Ticket to Thailand: Chix Shack serves up authentic flavour
'You'd be hard pressed to make a wrong choice here'
Nothing about the signage or the interior of Chix Shack at the base of the Capital Condominiums on 109 Street screams Thai food.
In fact, once through the doors, you might wonder if you've stepped on to a movie set for a low budget spaghetti western.
But stick around and dig into any one of the dozen menu items, and you'll ride off into the sunset with a full belly and a hankering to return the next day.
Chix Shack serves Thai street food, and if you've travelled to Thailand or have had the good fortune to eat quality Thai food before, you might see some familiar names like pad see eew, pad kee mao, som tum, tom yung goong, and of course, pad Thai.
Pad, in Thai, means stir fry, so any dish with that name will be made of that method.
Tom yum goong is a pungent lemongrass and garlic broth piled with shrimp and mushroom. It is a sour and spicy soup and the cure-all to anything that may be ailing you.
If you're craving soup, though, try the yum noodle pork or the boat noodles. Both soups are hefty portions of noodles, meatballs and chunks of pork or beef in a robust broth.
The difference lies in the flavouring: yum noodle pork arrives seasoned with chilies, fish sauce and lemongrass, whereas the boat noodles come with broth that you doctor to your tastes by using sauces and powders in jars brought to your table in a metal caddy.
But, being that the restaurant is named after chicken, you'd be doing yourself a disservice by foregoing gai yang, the grilled chicken available in either half or whole portions.
The meat is luscious and tender from an overnight bath of soy sauce, lemongrass, fish sauce, ground white pepper and palm sugar.
Any of these dishes should have one of two salads as accompaniments.
The som tum is a spicy heap of julienned green papaya; the mango salad might appeal to the more heat-sensitive palate, but both are refreshing and lend a nice bright hit of acidity to an otherwise meat-heavy menu.
You'd be hard pressed to make a wrong choice here, so mosey on down to Chix Shack, say 'hi' to Birdie or Bunny, one of the two regular servers, and hunker down to a bowl of fragrant soup or a plate of spicy noodles.