Go Thai

Living on the border of Burnaby/Coquitlam/New Westminster, we often embark on long walks in random directions. On one of these occasions, we started walking down North Road and found ourselves in the Sapperton neighbourhood in New Westminster. We passed by a Thai restaurant and decided to visit.

Go Thai is located on Columbia Street, right before you get into the core Sapperton strip. It's a little curious looking, because the location and the building is where you expect a fast food chain should be. However, we were curious about this place because apparently the owner is a woman from North East Thailand.

The restaurant is minimal and has very little ambiance, with unremarkable furniture and decor. However, I am always in some strange way charmed by places that are unapologetic about how it looks. It's kinda ballsy.

To our delight, the restaurant had a pretty decent Thai Iced tea ($2.50), being appropriately very sweet, orange and a distinctive tea taste. My only complaint is that it could have used a wee bit more evaporated milk. However, this was refreshing and a brilliant counter to the spicy food that was to follow.

I was very excited to see sticky rice on the menu, because up in Northern Thailand, this is a staple food, and you rarely see this in Thai restaurants for some reason. The portion is small ($3.00), but it's presented in a traditional rice basket. We ordered dishes that would normally be eaten with sticky rice in Thailand.

We ordered a variety of Thai staples, one of which is Som Tam ($8.95), or green papaya salad. This is a very standard dish in Thai restaurants, but few dishes do it well. This version was very good, with a nice balance of sweet, sour and salty. However, the salad was extremely spicy, even though we asked for 'medium' levels. It was so good that we couldn't help but finish the whole thing!

We also ordered the Larb Gai ($8.95), which is minced chicken served like a salad with onions, spices, cilantro, chili, and lime. This was really good and fresh tasting, though the dish had a touch too much sugar. However, the only thing I didn't like about both salad dishes is that they were served on a bed of iceberg lettuce, which made the dishes look a lot bigger than they were.

Next, we had the Gai Yang ($9.95), which is grilled chicken. In Thailand, people would grill a whole chicken over charcoal on the streets, and you can buy it in every street corner, cut up, and served with a sweet and sour chili sauce. This dish had echoes of that, but it was a pale comparison. The meat itself was chicken breast which was nicely seasoned, but slightly dry. There was a distinct grilled flavour, but not as intense as it should have been.

Finally, for dessert we had the deep fried bananas and ice cream ($4.95). The portions were very generous, and this dish was good, though not spectacular. The bananas were soggy rather than crispy, and the ice cream was just regular, plain vanilla ice cream.

All in all, we were happy to have discovered this hidden gem of a place, considering how reasonable the prices are. It's not just like in Thailand, but I'm not sure I'll ever find that place. However, we'd definitely be curious to try a lot more of their dishes.

Go Thai on Urbanspoon


  1. Part of the reason it looked like it should be a fast food joint is that the building used to be a donut shop. We live near here and I agree that while decent it's not spectacular and they seriously need to re-evaluate what "medium" is. I love spice and can handle a great deal of heat, but I have to ask for "mild" every time.

  2. Yes, that was a lesson learned. The food was seriously spicy! Interesting to know that it was a former donut shop...it certainly retains that look.

  3. It was Duffy's or Nuffy's. I can't remember which one is the chain, but it was whichever one is NOT the chain - it just wished it was. :)