My wife suggested we visit a Thai food place she had previously enjoyed with one of her coworkers. We strolled over to Queen Street in downtown Ottawa and entered Thai Garden (201 Queen Street, Ottawa) to the main restaurant. There were signs, after entering, directing us either to the "Lunch Buffet" or the main restaurant area. I imagine the "Lunch Buffet" would be a hit with the nearby federal government workers that Ottawa is known to contain.
We were greeted by a waitress and was invited to sit anywhere we liked. The place was empty except for a few workers sitting chatting near the back. Not really worried as it was shortly after 4 so the dinner crowd had yet to appear. My wife had also previewed this place and enjoyed the food.
The restaurant interior is neatly decorated in modern decor with a flavour of Thai sculptures periodically and flowers on the tables. The flowers of course were fake, but had to be closely inspected to see. A very clean restaurant interior with glass top, or perhaps acrylic, tables that are scrubbed clean after every meal. Flower boxes grace the front of the restaurants exterior on the railing.
We perused the menu as our waitress returned with glasses of ice water. The water cold water was appreciated with the 30 degree Celsius weather the nation's capital was experiencing.
The Order: 1 Beef Pad Thai with Rice Noodles and 1 Chicken Pad Thai with Glass Noodles.
Our waitress quickly took our order and delivered it to the kitchen in the back. She returned and refilled our water glasses.
Ten minutes later we received our food in glorious presentation. There was an intricately cut carrot flower blooming on a other Asian vegetables.
Now for a disclaimer, this is one of the first Thai restaurants I've been to in a long time. So this definitely will not be an expert Thai food review.
The Beef Pad Thai was enjoyable. I started using chopsticks to enjoy the rice noodles. I had chosen rice noodles as they are exactly the same noodles found in the national Vietnamese dish Pho which I have come to enjoy. The Pad Thai was enjoyable but not spicy like I have had previously. The only noticeable dislike was I got deeper into the Pad Thai the sauce got more tangy. This is probably due to the Pad Thai sauce sinking into the plate as I ate and could not be avoided.
The glass noodle Chicken Pad Thai looked interesting. A clear noodle mixed with chicken it was also slightly tangy the more you got into it.
Service wise our waitress was excellent in refilling our glasses of water and checking in periodically. The food came quickly. But this should be expected as the restaurant was not that busy.
Overall, I would return again to Thai Garden. Delicious Pad Thai with what seemed to be a restaurant that tries to appease the customer with cleanliness, ambience, service and well displayed food that tastes good.
Hopefully down the road I can broaden my Thai restaurant experiences to see how Thai Garden compares.