Fresh Rolls

Address: 1830 The Queensway, Etobicoke

Rich and Alana both ordered: Fried veggie spring rolls, curry pad thai with tofu and veggies, Evergreen vegetable curry, and Diet Cokes

Plus: Tasty spring rolls. Super-fresh vegetables in everything.

Minus: Lame atmosphere. Food was oily and bland, with no spice.

Rating: 5 greasy noodles out of 10

Rich sez: On a hot sunny summer Saturday afternoon, Alana and I stopped by a friend’s house, had a few drinks and, as a group, decided to order UFC-100 that night. As we made plans, we all came to the consensus that the night would not be complete without Garfield Tortilla Chips. On the hunt for the orange chips, we developed a craving for some spicy food. The closest restaurant was “Fresh Rolls” a Thai-Vietnamese fusion place plopped in the middle several box store giants and chain restaurants — Red Lobster, Jack Astor’s, Canyon Creek, etc.  At first glance we were skeptical, because there were only two people inside. The selling point for us was The Toronto Star article pasted to the door giving the restaurant a 3 out of 4 star rating. Okay, let’s try it out. We asked for a table with no sun, but that’s what we got. The floors were cold pastel tiles, and the art was tacky — the best piece was just a bunch of framed chop sticks. We ordered deep fried veggie spring rolls, curry pad Thai with tofu and veggies, and Evergreen vegetable curry to share. Before our meals came, I went to the washroom. When I got up to go I noticed a small table with a pile of hand-made plastic bracelets — it looked like a mini craft sale or something. So swing, zip, pee, zip, wash, dry, swing, bracelets, sit, dinner.

The spring rolls were bigger than you would normally find, which was awesome. I love spring rolls, and they were packed full of flavor with a nice light salad on the side. The main courses came and they looked great — nice presentation, a decent size portion, but the Curry Pad Thai…WTF! It had no spice, no flavor, and was as oily as early ‘90s  Ice Cube’s Jheri curl. Its only saving grace was the Evergreen vegetable curry sauce from the other main course, which I drizzled all over my portion of the Pad Thai. That being said, the Evergreen Vegetable Curry was good, not great (My-Thai restaurant in Hamilton on John Street is hard to top for green curry), but this did not stop me from licking the bowl clean. At the end of the dinner, Alana and I were both disappointed. And under closer investigation on the way out, the prices of the bracelets from the craft table were too high, the Toronto Star review was from 2007, and we did not find Garfield Tortilla Chips. Old Dutch it is.

Alana sez: I had always been curious about Fresh Rolls, since it’s right across the street from the mall I do most of my shopping at –Sherway Gardens. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to trying it, I can see that I wasn’t missing much. Like Rich said, the atmosphere was cold and weird, and the food was generally bland and too greasy. However, the vegetables in all of our dishes tasted extremely fresh, which I did appreciate. Overall, Fresh Rolls was a pretty “meh” experience for me and I don’t think I would return unless I was desperate for something to eat in the chain-dominated area — at least it’s better than Jack Astor’s.