Located in close proximity to the Eaton Centre and Ryerson University, Salad King is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. I’ve always wondered about the name of this restaurant. Despite its name, it actually serves up Thai food and not salad.
The restaurant is located on Yonge, just two blocks north of Dundas. I tried Salad King many years ago when it was still located on Gould, prior to the fire that destroyed the original location.The space here is similar to the old location in that it resembles a large cafeteria. It’s loud, extremely busy and the majority of tables are communal.
On one side of the restaurant they have a number of booths which seem like they might be hard to snag given how busy they always are. So, if you’re sitting at a communal table, be prepared to get cozy with your neighbors!
I was at the Eaton Centre one Monday evening and as I was shopping, my stomach started grumbling. So, I gave one of my trusty dining companions, Chris, a call and dragged him over to Salad King.
We started with the Miniature Shrimp Rolls – shrimp, wheat wrapper, deep fried served with sweet and sour sauce ($4.50). This appetizer came with ten bite-sized shrimp rolls and was a nice way to start the meal. To be honest, they weren’t anything special but it was nice to have something to snack on while you’re hungrily waiting for your entrees to arrive.One of the mains we ordered was the Phud Thai – rice noodle, carrot, peanut, tofu, green onion, bean sprout, coriander, egg, fish sauce and tamarind sauce.
You have the option of ordering this with chicken ($9), shrimp ($9.50) and veggies ($8). We decided to go with the chicken, which was a little on the dry side. The noodles were actually lukewarm and tasted as though they had been sitting around for a bit before being served to us. Temperature aside, the phud thai actually tasted pretty good. Not the best I’ve had, but certainly above average.
The second main we ordered was the Green Curry – broccoli, snap pea, bell pepper, pea, sweet Asian basil in Thai green curry with coconut milk and Thai herbs served with steamed rice. Similar to the phud thai, you also have a choice of beef or chicken ($8.75) or shrimp ($9.75). Since we ordered chicken with our phud thai, we decided to go with beef for this.Sadly, the curry was lukewarm and the rice was a little cold. Despite this, I still enjoyed the curry, which had a nice flavour. I actually enjoyed this more than the phud thai and would definitely order this again, just maybe with chicken next time. I didn’t love the strips of beef in the curry.
Since we were in such a rush to order (we were starving!) we forgot to ask for a certain spice level in our dishes. The server neglected to ask us, so it completely slipped our mind. They have a “Spicy Scale” at Salad King ranging from mild to 20 chilis, which “may cause stomach upset” according to their menu. I’m assuming our phud thai and curry was mild since I couldn’t detect much spice (if any).
I can definitely see the appeal of Salad King. It’s a conveniently located restaurant with quick service and reasonably-priced food. Salad King is great for what its striving for – they definitely serve up some solid Thai food, but it’s definitely no Khao San Road.
At a glance:
• Located near the Eaton Centre
• Quick, reasonably priced ($8 – $9.50 for entrees)
• Solid Thai food, but not the best I’ve had
• Loud, busy, communal tables
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3.5 stars
• Service: 2 stars
• Atmosphere: 2 stars