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Introducing: Pai, the new Thai clubhouse from Nuit and Jeff Regular

Name: Pai
Neighbourhood: King West
Contact Info: 18 Duncan St., 416-901-4724, paitoronto.com, @PaiToronto
Previously: A Golden Griddle
Owners: Sukhothai and Sabai Sabai owners Jeff and Nuit Regular, with Janet Zuccarini (who also owns Gusto 101)
Executive Chef: Nuit Regular

The Food: Thai food experts Nuit and Jeff Regular are slowly introducing Torontonians to Thailand’s full panoply of regional cuisines. They serve central-Thai food at Sukhothai, northeastern Isan cuisine at Sabai Sabai and now, at Pai, traditional dishes from the country’s far-northern tip, which is known for its particularly fragrant and spicy food. Options include a gingery gaeng hunglay curry with oxtail, a pork-and-offal salad, and a DIY papaya salad with salted crab. (The plates are served family-style, and eating with your hands is strongly encouraged.) A simpler menu of bite-sized snacks (e.g. pork rinds, mussels) is available at Bebop, the casual, all-day snack bar.

The Drinks: During the day, Pai operates as a laid-back café, serving coffee-based drinks made with beans from Thai coffee company Doi Chaang. Evening options include Thai-inspired cocktails, draught beer and bai wun (sometimes called “jelly beer”), which is basically a beer slushie.

The Place: “Pai” is the name of a backpacker’s oasis in northern Thailand where Nuit Regular lived and cooked for a decade. The restaurant was designed to capture the look and feel of the town. There are intricately carved teak panels (from a 20-year old house in Chang Mai), artwork and prints from the region, and an open kitchen that looks a bit like a market stall. The hippie, easy-going atmosphere carries over to Bebop, where guests can shoot hoops while waiting for their drinks and snacks.

Our Introducing series explores newly opened restaurants, bars and shops throughout the GTA
This is not a review.
Toronto Life’s starred reviews can be found in their entirety in our
Restaurant Guide. Got restaurant news, tips or rumours? Send them to thedish@torontolife.com

 

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