Salad King (post-renovation)

335 Yonge Street
(416) 971-7041

Bright lights, shiny decor, metallic, kind of postmodern, hip, trendy, industrial (sort of), right in the middle of downtown at Ryerson University. Seats are very close together, almost packed in like sardines. Don’t bring someone on a first date here, it’s not a romantic place to dine. The menu is a plain piece of paper, like a placemat. This place serves Thai fast food, that is fresh, flavourful, hot, and spectacular looking.

The dishes are served on funky, trendy plates, and dishes are colourful and cool. I ordered the Bangkok Stir Fry with vermacelli noodles, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, peanut, (hold the egg) and the sauce was this spicy, aromactic sesame oil based glaze…tres yummy! I found out four visits later that the Bangkok stir fry was not completely vegetarian but made with fish sauce. Salad King’s staff are notorious for being unaware of vegetarians’ needs.

I tried again to find the perfect meal in my second visit. I was determined to find a dish that would be filling, tasty, and completely vegetarian. I ordered a spicy tofu dish with Chili level “3”, hold the white rice. For a side dish I had the cold veggie rolls with peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was most likely made with fish sauce but I only found out after the fact. The cold rolls were excellent. The spicy tofu dish was outstanding. I later found out that the Spicy Tofu was also made with fish sauce. As it turns out the word “vegetarian” means nothing to Salad King. I did not know fish was considered a vegetable. All waiters and waitress may be nice but they are unaware of the ingrediants in their dishes.

On my third and fourth visit, I found out that all items on the Veg. Lover’s menu (Emerald Tofu, Country Tofu, Golden Tofu, Spicy Tofu, Vegetarian Hot Thai Noodle, Vegetarian Bangkok Sir Fry, and Vegetarian Kari noodle) are all made with fish sauce except Golden Tofu and Country Tofu. The concept of vegetarian is not clear to this restaurant. The staff claim that these items are vegetarian when in fact they are not. You have to grill the waitress to actually admit that these dishes are made with fish sauce. Even the delicious cold rolls are vegetarian but the dipping sauce is made with fish sauce. At Salad King, it’s a don’t ask, don’t tell policy where innocent vegetarians must take the risk since staff won’t tell you if items are completely vegetarian. It has been a frustrating experience even more for me since all dishes come with rice and I do not eat it. Without rice, these dishes are not filling since portions are so small

My first dish was a bit dry, not saucy enough for my liking and not enough vegetables. Level is spice is on a “Chili” scale from 1-5. I have ordered dishes ranging from “Chili 1” to “Chili 5” and these dishes were all very good, yet not spicy enough. Hmmphh. Meals are from $5.95-$7.95. Strict vegetarians beware!

Reviewed by Mark

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