August 20, 2019

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Your lucky day

North End Thai food lovers will strike it rich with the number 1619

Opinion

The “1619” in the name of Thailand Foods 1619 is a lucky number. For diners craving good, fresh, reasonably priced Thai dishes, this new North End resto does mean good fortune.

The menu offers lots of complex, vivid flavours, especially that quintessential Thai combo of salty, sweet, spicy and sour.

The Selkirk Avenue spot is bright and white, and service is friendly and helpful. I love that on our first visit our server politely pointed out that we were perhaps ordering too much food. (We were, in fact, going way overboard because we wanted to try a range of dishes. And we did take the extras home.)

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The "1619" in the name of Thailand Foods 1619 is a lucky number. For diners craving good, fresh, reasonably priced Thai dishes, this new North End resto does mean good fortune.

The menu offers lots of complex, vivid flavours, especially that quintessential Thai combo of salty, sweet, spicy and sour.

Thailand Foods 1619 Owner Saifon Lacharoen with mango salad and red curry seafood soup.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Thailand Foods 1619 Owner Saifon Lacharoen with mango salad and red curry seafood soup.

The Selkirk Avenue spot is bright and white, and service is friendly and helpful. I love that on our first visit our server politely pointed out that we were perhaps ordering too much food. (We were, in fact, going way overboard because we wanted to try a range of dishes. And we did take the extras home.)

Restaurant review

Click to Expand

Thailand Foods 1619

617 Selkirk Ave.

204-504-6311

thailandfoods1619.com

Go for: good, fresh Thai food

Best bet: rich and complex curries

Mains: $10.95-13.95

Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m-8 p.m.

★★★★☆

Som tom salad, with thin-shredded green papaya and lots of lime juice, is very good, as is the mango salad, a little chunkier, with thick strips of fruit paired with celery and carrot and a good balance of sweet and sour in the dressing.

Soups include kaeng phet, its coconut creaminess cut with galangal, chili and lemongrass, and a really nice tom yum, which concentrates on the heady fragrance and flavour of its clear, hot chili-spiked broth.

There is a range of curries (green, red and yellow, just for starters). Green curry is rich but intense and comes with whole lime leaves and a range of veg (peppers, carrots, peas and mushrooms). Almost all the dishes here offer loads of fresh vegetables cooked tender-crisp.

The noodle dishes include thick and thin, crunchy and soft options. Pad Thai, one of the most popular Thai dishes and also one that can easily go wrong, is good — not greasy and with a sauce that's a little spicy, with a hint of tamarind but not overly sweet, as some versions can be. It was, however, a bit light on bean sprouts.

Red Curry Soup

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Red Curry Soup

You can order fragrant jasmine or coconut rice as a side, or the more substantial chili fried rice, with egg and vegetables and a bit of heat.

There are some dishes built around a specific protein, such as a stir fry of thin, garlicky pork slices or a sweet-and-sour fish dish. But most menu items make it easy to customize, offering a choice of prawn, chicken, pork, tofu or vegetables. You can also specify your spice levels from 1 to 10. (f you’re not too sure, 4 is enough to get your attention.) On one visit I was with a friend who doesn’t eat peanuts, and the kitchen was happy to work around that.

Mango salad

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mango salad

Thailand Foods 1619 has no liquor licence. Every meal starts with free bottled water, and you can order Thai iced coffee or iced green tea, milky and sweet.

And be sure to ask about the fried bananas for dessert. (They’re not available as a Skip the Dishes option because they don’t travel well.) Eaten fresh, with mashed bananas rolled inside a crisp, still hot wrapper, they’re a sweet, simple finish to a good meal.

alison.gillmor@freepress.mb.ca

Alison Gillmor

Alison Gillmor
Writer

Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.

Read full biography

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