure either how strict they are using meat based sauces or condiments.

2007 Jan 26
Are there any noodle dishes for vegetarians here? Something pad thai-like without the meat base?




2007 Jan 3
I just wish they offered the whole-shrimp ones at lunch! I always love those.

2007 Jan 3
I had the Shrimp Spring Rolls and they came with little tails sticking out one side. Cute! My friend was horrified (she's picky), but we both loved the taste.

2006 Nov 9
I'm not a fan of them here because I find them to be bland and a little greasy.



2006 Nov 9
Here's a picture. The online menu is out of date -- the price is $2.95 now instead of $1.95. A bit steep for a palate cleanser but I still get it so I guess their business model is working. ;-)

2006 Oct 27
Just enough citrus and perfectly sliced mushrooms sounds right for Sweet Basil's tom yum. It's a simple broth with a good balance of salt, hot chilis, lemon grass and lime. They slice up regular white button mushrooms for the soup here instead of the more traditional straw or oyster mushrooms.

A bowl of this soup is the perfect way to wake up your taste buds in anticipation of the meal to come.

2006 Sep 25
I seem to recall this as being damn good with just enough citrus flavour and perfectly sliced little mushrooms. It's been a while though and I may be thinking of Green Papaya.



2006 Nov 9
Here's a picture. Sorry about the quality of these -- I used my cellphone's camera in very dim lighting with no flash. The photos were just brown/grey blobs before extensive photoshopping (crop, levels, shadows, color balance, blur, sharpen, saturation, resize). hehe.. maybe i should have sketched them instead! :P

2006 Sep 20
Sweet Basil has the best Pad Ki Mow that I have ever had and I have tried this dish at almost every Thai restaurant that I have ever been to. The Sweet Basil Pad Ki Mow is made using thin vermicelli type noodles, instead of the wider rice noodles that are typically used for this dish. Very flavourful and spicy - sometimes extremely spicy, depending on who is in the kitchen!


2006 Nov 8
Sweet Basil has *the* most fantastic panaeng beef that I have ever had the pleasure of eating. You owe it to yourself to try this dish there; the flavours are perfectly balanced and the beef is tender and delicate. You'll be licking the bowl if you think you can get away with it.


2006 Nov 9
It's listed as "Bamee Pad Kai" on Sweet Basil's menu, not at all spicy but super delicious. There's lots of saltiness and umami in this dish meaning I love it. :-) Lunch special #4.


2007 Jan 3
Standard Pad Thai with big luscious shrimp and fresh, crisp bean sprouts. Sauce was a tad ketchupy, but still yummy.


2007 Nov 29
It was really pretty to look at and to eat. It totally made my day. My meal was okay but that icecream just made the entire trip such a delight. I would make a return visit just because of that icecream.