Restaurant Review – Thum’s Kitchen Thai Cuisine – 1615 Pitt Street – and Burlesque starring Cher & Christina Aguilera – Cornwall Ontario – December 5, 2010

Cornwall ON – We had a lovely day Saturday.   We went to see Burlesque and had a really good time.


Stanley Tucci stole the movie and Kristen Bell as a Dita Von Teese sorta lookalike with a drink issue was kinda fun, but the magic was Christina Aguilera belting out tune after tune.

Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel

Burlesque’s one failure was that it only hinted the dirty, seedy, jaded desperation and just not caring anymore of the dirty thirties type of Burlesque.  It felt sanitized which it probably was for mass consumption.

Cher did her romp and the carefully photographed scenes worked.  She gave her fan base what they were looking for.

Burlesque is playing at a theatre near you.  It’s definately a theatre big screen kind of movie!

After a few cocktails it was time to eat so the five us headed over to Thum’s Kitchen Thai Cuisine (613-932-5155  – 1615 Pitt St in Cornwall Ontario) and we got to munching.

I love good Thai food.   I love most Asian food and I’d heard some good things about Thum’s.

We ordered the shrimp and pork rolls as well as the Tom Yam soup.    I’m a huge fan of Tom Yam and have had it all over North America.

You can see many different versions of Tam Yam and while Thum’s was good soup it wasn’t quite Tom Yam enough.  The broth was rich and scented nicely, but it was a bit light.

We all had different dishes and the entrees were all excellent and where Thum’s really excels.    The Pad Thai’s were yummy, full of flavor’s scents, and munchie.  The food was very fresh with two of us having mixed seafood.

The highlight was the curry.  I haven’t had curry this good in ages and probably nowhere in Eastern Ontario.  Gentle, velvety, but full throttled with a kick if you like a kick.   I had the duck with seedless grape curry and it was filling and yummy.

We were a bit perplexed by the restaurant charging extra for steamed rice with the curry, but restaurants do things differently sometime.

The service was amazing; fast, friendly, and on the mark.   Our only pause was the value end.    The restaurant seemed a tad pricey, (our dinner for 2 without wine and two appys came out to about $60 with tip; our friends with a litre of wine was about $75) but they did deliver the goods and sometimes that’s worth a bit extra.

I’m going to give Thum’s 3 and a half Red Hats!

Presentation 4.0

Value 3.0

Service 4.5

Zing & Wow 3.5

Overall 3.5  out of 5 Red Hats

KAV Productions Best Western Cornwall


  1. Jamie, you are a twit. Simple enough. You know f**k all about food. Your idea of a good night out is to eat the recycled slop at Philos, or eat a greasy, uninteresting breakfast at Spinners.

    The fact that you gave spinners a 4.5 out of 5, and a legitimate eatery like Thum’s a 3.5/5 demonstrates that you are in fact a hapless buffoon, please leave the food reviewing to those who know proper cuisine. Just because you eat a lot of food, does not mean you know good food.

    Please do not pass off your eating of a random meal somewhere other than eastern ontario/western quebec as experience as a knowledgeable gourmand, leave it up to the experts.

  2. I take great exception to this review. As someone with a distinguished culinary background, who has worked in world famous kitchens around the world, and who has spoken to mr gilcig in depth about food can say unequivocally that he is not an authority on culinary matters. Please take his opinions with a grain of salt. The man thinks spinners is the next Spago. We need great, authentic, underpriced (yes, underpriced, where else in town can you get duck breast for $13, authentic pad Thai for $7, a bottle of wine that costs $16 at the LCBO for $20?) places like thums to survive in this town. We don’t need any more crappy places around here. Many ethnic restaurants charge separately for their sides of bread/rice, I suppose a well travelled eater would know this though. Just because your average Chinese Canadian buffet includes all the fixins for $16.95, doesn’t mean it’s any good… Speaking of which, how does the wing hing even stay open?

    If you want cheap stay at mcdonalds. If you want homemade, fresh food, go to one of the few fine establishments in town that offer it.

    P.S. There aren’t many, so cherish what we have.

