Best of Halifax

Hardest Place To Get A Table

Thai Chilli House 5234 Blowers Street, 425-3899

Even before the Thai Chilli House opened on June 1 last year, people were talking about it. Once Victor Woo threw the doors open on the wee restaurant with a handful of tables, SuperCitizens, who had waited for a Thai place for years, flocked to see if it had been worth the wait. Overwhelmed and understaffed, Chilli House had growing pains, issues with service and opening hours, but the food was never in question.

Service is no longer a problem, and the restaurant has recently reopened for lunch. There’s still the matter of a cook shortage, however. Right now, Woo is doing all the cooking himself. He insists on Thai cooks from Thailand for truly authentic flavours. “I can teach someone how to cook Thai, but it won’t be the same as someone who was raised from small with that cooking; the taste, even the colour of the food would be different,” he says. He is negotiating with a Thai chef in Toronto, and he also has cooks lined up in Thailand, waiting for paperwork to clear their path.

The problem, he says, is that simple things like paperwork take a long time, because he’s so busy with the restaurant. Staff shortage or not, he’s planning to expand. Once he’s settled on a new location, Victor will open a second Thai restaurant. “This place is 100-percent Thai, the new place will be 150-percent Thai,” Woo says. “It will be more fine dining, more upscale, a little more expensive because there will be new, different things on the menu, and more.”

Love to try it out Thai Chilli’s amazing food but hate to wait? They’re not as busy for lunch as he’d like to be. “My wife says, be patient, give it time,” Woo sighs. “The people in Halifax are supportive, we’re very lucky and I feel very fortunate.” —Liz Feltham
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