I would love to find a little hole in the wall place that doesn't break the bank, but also doesn't taste like mediocre takeout. Unfortunately, I am yet to find such a place in Ottawa, so restaurants like Talay are where I have to go to find my Thai fix (and it ain't cheap!)
The physical restaurant is clean with simple but smart decor. You could go with a date, a friend, or your family - just a general all-rounder. The servers were friendly, attentive, but did not burden us with unnecessary banter :)
Although everything we ordered was delicious, we were not completely wowed. I don't think that the chef is to blame however because everything looked as it ought to be compared to what I have eaten in Thailand. The main issue was that it felt like everything had been slightly toned down for the average Ottawa customer. I love the salty/sour/spicy/sweet intensity of Thai food, but my taste buds weren't dancing as they normally would be. Some things could be easily fixed however. The next time I go there I will definitely tell them to up the heat in my dishes.
There were several HUGE positives though. The Thai Iced tea was fragrant and deliciously sweet as it ought to be, the seafood good quality (not rubbery!!!), and the quality of beef surprisingly tender. I will definitely go back on special occasions - tax refund was the excuse this time!
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