Thai Basil

by Victoria on March 2, 2011

Thai Basil Thai Restaurant

It’s been awhile since I’ve written and I have a huge amount of posts waiting in line to say hello to the world.  I sincerely apologize to all of my readers that I’ve left waiting in the wings, and I really don’t have any good reason for it.  So let’s get to it!

Thai Basil restaurant.  After hearing about this quaint place from some other Thai people, and finding out that they have a truly authentic Pad Gra Pao dish (spicy stirfry with basil and meat), I rushed over right away.  Tucked away on Thurlow Street, just at the corner of Davie in the West End, I had noticed this place before during several walk-bys, but I never had the impetus to actually go in and try it out since I’m usually greatly disappointed by most Thai food establishments not actually located in Thailand.

This one was definitely an exception.

I went for lunch one afternoon with a girlfriend of mine, and when we walked in, I noticed how small Thai Basil actually is – there is only seating for about 10 people , but there were also many people getting takeout in the short time we were there.

As we arrived shortly before noon, we managed to get a seat without a problem, but soon thereafter, the rush started and it immediately became jam-packed.

We ordered at the counter and then sat at a small table in the corner.  Starting off our meal, we decided to go for some prawn tempura.  These crispy hot morsels were delicious when we dipped them in the sweet chili sauce.  They were done so well that I was happily eating them tails and all – the way it should be!  If you’ve been to Thailand before, you probably already know that Thai people definitely know how to cook without lettinganything go to waste.

Prawn Tempura Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5

Looking at the small menu, I saw that you  need to ask if the pad gra pao is available, as if they do not have the appropriate holy basil available to make it, they will not do so.  A good sign that they are keeping with their authentic roots!  We both ordered it – I got it with pork while my girlfriend decided to have it with chicken.  We didn’t specify the spiciness level, and they didn’t ask, so it was quite exciting when the dishes arrived and we realized that this was the real deal!  So if you’re not one to like a lot of spice (and I mean A LOT), please make sure to ask to have it made only a little spicy.  I had to give it a full five stars. 🙂

Pad Gra Pao Rating: 5Rating: 5Rating: 5Rating: 5Rating: 5

During the course of the dish, I managed to drink back my entire Thai iced tea rather quickly, and we also followed that up with glasses of water and even sucked back any remaining ice cubes!

Although I didn’t try all that much, I can tell you that this place is definitely an authentic little gem that I will go to time and again, for takeout any time of the day or for a quick and inexpensive lunch.  The prices are very reasonable, the food has so much actual flavour (thank goodness!), and it’s prepared without making things too sweet or Westernized.

Thai Basil definitely has my vote! So for anyone wanting to give some real Thai food a try without leaving the country, make sure to venture out to Thai Basil.

Thai Basil
1215 Thurlow Street
Vancouver, BC, V6E
604.685.6754
View Map

Overall: Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5
Food: Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5
Service: Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4
Atmosphere: Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3
Price: $

Thai Basil on Urbanspoon

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

KimHo March 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Welcome back! Good to know you are still around and kicking! 🙂

I went there last year and I really enjoyed my meal. I think I will enjoy it a bit more knowing it has your stamp of approval! Now, have to ask this: Thai Basil vs. Khunnai Chang. Who wins?

Melody Fury // GourmetFury.com March 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

This looks fab. Perhaps we can go here for your “welcome home” dinner w/ Senses Inspired?

Victoria March 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Hmmm, not sure yet, I will have to try Thai Basil a couple more times first I think before I can declare a winner. I will keep you posted, Kim!

Victoria March 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Anytime, Mel, for sure!

Karl March 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Welcome back, Victoria! Been missing your posts. I’ve been looking for some great Thai…aside from Tom Yum in Burnaby. Pad Gra Pao is one of my favorites. Nice to hear there a load of authenticity here. Definitely worth checking out.

Sue in Canada March 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I will have to try this. I was in Sydney Australia last week and found a new Thai restaurant. It is called ‘Home’, on Sussex St. It was amazing!!!! The best green Curry i have ever eaten…so many restaurants are all the same old same old goodness…this had sooo many levels to it. So put it on your list of places to eat if you go there!! 🙂 Had to share. maybe I’ll take my camera next week when I go and blog about it

Victoria March 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Hi Sue, thanks for the tip! Who knows – I may be visiting Sydney soon. 😉

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