Maya Bay is a hidden gem in Cabbagetown with a large menu of hard-to-find Thai classics. The dining room is very laid-back and unrefined with lots of window seats. That said, the dishes are elevated enough to be considered finer dining. We’re told that head chef Prasopchok Trakulphat was an Iron Chef back in Bangkok. His plates of food are works of art and are meant to be shared. Perfect spot for date night!
Let us just start by saying that their Poo Nim Phad Pong Karee may be the best thing we’ve eaten so far this year. Ordered as an appetizer to share, this soft-shell-crab curry is a generous portion of seafood. Lathered in a turmeric curry sauce and finished with egg, onion, carrot, Chinese celery and jalapeno, we got ourselves a second order after the first bite. No joke!
Usual suspects like Massaman Curry, Pad Thai and Khao Soi are always available and come spiced to order. The egg noodles in the Khao Soi really stood out on our last visit. They were super chewy, much like the generous chunks of brisket lacing the broth. The ample accoutrements on top added a textured crunch. Take it easy on the sidecar of hot sauce. It packs a punch even for the most seasoned spice enthusiast.
Iron Chef noodle creations abound on the menu. Linguine is done a variety of ways… our favourite being the Tom Klong version which is loaded with roasted shallots, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, sawtooth cilantro, fried garlic and chillies. We chose crispy pork belly as the protein, and Chef Trakulphat didn’t skimp on the swine. This dish gets finished with kastuobushi flakes, which seem to breath as the steam escapes. A work of art!
Cost-conscious lunch specials are also available during the week if you’re looking for something quick and to-go. Pad Gra Pao is the best on the take-out menu and comes complete with rice and spring rolls for around ten bucks.
We prefer to dine-in and watch the action on Parliament Street and all the action in the kitchen. This place is a must-try if you happen to find yourself anywhere near Cabbagetown. See you again soon, Maya Bay. You’re a beauty!