Founded in the fall of 1978 (much like the author of this review), the Queen Mother Café is celebrating its 35th year in the heart of downtown (208 Queen W). I had walked by this place many times, thinking it was little more than a local watering hole. Well, chef Noy Phongnanouvong offers-up some of the city’s best Lao/Thai creations, served in a comfortable pub-like atmosphere, complete with cozy back patio.
Truth be told, the Queen Mum’s Lentil Soup ($6 – pictured above) is to die for. I start with it every time. A mildly-spiced puree, it’s a full-serving of vegetables in a bowl. Another favourite is the Bah Me Hang ($10.95 – pictured below). This dish sees thin egg noodles get stir-fried with bean sprouts, onions, celery, chopped peanuts, sautéed shrimp and sliced chicken… all served in a spicy lime coriander sauce, topped with green onions. I always order it extra spicy and wash it down with one of the many cold beers they have on tap.
There are always a number of fresh daily specials on offer from the kitchen. After a quick rundown of today’s, we order a Teriyaki Flank Steak and Baby Bok Choy Udon Bowl ($14 – pictured below). Topped with chopped Spring Rolls, this is really tasty stuff!
Be sure to also check-out their late night menu. The kitchen is open until 1am and really hits the spot after a night out in the entertainment district. Oh, and they do boozy brunches on the weekend, too!