  3. It would be a great shame if anyone deprives themselves of the experience of thums as a result of this article.

    This is the only, and I repeat, only authentic ethnic food (aside from cedars) we have in this city. Everything else is greatly adulterated with external influences. I have no affilitation with any estAblishment in town, however, I am a big supporter of this restaurant, having eaten in every ethnic restaurant in town. You will notice in my column that my training, passion and expertise is in various ethnic cuisines.

    Cavalier, uninformed (opinion piece) reviews such as these are why I ceased contributing to this website, however, seeing harmful reviews by an individual pretending to have an advanced knowledge in the area forced a response.

  4. Author

    Geez Chef Shawn. I thought you stopped contributing because you couldn’t get work as a Chef in Cornwall, and had to take a day job in Ottawa in your other field? (which btw, I feel is a huge loss for our city, although the food at Chez Nous was not always that good) Perhaps you would care to review Thum’s for us and give us your enlightened opinion? Food is something many people are passionate about. I’m glad to see my review stirred your passions and a few others, some not printable.

    I personally would eat at Thum’s again and am quite happy with them as a restaurant. I stand by my review. Cheers and welcome back to the Cornwall Free News.

  5. I don’t understand where Chef Shawn is coming from. I thought the critique on Thums was spot-on! The critique was done by a layman, same as most of us, none of us is really an expert of culinary matters we only know what we like when we taste it. I saw nothing negative in Mr.Gilcig’s review. Keep up the fine work you do Sir! In Cornwall, I think Chef Shawn, with all his credentials, passions and expertise, has eaten in more restaurants than he has worked in. That certainly says something to me!

  6. I have eaten in Thums several times and have enjoyed it immensely. There are slight flaws as Jamie pointed out, but there will always be flaws. The food and service was as good as any of the better Thai restaurants that I have eaten in Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal.

  7. Author

    Hi Concerned Cook.

    Reviews have to take into account expectation. If I go to a steak house, order a steak, I gauge my response based on my expectations of a steak dinner at a steak house. I went to Thum’s with certain hopes and expectations and basically they were met.

    I went to Spinners to sample their breakfast and as the review states my expectations were met in above average manner. I stand by that review too.

    Thanks and if you want to review a restaurant feel free to email it into us at

  8. I would only suggest that when reviewing food, one normally holds off on the alcohol. It doesn’t take much to skew the tastebuds and is therefore not usually part of a reviewed dish or dishes.

    And myself I wouldn’t quibble about the price, not when good ethnic foods are so few and far between in our area, and considering it would be another 50% – 100% more in Ottawa.

  9. Chef Shawn, are you telling us that only cooks know food and what they’re talking about? Just because you have training, doesn’t make you an expert.. I’ve eaten in many high class restaurants where the chef’s think they’re all that and I can tell you, that sometimes, they are not all that..

    This is Cornwall, I do agree with that part, and we need all the good restaurants we can have, but quite frankly, nothing here in Cornwall even comes close to touching some of the places I’ve eaten in.. I would love, Gordon Ramsay to come in, and do his critique, and then Ill listen to someone with some real experience rather than some blowhard’s coming off like they are the only experts on food and no one else is welcome to their opinions!

  10. I usually find that word of mouth is a good way to find decent restaurants.
    So Grimmie, and anyone else, what’s you favourite restaurant?

  11. Truffles Burger Bar 🙁

  12. It would seem to me that anyone who has an entire lifetime’s experience eating food (especially three meals a day) should be more than qualified to say if it is good or not. Whether or not an “ethnic” dish is absolutely authentic doesn’t really matter. There are many Indian restaurants in Ottawa, for example. Are they all strictly authentic? Most of them aren’t, and having lived on that sub-continent, I feel moderately qualified to make the judgement. Does it spoil my enjoyment of Ottawa-style (or British-style) Indian cuisine? Not at all. It all boils down to three things: Is it nutritious and hygenic? Does it taste nice? Is the price right?

  13. Author

    Family Corner at 9th and Pitt do offer some interesting Indian food; probably the only restaurant in town to do so.

  14. So are you all agreeing that Spinners and Cornwall BBQ offers a superior dining experience than somewhere like Thums? I think not.

    As far as the symantics. I don’t think Chef Shawn was suggesting only trained chefs can review, if you re-read what he is saying, it is clear that you should have more than a layperson’s knowledge of food before representing yourself as a worldly traveller that knows the intricacies of each dish, and how it should be prepared. This kind of review does a disservice to the proprietors and to the readers.

