Simon Lam loves to eat. Although he isn't a trained chef, he sure knows what good food tastes like.
Best Vermicelli and Spring Roll in Kingston
Pat's Restaurant has been in Kingston since 2009, first on Division and now on Princess Street. It has become one of the more popular Cambodian/Thai restaurants in the city.
The restaurant itself is filled with bright natural light coming in from their large windows. They have great photography on display. The restaurant, however, lacks a sense of cohesion in terms of their interior design, as some of their table and chairs don't match.
My friends and I visited Pat's in late August. I ordered the vermicelli with spring rolls. It came with a spring roll, grilled pork loin, and shrimp, and it was served with vegetables, peanuts, and fish sauce. The grilled pork was my least favourite component of the dish; it was a bit burned and tangy for me. However, the shrimp was wonderful. The best part of the dish were the spring rolls. They were done to perfection: crispy, warm, and peppery with a great umami flavour. Taken together, it is the best vermicelli with spring rolls in Kingston!
In terms of service, I thought our server was pleasant, friendly, and efficient. The washroom was a pleasant surprise as it was quite roomy, nicely done, clean, and well stocked. Regarding their health record, they were last inspected in June 2018, and they passed their inspection with no violations.
Overall, I would recommend Pat's restaurant for their scrumptious food.
A Bit of History
Sophat Vann and his son Saveth own Pat's Restaurant on Princess Street. It is named after Sophat's nickname "Pat." They first opened the restaurant in 2009, which was located then on Division. They moved to their current location near downtown in 2013. Pat is well known in Kingston for his Cambodian/Thai cuisine. He has started up a total of five restaurants (Wok-In, Cambodian Village in 1995, Royal Angkor in 1996, Phnom Penh in 2000, and Cambodiana in 2003) and then selling them before this one. Pat's Restaurant has become a local favourite, they won a silver medal in the 2017 Kingston This Week's Reader Choice Thai Restaurant category.
What I love about Pat's Restaurant is the abundance of natural sunlight that comes in from the large windows in the front. It really brightens and illuminates the interior. What I'm not a fan of is their choice of lighting, which is fluorescent light that you would expect in an office space, not a restaurant.
Their walls are in a warm light yellow, tan hue, populated by beautiful photographs of Cambodia. Wood panels decorate the lower half of the walls. Some of the tables are covered with red table cloths, others are bare. Some of these tables have individual brown wooden chairs, whereas others have chairs attached to the floor with green leather-like covering. This creates a mismatch of design elements and appears inconsistent.
Although they lack a cohesive design theme, their dinning space is bright, and roomy.
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Lots of Natural Light
My friends and I visited Pat's in late August. There was a table for the five of us at the back of the restaurant. We were given water and menus when we were seated. Their menu includes appetizers like spring rolls, soups and a variety of entrees. They have many rice and noodle dishes as well as vegetarian options too.
I ordered the number four: vermicelli with spring rolls for $12.95. This rice noodle dish is served with grilled pork loin and shrimp with a spring roll, fresh vegetables, peanuts, and fish sauce.
Vermicelli With Spring Rolls
I remember getting this exact dish at their other restaurant and really enjoyed it. If you have been following me, you would know this is one of my favourite South East Asian dishes.
The first thing I did when I got my order was to drizzle fish sauce over my dish. The grilled pork was slightly burned, and had that charcoal, smoky flavour. It wasn't the best part of the dish, a bit tangy for me. The shrimps were nicely done though. The noodles were also quite good and soaked up the flavour of the fish sauce. The vegetables, which included iceberg lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts, and prinkled carrots were all right. There was also Thai basil, which added a nice touch of freshness. I thought the star of the dish was the spring roll. They were perfectly done, crispy, warm, and peppery and they had a great umami flavour. By far, Pat's makes the best version of this dish in all of Kingston. I really enjoyed it!
I believe our server is one of Sophat's sons. He got us water when we were seated, gave us lots of time to look at the menu, and served our food quite promptly. He was very pleasant, friendly, and efficient.
The state of a restaurant's washroom is an indication of the cleanliness and upkeep of the whole establishment. I visited Pat's washroom and was completely surprised. It was spacious, bright, and very pleasing. They had a beautiful large mirror that made the washroom look more refined. Overall, I thought it was very clean, and well stocked.
The local Public Health Unit does regular health inspection of food facilities in Kingston and posts their results online. I checked to see how Pat's Restaurant did in their last inspection. They were last inspected on June 26, 2018. I'm happy to report there was no violations and they passed their inspection.