Price Range: $10-20
Nearing the end of my interview journey across the country, I was living with a high school friend who is currently studying Engineering at McMaster. I hadn’t seen her in 4 years and if it wasn’t for my med school interview at Mac, I don’t think we would have caught up.
Since R has been at Mac for a long time, I asked her to recommend a good local restaurant and she decided on Thai Memory. It was located in downtown Hamilton, so we took a 20 minute bus ride there. I had never been to downtown Hamilton before and I was surprised that it actually looks more like a downtown area than Kingston.
Walking inside, I was really impressed by the decorations. All the furniture looked like it was imported from Thailand and everything looked so exotic. It was full when we went, so it must have been a popular place.
We sat near the entranceway, so it wasn’t as brightly lit as the other tables, so unfortunately some of my photos might not look as good.
Receiving our menus, I noticed that the selection was huge. It was really hard to decide what to order because there were so many items to look through. Not to mention, the menu was printed with this horrible font. I also looked at the online pdf menu and the graphic design was the worst – so many fonts, different colours, bright colours that hurt the eyes…etc…etc.
The first thing we ordered was the Tom Yum Talay ($12) and it was this slightly sour soup that had seafood in it. The sour taste wasn’t overbearing and came from lemongrass. I quite liked the generous proportion of seafood and mushrooms, and the parsley was very fresh. Coming in from the freezing cold, I really enjoyed this soup.
For my main course, I ordered the Lychee Beef ($13) with Khaao Kati ($2.75), the coconut rice. I would definitely recommend ordering with rice just to balance out the flavour. By itself, the coconut rice was the best coconut rice I have ever tried. It has a creamy coconut taste and shreads of coconut inside, which makes the rice seem like a dessert that I could eat by itself because it tasted rather sweet.
The Lychee Beef was also sweet because it had the lychee flavoured sauce and actual lychees in it. I would not recommend eating this with the rice because I felt a sweetness overload which tasted good at first but not at the end. There was also a slight spiciness to this dish, but it wasn’t too bad when I mixed the beef with the rice.
As you can see, the portion sizes were huge. I only ended up eating half the rice in that big bowl and it took me a long time just to slowly eat the beef. R had to help me eat my food because I got so full.
R ordered a Gaaeng Khiaao Wann ($13), a Green Curry, and ordered a separate bowl of rice as well. Her dish was spicier than mine and gave lots of meat. There was also a lot of curry sauce as well, which tasted good with the rice.
Overall, this was a really good restaurant – large portions, a bar with drinks from Thailand, and exotic decorations. It was still on the pricier side because my bill alone came out to be $28 with a ~15% tip. It was only the owner and one waitress working there that evening and the owner seemed really stressed since he was ordering the waitress around, but I guess that’s expected when the evening was busy.
For the TL; DR: if your eyes can handle the bad graphic design, here is the menu (the drinks menu is especially annoying to read).