    When reviewing, please present your true level of knowledge, don’t try to make your review seem more credible than it is by espousing your vast experience with food.

  15. Author

    Concerned Cook our reviews “HERE” are based on expectation. IE if we want an orange, even though an apple may be better, the grade is based on the expectation.

    Also, there are factors into the grade. You can have amazing food, but horrible location or price so the overall grade has to be examined in its components.

    Believe it or not some care and consideration is given into our reviews which is probably why they get so much traffic on The Cornwall Free News.

    Likewise you don’t see us trashing restaurants as you and Chef Shawn did in your comments. If I don’t like a restaurant I scrap the review. In Thum’s case our table spent about $150 and they got a review. For you and Chef Shawn to attack us in the manner you both did is…..well I’m sure you can imagine.

    And in this day of costly advertising and marketing, especially for ethnic restaurants in Cornwall I’m shocked by the nature of both you so called “Experts”.

  16. Author

    btw Concerned Cook I worked in the food industry for many many years including working for a Swiss Chef in the Arctic. There are many styles of food. You make a comparison to Spinners and Cornwall BBQ, but more people eat there than at any ethnic restaurant in Cornwall. Does it make it better? No.

    I have learned, trained, and actually cooked under some amazing professionals. I have managed dining rooms and worked in restaurants in many places over the years. I think I have a nice understanding of food and what’s good or not.

    Food is art. There really is no good or bad; simply poorly or well executed. When I order food in any restaurant I want my expectations met, well actually exceeded, whether that be for an exotic dish from a far off place to a burger and poutine.

    I dig and understand food snobbery. I just don’t practice it.

  17. The point here is that it is the consumer that makes a restaurant successful. It is the public perception of quality, in the cost, service and taste, texture and appearance of the food that keeps restaurants profitable. All chefs want to prepare and serve what they consider exceptional cuisine, but the public doesn’t always want what they have to sell. I have known chefs that will eat the most disgusting things in the name of gastronomic experience and ignore that their market is simple comfort food.

    You can get a “superior dinning experience” at Canoe in Toronto or at Tony’s Chip Stand in Chrysler. It all depends on your personal expectation.

  18. Can we put this thing to bed now?

  19. Harry, Isn’t Jamie the moderator?

  20. “Furtz says:
    December 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm
    I usually find that word of mouth is a good way to find decent restaurants.
    So Grimmie, and anyone else, what’s you favourite restaurant?”

    Well, that would depend on the city.. My favorite food is my own concoctions.. but I’m no chef so I guess they taste like @$$ to the seasoned chef’s above…

    If we had to keep it to Cornwall, Truffles was great, I really enjoyed a vast selection of their burgers..
    I have not had a chance to check out Katarina’s as of yet but I hear good things,
    Thums I still have to check out,
    Moon is good, I really enjoy their peanut chicken, they have a fantastic hot and sour soup too..
    I haven’t checked out Eight Zero Zero as of yet.
    Honestly, after years of searching, I finally tripped onto Cedars, and for me, that’s where it’s at, I really love Shawarma’s and have eaten them in many cities across the country..

  21. Thum here we are Joe and Rick from Casselman your regular customers. Thank you so much for everything you do for us when we go see you at your restaurant. You gave us a lemongrass plant. Its growing super nicely. Full of roots and its planted already. I look at it as much as I can just to see the plant grow. I cannot wait to drink my first lemongrass herbal tea.

    Your son is a super nice person too explaining us so much about Thailand and Thai food. We always have a super great time when we go eat at your restaurant. My birthday is coming and I am coming too see you in August. Each time there is a birthday I always say Thum’s Kitchen for a suggestion. All my husband’s family is in Cornwall so its a great opportunity for us to go see you and eat at your restaurant.

    You are so generous with us and we do not have any words to say THANK YOU for the good food that you prepare us each time we go see you. We can say that we already had at least 10 different meals from your kitchen. They are all good.

    So take good care of you. And we cannot wait to see you again in your beautiful long dress and the nice flowers you always wear in your beautiful long hair. Your waitresses are very beautiful too and very polite.

    Have a great day. Joe and Rick

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