Despite the adoration of eggs, bacon and pancakes for weekend brunch in Toronto, it’s time to expose that educated palate to something new.
Turn your back on the downtown offerings – and head northeast. Linda Modern Thai, found within the stylish environs of the Shops of Don Mills, has created a unique brunch menu, with subtle Thai flavours reinventing the first meal of the day.
The Liu family roots have been entrenched in the TO dining scene thanks to the long-standing and well-loved Salad King at Yonge & Dundas. Linda Modern Thai celebrates the traditional and offers contemporary Thai cuisine, updating the classic dishes and adding in 21st century inspiration.
Honoured by the Thai Government as Canada’s first Thai Select Premium Restaurant, the restaurant has now reinvented brunch. Launched in October, Linda Modern Thai’s brunch came out of manager Alan Liu’s regular meals with his friends, and experimenting with Thai and western flavours.
The restaurant’s unique mocktails (also available in full strength with recommended spirit additions $2.00) are a welcome start to the meal; popular options include the Bangkok Lemonade ($5.00) with the spicy coriander, lemon and soda water or the Ginger Julep ($5.00) with a heady mix of mint, lemon, ginger ale and grenadine.
For those who need caffeine, Linda Modern Thai features traditional Thai Milk Tea iced ($5.00) or hot ($4.00) as well as a selection of loose teas from Sloane Fine Tea Merchants ($4.00-$7.00) and Thai coffee ($4.00).
And now for the main event – I chose Eggs Benjamin Thai-style ($16.00) two poached eggs with smoked salmon on butter brioche with green curry sauce. Tasty and flavourful, I prefer this combination – silky, creamy and complimentary, not dominated by the typical hollandaise sauce. The green curry sauce is not spicy, but for those seeking heat, Thai chili sauce is on every table.
My dining pal went non-trad with the Satay Brunch ($13.00) with a choice of shrimp, chicken, beef or tofu skewers. She choose shrimp, which were plump and perfectly cooked.
Entrees also include side options – Thai congee, mango salad or home fries, and come with pathongko (Thai fritter) and sangkaya, a Thai coconut egg custard spread or toast. I had the silky congee, adding peanuts and fish sauce, for a salty accompaniment to my eggs, while my pal went for the sweet mango salad. We shared the housemade Thai sausage ($4.00), crispy and salty, and will help satiate those who need a meaty fix .The fritter was served warm and crispy – a lighter version of a churro – and the subtle sangkaya could become my new favourite topping for toast instead of jam.
Our stomachs were satiated with our choices, but for those who have room, mango sticky rice ($7.00) or deep fried banana ($5.00) are a perfect sweet finish.
Although the flavours may come from far away on the other side of the Pacific, the restaurant is committed to local sourcing for several ingredients, and with the majority of items made in-house by Chef Wing Li and his team.
And for all those downtowners who feel they can’t fathom life north of Bloor? You won’t find these options south of Bloor, so get over it, and head north for a savoury Thai taste for weekend brunch.
Linda Modern Thai
11 Karl Fraser Road, The Shops of Don Mills, 416-642-3866
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm, reservations recommended
The writer was a guest of Linda Modern Thai. The restaurant did not review or approve this article.