Happiness is having a Thai restaurant within a short walk from one’s office. Because when you have a Thai attack, nothing else will do. Not pizza, not soup, not a sandwich and certainly not a salad; at least not for me.

So I was pleased as can be to learn that Thai 9 in Scarborough had set up shop in The Old Port. Before too long, a Thai attack hit me and I was able to summon up my standing lunch date with short notice.

Aesthetically, I like the place with its tasteful, minimal decor and low lighting. You can also snag a seat by the window for good people watching. But I wasn’t there to meditate or gaze, I was there to fill my belly.

Full disclosure, I am fighting – and winning – the battle of the bulge, and wanted nothing more than a huge pile of noodles but couldn’t bring myself to order them. Instead, I opted for an order of fresh spring rolls with chicken ($7) and the wonton soup ($4).

The spring rolls were filled with lettuce, cilantro, onion, bean sprouts, mint, carrot, noodle and chicken and were rolled in rice paper. But here’s the thing; it was the smallest amount of chicken I’ve ever seen. I would be surprised if it was more than an ounce. Essentially, these were lettuce rolls. Sure, they were fresh but were lackluster and not very good.

As for the soup, it too seemed fresh but the bowl had about three wontons in it and a whole lot of broth. Suffice to say, I was starving 45 minutes later.

My friend ordered the Triple Delight ($10). This was chicken, beef and roasted pork and shrimp sauteed with ginger and assorted vegetables in a ginger sauce. She reported back to me that her dish was fresh and that she appreciated that the veggies were fresh and crunchy, though perhaps a bit on the raw side.

We were both underwhelmed, awash with disappointment.

I couldn’t let it go, so in a move even I didn’t anticipate, I went back for more three days later.

This time I colored outside the lines of my so-called healthy eating and order Lo Mein with chicken ($8). The portion was generous and the egg noodles were pan fried with snow peas, napa cabbage, carrot, mushroom, onion and bean sprouts. Ah, the sweet taste of redemption.

Meanwhile, I grabbed takeout for a colleague who chose Pad Saeaw with chicken ($8). This is pan-fried large noodles with egg, broccoli and carrots in a sweet soy sauce. I got word from her that the vegetables were cooked perfectly, not raw, but with just enough bite to them to make them interesting instead of mushy. She also chimed in that the dish on a whole tasted fresh and not overdone and not greasy like some of the Asian noodle take-out you can get.

The moral of the story is this: Second chances aren’t just for people. I am glad I gave one to Thai 9, and I know I’ll be back to try dishes like the Cashew Nut, Dumplings and Golden Crispy Tofu.

Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455or at:

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