Although Sherry had a background in manufacturing before moving to Canada, she was struck by how little options there were for traditional Thai food, “mostly just Pad Thai’s and the odd mango salad,” says Sherry. Knowing that she can’t be the only one homesick for the fragrant, spicy and authentic eats she was raised on, she decided to make a restaurant dedicated to just that. And while Soi Thai was well-received, it was time for a change. Shanee’s menu focuses more on snacks, sharing plates and socializing, with a bounty of in house-made Soju’s and stiff cocktails to keep the party going.
High octane drinks like the rye forward Gentleman Caller ($12) pack a punch, while frillier options like the Foreign Affair ($12) or the Insta-worthy Bambi offer subtle floral nuances. If you’re drinking, you should be eating, and with share plates like, this, it’s an easy feat to snag a few plates to share with pals. The Chiang Mai Sausage ($12) is a slam dunk- pre-cut for easy sharing and paired with purple sticky rice, the sausage features flecks of spices and earthy lemongrass.
The 5 spice soaked Duck Wings ($12) aren’t something I’d typically seek out, duck is stupid rich, but here, it’s like eating chicken wings, the meat falls off the bone, and the sticky and savoury sauces are quite actually finger-lickin’ good. Smaller bites like the Spicy Glass Noodle Seafood Salad ($7) come in a nifty mug that somehow contains all the goods- delicate glass noodles with tender shrimp, green onions and peppers. Most of her dishes, plates and glassware, not to mention tables and seating all came from Thailand too. Sherry visits her family back home at least every year, packing up kitschy finds for her restaurant as well as sourcing inspiration for new recipes.
Another development from the Soi Thai days is Sherry’s new hours. Crafting coffees and easy grab and go bites for the daytime crowd has added a new dimension to her restaurant. Yogurts, avo toasts and specialty coffees give College street commuters a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Shanee is also offering traditional Thai based tea ($4.75) with an intricately cut cookie crowning the condensed milk based warm drink. It’s super soothing and feels like someone hugging you from the inside.
Sherry is ambitious with her intentions and it shows in her menu. While some regulars from the Soi Thai days have all but demanded their favourite dishes make a reappearance, Sherry is happy to accommodate to these individual requests, and while more and more people discover the tasty plates at Shanee, the Soi Thai days are quickly becoming a distant (and fond) memory.
Check out Shanee’s Facebook page for their up to date restaurant hours and special events. We hear Karaoke *may* make an appearance, and we can’t wait to belt out the tunes!
Thanks to Sherry at Shanee for hosting us!
All photos c/o Libby Roach.