Though a relatively new Thai restaurant in Toronto, Pi-Tom’s has quickly risen in popularity due to its authentic home-style fare. Unlike many other Thai eateries, the focus at Pi-Tom’s is not just on delivering spicy food (though it doesn’t lack for it), but a balance of spicy with sweet, salty, and sour flavours. Combined with its big menu, big portions, and relaxing atmosphere, this is a highly recommended eatery for Thai cuisine lovers or for a date.
Stepping inside Pi-Tom’s on Alexander and Yonge (there’s another location at Jarvis and Dundas), you’re greeted by the quiet, pleasant atmosphere. The interior consists of wooden tables, chairs, and section dividers, with beautiful framed gold engravings of elephants and boats adorning the walls. Several Buddha statues and a variety of plants, including a small tree near the entrance, add to the ambiance. Lighting is amber-tinged and slightly dim, and Thai pop music plays in the background. All this adds up to a dining atmosphere that is markedly different from many Asian restaurants, which are often loud and brightly lit.
Pi-Tom’s boasts a menu with so many great selections that you’ll be sure to go back to the restaurant to try them all out. In addition, the eatery does not use MSG in any of its dishes.
Starting with the appetizers, the choices are already mouth-watering: satay skewers and spring rolls are given Thai staples, as well as shrimp chips, which are delicious and served in a large basket. Other delights include the cold rolls and the deep-fried tofu. The authentic Thai dishes continue with the soups and salads, featuring choices like Tom Yum lemongrass soup, Tom Kha coconut soup, Yum Ped Yang duck salad, and Yum Sapparod pineapple salad.
The entrees are where Pi-Tom’s menu truly impresses with its breadth of choice and variety. As with many Asian restaurants, the main dishes are divided into rice/noodle-based dishes and meat/vegetable entrées. For the former category, Pi-Tom’s serves two different kinds of Pad Thai, Pad Kee Mao (stir-fried rice noodles with egg, chicken, onion, pepper, and basil), and numerous fried rice variations with basil, lemongrass, or pineapple.
If you prefer to skip the carbs, an array of meat-based entrées present a multitude of ingredients, sauces, and flavours: the tasty peanut chicken, lemongrass chicken, to ginger beef, basil duck, garlic pork, and traditional Thai curry with meat or vegetable. Vegetarians can choose from several tofu-based dishes or the eggplant delight. There is a handful of lamb dishes and lots of seafood choices, such as tamarind shrimp, pad phed talay (squid, shrimp, and mussels stir-fried in curry, peppers, and basil leaves), pla prew wan (sweet and sour red snapper), and mango fish.
I’m pleased to report that service at Pi-Tom’s is prompt, and that their portions are sufficient. Prices are in the low to mid range, with starters from $5 to $10 and entrées from $12 to $14.
6A Alexander Street (at Yonge Street)
235 Jarvis Street (at Dundas Street)
Sunday to Wednesday: 11:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M.
Thursday to Saturday: 11:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M.
All photos courtesy of Pi-Tom’s