This has been a challenging winter for going out to eat. The prospect of starting the car (hoping it will start) scraping frost off the windows, finding parking within proximity of my restaurant of choice and walking to said restaurant was not a prospect I was willing to entertain for even a second. Nor was taking the bus or metro. Not for all the Szechuan beef, garlic shrimp or Hunan dumplings in the world. Fortunate for us West Islanders, some great eats are sprouting up West of the Decarie.
Émeraud de Bangkok is a great oriental restaurant that has been open for well over a year now. I have been destined to go a few times with my foodie friends, but something always came up. I was recently able to sample the Thai and Szechuan menu at this suburban bring your own wine dining room.
My Chinese friend came with us and spoke Cantonese with our waiter. When we dine out, we leave her to do all the ordering! I think we get better portions, better service and listening to conversations other than French or English, I like to cuckold myself into thinking that I am somewhere exotic, and I don’t mean the Plateau or Mile End!
The food is very tasty and I was not disappointed by the dishes. I can’t say that it is very authentic on the Thai. If we compare the Thai fare to Restaurant Thailand, they are weak on the curries, lemongrass and Thai ingredients in general. I was surprised that the menu isn’t divided up by Thai or Szechuan sections, but like most Szechuan restaurants I have dined at, foods are grouped by meat: chicken, beef, and seafood. The menu is easy to read, you don’t have to ask too many questions to know what you will be served. The epicurean may actually have to sit and translate “Fried dumplings or Raviolis Frits” and realize they mean Wor Tip or Guo. Sigh. Very palatable for suburbia. And if you were wondering, yes, it is located on a strip mall…
The dining room is simple but elegant. Five gaggling girls were also allowed to be a little loud (our excuse is it was the day after Chinese New Year and we were celebrating) and no one bothered. The plating of the dishes is nothing like I have seen in Chinatown. Garnish made of thinly peeled carrots and a variety of beets are made into decorative flowers that are really worth admiring.
We started with a HOT pot of tea on this frigid night and ordered seven dishes for five ladies plus rice and the bill came in around $80.00. Dishes included some favorites like fried spinach, garlic shrimp, peanut butter chicken. And we brought our own wine. When you have a hankering for good Asian fare, this restaurant will suit your appetite and pocket.
Émeraud de Bangkok is located at 413 rue Bourke, Dorval H9S 3W8 514-538-6628. Bring your own wine and they also deliver.