Getting a call at 4pm from Chilli House Thai Bistro that they ran out of ingredients for one appetizer and one entree for Dine Out just made you have doubts about the restaurant didn’t it? I felt the same way when my friend told me about it as we were heading for our 5:30pm dinner. With a curious mind, we went to the restaurant anyway…
We knew about its daily AYCE menu, so it was really a toss-up whether we should go ahead with the Dine Out dinner. Since we’re watching our weight, we figured Dine Out would help discipline us on how much we eat, and should give us a good glimpse of what the restaurant can offer. (Silly, I know, but women make funny decisions sometimes.)
So of the DOV menu, what’s missing? Naturally, the most expensive options were out, i.e. lamb loin chops for appy and black cod for entree. I was a bit appointed because those two items were what got my attention as well. Having said that, those weren’t the most Thai-like dishes on the menu. I didn’t mind checking out the other ones.
The food was actually not bad. Nothing wow’d me, but the dishes were decent and for $18, it was a pretty good deal. To start, I had Tiger Prawns in a Blanket. I love the combination of tiger prawns, egg roll skin AND seaweed deep-fried together. The piece of seaweed added extra crunch as well as a subtle fishy, savoury taste. I only wish they would cut the asparagus shorter so it wasn’t dangling on the outside.
I ordered the Horw Mok Maprao – yeah you wouldn’t know what it is by this name. It’s red curry chicken. It’s served in a young coconut shell (ummm maybe not so young because I had a feeling it’s a re-used “container”) and boy, it was a super generous serving of chicken. It was basically all chicken with a few tiny slices of coconut meat. I’m a meat person, but I probably could a few slices of bell peppers or something.
Lastly the dessert was probably the disappointing one. The menu says Tapioca Pudding and I was expecting the baked tapioca pudding that I like. Without giving it a second thought I ordered it, only to find out it was nothing like a pudding but a plate of cooked tapioca mixed with coconut milk and some taro and sweet potato chunks, and a slice of some strange fruit (suspecting it’s sugar cane but I couldn’t tell). Oh and corn. Yes, I found corn kernels in my dessert. That was just a weird texture to eat corn with tapioca, and in my opinion, the flavour didn’t mesh. The dish looked colourful and appetizing, but it was only so-so.
The service was not bad throughout the dinner. The restaurant was not very busy so the food was served quite promptly. They also patiently waited for us to pay the bill even though it took us like 30 minutes to finish chatting and took a peek at the bill. But then, I wasn’t too impressed when the server deliberately opened the bill holder and counted the money and signed credit card bill right in front of us. Wow I found that very rude. I’ve never seen any servers counting the money in front of me, not even at a Chinese restaurant.
There was nothing stunning about the food at Chilli House Thai Bistro. But there are two things I like about it: 1) there’s free underground parking at where the restaurant is and 2) it’s right by False Creek and it’ll be nice to go on a stroll after dinner there. If you are interested in reading about its AYCE menu, check out Sherman’s post. I might give it a try sooner or later.
Chilli House Thai Bistro
1018 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6Z