Kanok Jul25


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Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)

It was a hot and humid Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, a perfect day to enjoy the light aromatic flavors of Thai food at the new Thai restaurant in Shadyside, Kanok.

We arrived to an almost empty restaurant around 1:30 in the afternoon. A smiling waiter promptly brought menus and we both agreed that the atmosphere was very relaxing. The pale green walls and blonde wood tables and chairs were clean and simple.

The menu offered a nice selection of typical Thai dishes—pad thai, rice, curry—with descriptors such as garlic, basil and spicy. My girlfriend quickly noticed an appetizer of beef in a lime cilantro sauce. She loves her some cilantro, so we decided to start with that. For my entrée, I ordered a spicy basil flat noodle dish with beef. Perhaps the only thing my girlfriend likes more than cilantro is pineapple, and she couldn’t resist ordering the pineapple rice.

Our appetizer

Our appetizer was a bit of a disappointment. I suppose we expected beef covered in a lime cilantro sauce, but what we got was thin strips of beef lying on a bed of chopped iceberg lettuce with sauce on the side. And the sauce seemed no more than chili oil with a few cilantro leaves mixed in and an unknown powder sprinkled on top. Was this powder some form of lime? While the appetizer was pretty good, the heat of the chili oil overpowered the scant amount of cilantro. I love spicy food; my girlfriend, not so much. So I enjoyed the heat of the chili oil but she was chugging water and craving a glass of milk by the time we finished the appetizer. The beef was sliced thinly but it was not the tenderest cut of beef, something like flank steak and a few of the pieces were a bit too chewy. My girlfriend gave up on one piece and had to spit it out. Overall, the appetizer was good but it’s not something I would normally order.

Spicy Basil Noodles

Pineapple Rice

Our entrees arrived soon after the appetizer plates were cleared. My girlfriend’s pineapple rice of egg, pineapple , raisins, grape tomatoes and cashew looked good. She enjoyed it but noted that she’s had similar dishes at other Thai restaurants that contained more pineapple. Although my basil noodle dish looked like a monotone brownish mound of stuff, it was delicious. It contained a nice amount of large basil leaves and the beef was tender and not chewy at all. I asked for a medium level of spiciness, and I think it was spot on, spicy enough but not so spicy to give me a runny nose.

Overall, we enjoyed our lunch very much, and the waiters were attentive and always smiling. It was the perfect Sunday afternoon lunch. While the food was good, we agreed that we’ve had better Thai food at the Silk Elephant in Squirrel Hill. But we also agreed that the food was on par, if not slightly better than Thai Cuisine in Bloomfield, and the atmosphere is definitely better than Thai Cuisine. We’d definitely go back to Kanok if we’re in the neighborhood.

FYI, Kanok is BYOB.

Find Kanok on the web at www.kanokcuisine.com.



.Kanok Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kanok, 4.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings