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Plan B: The Wok Caf

Posted by Emily / January 8, 2008

We’ve all been there.

You’re sitting at your desk around 4pm and out of the blue it hits you: you must have pad Thai for dinner. As soon as the clock on the wall says ‘dinnertime,’ you sneak away from your desk and head for your favorite Thai resto. And it’s closed.

Last Friday evening, I must have stood in front of the darkened, empty counter of Cuisine Bangkok for at least ten seconds before my brain began to comprehend what my eyes were seeing. In a daze of confusion, I slowly exited the Faubourg shopping center and began wandering westward down St. Catherine.

And then, just as I began to despair at the thought that I might have to endure the evening pad Thai-less, I spotted something on the far side of the street that brought me back to reality.

From the outside, the Wok Café looked almost irresistible. The windows were filled with colorful Christmas lights, and the seats were filled with happy-looking customers.

I took a gander at the menu and to my delight, it included pad Thai. Without a moment’s hesitation, I ordered some to go and was carrying it home less than ten minutes later.

In hindsight, I probably should have considered the fact that I was ordering pad Thai from a Chinese restaurant before I whipped out my wallet. The Wok Café’s pad Thai was just a tad greasier and saltier, and perhaps less tangy than Cuisine Bangkok’s.

But what it lacked in quality, the dish made up for in quantity. Unlike Cuisine Bangkok, which lets you choose your protein, WC’s pad Thai included egg, chicken, and shrimp. The pieces of egg seemed to have soaked up every flavor in the dish like little salty sponges. Apart from the abundant proteins, the dish as a whole was simply massive. And I enjoyed every bite, down to the last peanut.

By sheer coincidence, my friend and I happened to be strolling down St. Catherine last night and we decided (after some gentle encouragement on my part) to try out the Wok Café’s noodle soup.

As soon as we sat down in the crowded café, I realized that I must have been deliriously hungry the other night because I hadn’t noticed the numerous plastic relief sculptures of vegetables decorating the walls. It’s amazing how a few plastic cucumbers can brighten up a room.

The wall decorations made such interesting conversation fodder that before we knew it, two big steaming bowls of noodle soup sat before us. The broth was meaty and warming, but it was also a little dull. And unlike the protein-packed pad Thai, my shrimp noodle soup was noticeably under populated by shrimp (there were four). But the huge quantities of noodles and steamed vegetables left me satisfied by the end of the meal.

Despite the satiating soup and (almost too) filling pad Thai, the folks over at Cuisine Bangkok can rest easy. They’re mini-restaurant will always be my first stop for pad Thai. But it’s nice to have a viable backup close by.

Wok Café
1845 St. Catherine West



furtive / January 8, 2008 at 04:19 pm
I like Wok Cafe. Try some of their non-Thai/Viet food such as the Red Curry chicken, which comes with excellent thin slices of firm (not goopy) eggplant. Their hot ans sour soup is also one of the sourest out there.
Liz / January 9, 2008 at 10:42 am
The best General Tao Chicken is at Wok Cafe, and one serving makes two meals!
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