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Wednesday 18 April 2012

Viphalay Laos and Thai Restaurant Edmonton, AB - Tasty Thai food at new downtown location

Rating Service 8/10, Food 8.0/10

Pad Thai
A few months after Viphalay opened up a second location in downtown, we stopped by to give it a whirl.  The decor mirrors that of the first restaurant - dark woods, touches of gold, black and ochre.  The tables have various spice "windows" inside them, adding a neat visual.  It is a smaller venue, so seating is a bit more on the cozy side.  Perhaps because the place was packed (like sardines in a can), we found though the service was prompt, the waitstaff seemed a bit harried and flustered.  Everything is still served family style, so round up some friends so you can eat a wider selection of their menu.

What to order? No brainer here.. we ordered a round of Thai Tea!!! Steeped in a special pressurized machine, its a decadent ambrosia of red tea, 58+ herbs and spices, cream, and condensed milk served over a bit of ice.  Just try to guess the 58+ herbs and spices that go into this custom Thai tea mix roasted, toasted, ground and prepared in house. Super handy to cool down the palate when you're sampling some of their more spicy fare. *SLURP!*... bliss :D

the FOOD
Tom Yum Gai
Being a chilly night, we decided to go with a traditional Tom Yum Gai soup chock full of chicken, seafood, vegetables in a spicy, tangy and complex soup base rich with lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, onions and cilantro.  The heat slowly builds up as you eat it, warming you up from head to toe!!

Green Chicken Curry
This simple and unassuming bowl of mixed vegetables, blanched chicken breast strips and pale sauce packs lots of flavor.  The mild coconut milk based curry is jazzed up with kaffir lime leaves and cilantro at the forefront and a hint of lemongrass as well.  Bits of zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet peas rounded out the curry. Add it to an order of fragrant coconut rice = Mmmmmm.

Red curry with beef
Another mild home-style curry, this time in a red curry base. This one had more earthy tones with some soft beans, potatos and onions complementing the strips of tender beef swimming in the curry sauce.

Pad Thai
It just wouldn't be a complete Thai dinner without an order of pad thai. The noodles are soft and springy, tossed in a almost ketchup-y spicy pad thai sauce, and mixed in with plenty of fried tofu chunks, a handful of sweet crisp shrimp, some sauteed bean sprouts,  more of the blanched chicken breast slices, and fresh herbs.  Oh, and can't forget the liberal mountain of toasted peanut bits to top the whole thing off.  So satisfying... nom!

Traditional offerings include purple rice with mangos and icecream, steamed taro custard with cream, banana envelopes and roti rolls. Being pretty full, we had to make room for their roti rolls. Soft tender flaky roti is pan fried to impart a crisp yet slightly chewy exterior, rolled up and lovingly bathed in a decadent caramelized condensed milk syrup. Not as thick as an Italian dulce de leche, this thinner version of caramelized syrup with hints of vanilla and caramel makes these roti rolls killer! Nom!

They're so good, they deserve another closeup! Mmmmmm!

Overall, a great new second location whilst the original location gets a reno with all of their fab traditional foods - 90% gluten free!

Viphalay Laos and Thai Restaurant
Address10523 - 99 Ave, Edmonton, AB
Phone(780)756 - 8188
Hours Tue-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 5pm-9pm
Viphalay Laos and Thai Restaurant (Downtown) on Urbanspoon

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