Address: 842 Logan Ave
Entrees: $10 – $12
Hidden gems are no rare sight in Winnipeg. Small, hole-in-the-wall restaurants covertly colour the city, steady with ‘in the know’ regulars savouring the secrecy of their spot. Although there is nothing sly about Magic Thailand’s bright green exterior, this off the beaten path eatery is undiscovered to many city-dwellers, yet to experience its masterfully executed Thai cuisine.
The magic in its name sparkles upon entering—diners are greeted with a sleek, white dining room scattered with glimmering statues and gold-plated elephants. This surprising oasis is seemingly distant from the outside industrial neighbourhood. Soft scents of warm spice drift through the air, piquing an appetite for steaming noodles and velvety sauces.
Cravings are quickly satisfied with a hearty curry. Here, red curry loads tender bamboo sprouts, carrot, and broccoli overtop a moat of deep orange coconut sauce. Mushroom panang is a tower of green beans with a mushroom medley swimming in amber sauce—shavings of makrut lime leaves inject sharp citrus that brightens the mushrooms’ umami.
Miang puck (lettuce wraps) offer a refreshing DIY bite. A plate of chicken or beef and vermicelli is embellished with sharp ginger, lemongrass, crushed peanuts, and pickled garlic, which can be added to customize a soft lettuce wrap. Hot Thai chiles accompany, for those daring enough for fiery flavour.
Pad Thai flirts with subtlety and heat as well. A monochrome tangle of brown noodles does not prepare for the multi-dimensional sweetness, salt, and spice arising from a complex fish sauce. Diners can select a spice level from 1-10, but err on the cautious side unless ready to sweat.
Thai-style stuffed chicken wings are listed as an appetizer, but could easily be an entrée for one. Deboned wings refilled with wonderfully spiced ground chicken are deep-fried to golden, crisp perfection.
The beauty of Magic Thailand shines through its carefully created dishes brimming with Southeast Asian flavours, cementing this gem’s status as a spot worth visiting.