4.5/5 Foodie Foursome Index
4.5/5 on the Ethnic Scale
Thailand… Land of spicy food, Tuk Tuk’s, beautiful beaches, and one particular beach where a young Leonardo Dicaprio stole the hearts of a generation in “The Beach”.
I have tried a lot of Thai, from the streets of Thailand to the Suncor food court with Thai Express, but it never really hit the mark as a place I would deliberately venture… Only to go to when the Opa line was too long or flight tickets were cheap, HOWEVER Tuk Tuk Thai has everything it needs to be my staple “go to” place on 17th for food. Good prices, amazing quality, friendly staff, and a unique establishment!
My favourite dish has got to be the shrimp rolls but honestly every dish hit the spot. The Pad Thai also hit the spot. Sean noticed that the spice was a little downplayed from traditional Thai but I am sure if you asked the friendly staff they would pull out some of the traditional heat for you. Also, it should be noted that the bathrooms are IMPECCABLY clean, which is rare on 17th ave.
Next time you are walking down 17th, just walk in and Thai something, Thai anything! Pick something random off the menu and give it a shot! All these little dishes are meant to share and be enjoyed! Or just pop in to use the washrooms.
Tuk Tuk Thai has stolen my heart. Not only does it have amazing Thai food but the gentleman Sam who owns the restaurant is a absolute delight and success story.
The ambiance in the place is quite nice considering it is a small space. The colours and the amazing murals that come to life make it bright fun and neat to look at! I also loved the actual Tuk Tuk’s they used as decoration/refrigerators for the cold food.
Now for the food, it was 100% wonderful. I love Thai food but I often find that when I eat it I feel really full and sickly but that was not the case with this place! I could eat everything and still wouldn’t feel sick! I had so many favourite things but some that deserve a mention are the Pad Thai, the Green Curry, the Ginger Shrimp Spring Rolls, the Cashew Chicken and the Caramelized Crepes and Coconut Ice Cream for dessert. Now the food doesn’t come super spicy which is great for those of us who can’t handle spice so well, but if you do want spice fret now, you just have to ask them to add it! The flower food containers were also super fun to eat out of!
I honestly can’t wait to eat here again, and I can say that I wish there were as many Tuk Tuk Thai’s around as there are Thai Expresses. Thai’ll be back.
Sean and Natalie’s Review:
Have you ever seen something and thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?” That happens to me a lot. Like Chuckit! That plastic arm you can buy to play fetch with your dog without getting drool on your hands?
This is the Chuckit! of thai food. It’s a North American-friendly, clean-cut, well-branded shop in the heart of Calgary. Why didn’t I think of this? It makes total sense – Thai food is popular now but nobody has been successful in creating a strong brand for it. Well I didn’t because I’m a great eater of food, not a great cooker.
We did, however, have the privledge of talking to the guy who did have the idea! After making our order we met Sam, a very passionate man who’s now seen his dream of owning a restaurant come to a reality. The passion has definitely come through in the food. Even the presentation in the cool foldable paper bowls lends itself to this trendy thai place.
The restaurant has a recognizable theme: logos on all the cups, an inviting color scheme, and a modern look. It even has a tuk-tuk fridge with drinks! Although, I have been to Thailand and I’ve never seen a tuk-tuk as pristine as this one.
We sampled a lot on the menu. I ordered the pad thai so I could make a fair measurement against other thai food I’ve had, but my surprise favorite was the moo moo chicken. It was a cooler, sour flavor I really enjoyed, I polished that one off. Other surprises were the prawn spring rolls, and the thai ice coffee. I have to mention, most of the food (other than the Calgary Flame) comes pretty tame. Thai food from Thailand comes with some kick, and there they take it easy on us tourists. The pad thai didn’t really register on my spice-meter. But Sam assured me you can get any of the dishes in multiple levels of heat. That’s good, because if you’re a real meat-and-potatoes type person you can give it a shot, then slowly expand your palette (this is the “North American friendly” part).
I’d really like to see this place take off. The menu is concise, the image is established and I feel it’s a franchise just begging to be scaled up. I hope it does well. Good luck Sam! I guess I’ll have to come up with the next big thing.