I was a little weary of trying a Thai restaurant in Victoria, but we passed by this place one night walking on Fort street and it seemed really popular. As you may or may not know, I'm particularly picky about Thai food because I was born and partially raised there, and because I've visited Thailand quite a few times and nothing is really comparable to the food you get in Thailand.
So we went in and we were pleasantly surprised at the interior because, aside from the window, there was a lack of Thai knick-knacks that almost always litter a Thai restaurant. Instead, the interior was warm, bright, and modern. However, what we weren't impressed by was that we had to stand there at the entrance, waiting for a table, without even a smile of acknowledgment, for five minutes. At this point we almost walked out because I was starting to get a hinkey feeling about the place.
The menu. There were the very usual items: curries, stir-fries, tom yam soups, fried noodles, and fried rice. There didn't seem to be anything to distinguish from any other Thai place at all. Also, there seemed to be lots of chicken dishes, and a distinct lack of pork/beef dishes for some reason.
The ordering of the food was a little strange. First, we wanted some Thai iced tea, but were informed that the machine was broken. Then beer from the tap--again, the tap was broken. I wanted to try their larb chicken, but they didn't have that. They also didn't have the gai yang (grilled chicken).
At this point I was a little frustrated. However, the good thing is that our server (who actually seemed to be the owner as well), was actually Thai.
So we ended up with:
Chicken curry (around $12 bucks). This was okay. I mean, it wasn't bad, but it's hard to screw up a Thai curry, you know? There wasn't anything special about it---the taste was one note. Sometimes, with good Thai curries, you get this amazing depth of flavour, with kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, etc., but this was just standard. It was still good to eat, mind you.
The second dish we got was the Pad Krapow Gai (around $12 bucks), or chicken with Holy Basil (a very different herb from regular basil, I assure you). I was really disappointed with this dish, because it seemed like just a regular stirfry. First of all, the pad krapow you get in Thailand is dry, with sharp holy basil flavour, but this one had lots and lots of sauce. Way too wet. There was only a mild vague basil flavour.
The experience was disappointing. Baan Thai is good if you're not picky and you're looking for standard Thai food. It seems to be very popular, in any case.