New resto Thais menu to tradition

Staff of new Thai restaurant Bolan.
THE A-TEAM: From left, Chantira Panajaranai, chef Big Yodchai, Pimm Chaidetkamjohn and Q.P. Tharmviboonsri opened up their restaurant, Bolan, on Mount Pleasant Road in mid-May.

A touch, and taste of old Siam has arrived on Mount Pleasant Road.

Moving into to where Wild Burger used to be, just north of Soudan Avenue, is Bolan.

The Thai restaurant opened in early May, and much like its namesake, it’s bringing a taste of Bangkok, and the famous Floating Market of Ratchaburi, to North Toronto.

Bolan means ancient in Thai, and manager Q. P. Tharmviboonsri said it’s exactly what owners Chantira Panajaranai and Pimm Chaidetkamjohn want to share with the locals.

The two worked at Piton Thai Cuisine, at Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, and Panajaranai discovered their new home when exploring the area in February. Renovations to change the interior from a burger joint to fine Thai cuisine took two months.

“They both partnered together,” Tharmviboonsri said, as the lunchtime crowd noshed over curried dishes and noodles. “[Chantira] wanted to bring her idea of a restaurant together: really homey and decorations.”

Panajaranai was born on a Monday and the eighth day of the month, and those themes factor into the decor.

“In Thailand we have superstitions, and colours matched with the days. So Monday is yellow,” Tharmviboonsri said.

In addition to the decor, Bolan imports authentic ingredients from Thailand, including the condensed milk used in a Thai coffee recipe, Kope. For vegetables and meat, they use local ingredients.

Chaidetkamjohn specialties are drinks and desserts, and she lights up when asked about where her sweet start began.

“My family loves to make the desserts,” she said, recalling her Ratchaburi roots.

“Everyone is selling tiny desserts in the floating market, and she grew up with that in her blood,” Tharmviboonsri added.

Rounding out the staff is a big man with a big smile, chef Big Yodchai.

Tharmviboonsri translated for his colleague, who described his love of Thai cuisine with a smile wider than a bean sprout.

“(Yodchai) saw his mom and dad cooking since he was young, so he liked that,” Tharmviboonsri said. “He realized that when he got older, he was going to be the head of the family, so he had to cook.

“Everyone here just wants to be happy with our way of cooking and presenting,” he added, in his own words. “It should be good for your eyes and your tongue.”