Pat’s Restaurant

Pat's restaurant, fine Cambodian and Thai cuisineIn case you haven’t noticed, Kingston is full of Cambodian and Thai restaurants.  Despite my 10 years of living here, I’ve only recently ventured into some of these establishments, the first experience being at Phnom Pehn nearly a year ago.  A friend of mine is an excellent chef and made me some incredible Penang one night for my birthday.  We got talking about Cambodian food and its enormous presence in Kingston and she told me that many of the restaurants were once owned by a man named Pat who established them and then sold them.  Phnom Pehn is one of these as are Wok-In, Cambodiana and of course, Pat’s Restaurant on Division.  My friend swore that this was the best of the lot.  I’ve been to a few and I’d say they are all fairly on par with each other.  No question that the Pad Thai at all of these restaurants is by far the best I’ve ever had anywhere.

Recently Harvey and I and four friends headed out to Pat’s Restaurant.  It was a very busy time, 5:30pm on a Friday but we were given a table immediately which was great considering our size and that we were in a bit of a time crunch.  We ordered our food within about 10 minutes of arrival.  Harvey, who loves to sweat when he eats, wasn’t sure what to order.  He asked the waiter what he thought would be the most suitable meal for someone who wanted chicken and extreme spice.  The waiter was very knowledgeable and was quickly able to make a suggestion.

The food took a little longer than we had hoped to arrive but the restaurant had also completely filled in the time we were there not to mention the constant flow of people getting take out.  It would have been nice if the food had come a little closer together, everyone at the table had food except for me for nearly 5 minutes.  Luckily it was so hot, it didn’t really matter anyway; by the time mine had arrived, everyone else’s had cooled enough to eat.

The flavours were exceptional.  The food used was clearly fresh and cooked to perfection.  The helpings were incredible, leaving every one of us to take home some leftovers (which, by the way, were equally delicious the next day).  The restaurant itself is quite simple and, I’m fairly certain, is run by a family.  The location is a little off the beaten path for those who like to eat downtown but is definitely worth the small extra distance.  The pricing is fair and reasonable and the staff are friendly and hard working.  I will definitely be visiting Pat’s again.  Or maybe it will be called something else if he decides to sell this one as well.  If so, I’m not worried about any kind of change in quality.  His other restaurants have lived up to the standards he initially established and I feel confident that this one will too.

Oh, and Harvey was very satisfied and sweaty by the end of the meal.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

12 thoughts on “Pat’s Restaurant

  • I fully agree that the quality of food at Pat's was tremendous, which should come as no surprise given the owners experience and success in Kingston. I would definitely go back and recommend the #12, which is a nice and hot green curry with chicken, veggies and rice. However, I also must also echo the fact that the wait was terribly long, and as we witnessed, it was too long for other diners who got up and left. It seemed as though Pat's does a lot of their business through take out. Those in the know called in advance, showed up to pick up their order and were gone in a flash. Without knowing where our order fell in grand scheme of priority, it was a bit unnerving to see person after person come in to collect their massive orders, while we were left waiting. After the long wait, it was equally as problematic to have to wait for everyones order to show up, at least a 5 minute gap between the arrival of the first and last meal. My advice, for what it's worth, is to opt for take out. But be aware, you'll be entering a restaurant full of hungry, and jealous diners.

  • I didn't think the wait was quite that bad – at least not for us. It just felt like it cause we were in a hurry to be somewhere. It's true though, some people did give up and leave. It's very hard for a family run business to stay on top of things without hiring other workers but sometimes there just isn't quite enough cash flow or everyday business to justify hiring someone. It's a fine line. Either way, delish! Just give yourself some time.

      • Good luck. Lunches are crazy at Pats. On fridays – you better get there before 11:45…
        Pat's is great, but definitely a busy place. They could double their seating space at lunch and still fill up.

  • My husband used to work there, when it was still the Cambodiana in the old Hoagie House across from the Dieu – and it was worth the wait for him to come home at 10pm with his dinner to share! We're still "Pat Addicts"…did you know that he has a following? When he sells a restaurant, people will wait to find out where he's opening again, and loyally follow him to whatever location he shows up at. A bit of a shame where he is now…probably not getting all the Hospital & Queen's hits that he did when on Brock Street…but certainly worth the drive.

    I agree with Harvey about the takeout, not to mention the portion sizes tend to be larger, leaving leftovers for the next day (except noodle dishes – they don't carry over well).

  • Hey! I think that's my dinner in the photo! I'm another of Pat's Addicts, I guess, having been introduced to his menu (and to thai/cambodian tastiness) back in the early Wok Inn days and have faithfully followed him around town ever since. And yes, the portions make for spectacular leftovers the next day. It's worth the wait.

    • Yes, I believe that is specifically your meal! Agreed on the awesomeness of Wok Inn as well. I used to love how they would allow people to take an entire water jug back to their tables. It's for those of us who want to challenge the spiciest dishes.

  • I tried it because of the hype….something my wife and I agree on…..worst meal we've have ever had. By a wide margin. Its a dump too.

    • What specifically did you not like about your meal. the digs are rather modest, but the meal has more than made up for it every time I've paid Pat a visit.

  • Apparently he’s coming back downtown in September. He’s moving to the recently-closed Oriental Grocer (near Princess and Division).

  • Pat's knows his business. AMAZING Tom Yum soup. The last two times I tried to go, he was closed but I finally got my fix today. Yum.

Leave a Reply

You cannot copy content from this page, please share the link instead!