Another Friday night dining out and yet another decision to make about where to go in Ottawa for our weekly family supper on the town. This week, we are up one adult but missing one child, so our usual group of seven is once again six. Nobody had any strong feelings this week and my stomach suddenly sent me a subliminal message that it felt like Thai food. We have a few Thai restaurants on our ‘regular’ list but since we are Eastenders by both geography and habit, so we opted for T’Basil on St. Joseph Blvd in Orleans.
In many east end Ottawa restaurants, it can be hard to get seating without a reservation on a Friday evening. This is even more so the case with a group of seven. However, we were fairly sure of being safe in this case and although the parking lot was far from empty when we pulled up, we were immediately shown to a table upon entry. Don’t be deceived by our poor photography. The restaurant’s decor is bright and cheery. There was a pleasant buzz from those already seated. One advantage to our group being a mixture of ebony and ivory, old and young, tall and short, is that we are invariably recognized when revisiting old haunts. We are not always the easiest to please but are rarely obnoxious either and our waitress at least pretended to be happy to see us again.
It must be said that the three young ladies who normally accompany us, in addition to being well-behaved, are not normally overly fussy. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be challenging for them to find something that they know they like in ethnic restaurants. Amber, the eldest is usually very adventurous and rarely dislikes whatever she chooses. Lara, the middle child will often make the attempt but is a little harder to please. Fayth, the youngest at almost five, prefers French fries and ketchup. As a result, we have tested the French fries in a large percentage of Ottawa eating establishments over the last couple of years.
Moving on to the menu, T’Basil features a relatively good selection of Thai and Vietnamese dishes. For those worrying about excessively hot (spicy) dishes need not be concerned. In addition to the level of hotness being clearly indicated on the menu, you can also express a preference when ordering. Two of our group invariably request no visible onion in their selection as was the case this evening. Dorothy and I shared an order of Summer Rolls as a starter, and although I had not ordered what I really intended, we were not disappointed. What we received were unfried spring rolls filled with diced shrimp and cooked rice with mint leaves. They were served with a small dish of peanut sauce. Delicious.
For the main course, the two girls selected junior chicken fried rice (Lara) and chicken fingers with fries (Fayth). Both were happy with their selections and ate accordingly. For the adults, two selected Crispy Noodles with Chicken and Shrimp, one Butter Chicken Stir-Fry and one Pad Thai. Not a single one of us was unhappy with their choice. The portions were neither too big nor too small, food was served promptly and hot. Iced water was served to all without prompting and glasses were replenished automatically as needed.
Their were only two slight negatives to note. Firstly, we were not, to my personal knowledge at least, asked whether we would like anything from the bar. Often, we will order a pot of chinese (green) tea, since adults and children alike are partial to this. Unfortunately only individual servings were offered. Secondly, we were not offered dessert and when we inquired, the only option was deep-fried battered banana with ice-cream. After two of us hesitantly ordered this, we were told that it would take an additional 15 minutes to prepare. We subsequently declined.
The Bottom Line:
- Positives: Food was well above average, service was friendly and efficient, prices were easy on the wallet.
- Negatives: Poor desert selection, no beverages offered to children or adults alike.
- Summary: Overall, a very pleasant dining experience. T’Basil goes on our list as one to be revisited.
|Overall Rating||****||Above Average|
|Frivolous Foodie Facts|
It is illegal in Thailand, to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear