Xaphire - pronounced "sapphire", is a new jewel of a restaurant featuring creative Thai cuisine that, as owner Charles Trinh and manager Athena Lui like to say, "Éwill entice your senses with simplicity and quality."
Located along the posh strip of Eglinton Avenue West between Avenue Road and Chaplin Crescent, people have been flocking to Xaphire since its long-awaited opening this past December. The divine space is a stylish and modern combination of clean white, muted gray, warm wood and brushed chrome. With the floor to ceiling front window, passers-by are often stopped in their tracks by the restaurant's striking design.
The menu is a wonderful mix of the classic and the creative, all at prices that are sure to bring a smile to your face. Authentic ingredients are always impeccably fresh and of the highest quality. Traditional dishes are given that extra twist making every item something special.
Appetizers include lots of classics including crispy spring rolls, calamari and chicken satay, but we love to begin with the fresh spring rolls ($4.95-$5.95). Fresh rice paper filled with mango, vermicelli, mint and your choice of tofu, chicken or shrimp is served with a delicious sweet chili dipping sauce making for a light and healthy starter.
Here, traditional green mango salad ($6.95) is given a unique topping. Tart mango is tossed with red onion, green pepper and cilantro and served with a sprinkling of toasted coconut instead of the more common roasted peanuts. This salad is so simple and tasty, you'll want to reproduce it at home.
For those looking for something warm on a chilly evening, nothing beats a bowl of their steaming won ton soup ($4.95). The flavourful chicken broth tastes homemade, and the fabulous won tons are reminiscent of their heartier Jewish relative, the kreplach.
For your main course you can choose from one of Xaphire's individual complete meals offered under the heading "From the Grill", but we prefer to match and share several of their ˆ la carte dishes. Kalbi beef ribs ($9.95) are a generous plate of tender marinated Miami-style ribs that will leave you licking your fingers. Garlic pepper shrimp ($11.95) are stir-fried in the most delicious sauce that is a little spicy without being mouth-burning hot. Check out their fantastic Pad Thai ($9.95). This is definitely a contender for best Pad Thai in all of Toronto. Their traditional version, full of chicken, shrimp and tofu, can be ordered as mild or as spicy as you like.
Xaphire's dessert menu features a small selection of decadent treats, some brought in and some made in-house. Our hands-down favourite is the tempura bananas with coconut ice cream and caramel sauce ($5.95). This dessert is a delicious exercise in opposites - hot and cold, crispy and soft, salty and sweet.
As well as the wonderful food, Xaphire is a great place for a cocktail with friends. We've dropped by on many an evening for a bowl of yummy shrimp chips with peanut sauce ($2.25) and a fantastic Cosmopolitan.
So the next time you're looking for great food served in a beautiful space at surprisingly low prices, look no further than Xaphire. They are open for dinner 7 days a week and are happy to take reservations as well as welcoming walk-ins. For those looking to bring Xaphire's gourmet Thai food home, they also do great take-out.
530 Eglinton Avenue West