To reward Mama Lam for all the yummy food she cooks, I decided to take her out for some VIP treatment. Well, perhaps not to that extent, but I invited her along to share a complimentary package at SalaThai thanks to Kev and Billy at VANEATS.ca. This is their 6-course package called Oh My SalaThai! – to be available for sale as of April 18.
Before we start, please keep in mind that this is a special package so the following dishes are not necessarily available on its regular menu, and even so, the portion size may be different from what you see here. However, this post could serve as an indication of the food and service quality at this restaurant.
Browsing its drink menu, a cocktail caught my eyes – Patong Cooler. It was nice and refreshing. The tartness of lime and grapefruit juice whet my appetite and I think it makes a perfect cocktail for spring/summer days.
And then we dived right into our 6-course meal. First up, a trio of appetizers.
Som Tom is a green papaya salad, which was a bit too salty for my liking. However, I did enjoy the crispiness and crunchiness of the shredded green papaya and beans, as well as the little heat from the fresh chilies. It was just lacking some acid, so I squeezed the lemon wedge and then it was great.
Thai Crispy Squid is their version of calamari. They used bigger squids, so don’t expect to see little squid rings and tentacles that you’d find in most restaurants. That said, the squid was soft and meaty – not chewy – and was crispy on the outside. Some batter fell off, though, but eating batter on its own was kind of fun too. I could taste the Thai basil that was sprinkled on top, very fragrant.
The last appy was Gai Hor Bai Toey, or marinated chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves. The chicken was moist and tender, and flavourful. For some reason, the marinate reminded of Korean BBQ marinate. I enjoyed this very much, my favourite of the three appies.
A Thai meal would not be complete without a plate of Pad Thai. The Royal Pad Thai Chao Wang uses tamarind sauce instead of ketchup, so it’s more on the sweet side and less acidic than the ketchup version. The noodles were stir-fried to perfection; the sauce coated every piece of noodles, but without drenching it and making it mushy. It was stir-fried at a high heat so there were some pieces of crispy noodles, which was good. I also appreciated the raw bean sprouts on the side to add some crunch to the otherwise soft noodles.
Of course, you also need to have Thai curry. Gaeng Keae Whan is green curry chicken with steamed rice and Thai spaghetti. The sauce did separate a bit, but after stirring it, it was fine. The coconut milk was very aromatic, the first thing I noticed when the dish arrived at our table. It had a generous amount of chicken, along with pieces of eggplant, bell peppers and bamboo shoots. Green curry is not supposed to be very spicy, so it only had a mild level of heat, which is probably more acceptable by most.
Lastly, we finished our meal with Klauy Tod – deep fried banana with ice cream. A perfect combination! The home made ice cream was light with a hint of coconut flavour. The toasted coconut was a welcoming addition to add some texture to the ice cream.
The server warned us beforehand that this package is meant to feed 1 to 1.5 persons, so we started dinner with the expectation that we might need to order extra dishes. However, for the two petite ladies (Mama Lam is basically my size), we could barely finish one package. It has a generous amount of food.
While I couldn’t comment on the service level (we might get special treatment since they knew I’m a blogger), I would like to point out that by observation, other customers seemed to have received very good customer service as well. It was an early dinner for us, a 5pm reservation, but I saw many front of house staff working the floor. The restaurant was only 40% full, and it only took one hour (i.e. 6pm) to fill up the entire dining room – and it’s not a tiny space either!
I have never been to Thailand before, so I couldn’t tell you how authentic the food is. But I can tell you that most, if not all, of their staff are Thai. How much more authentic can you get?
The Oh My SalaThai! package is only $18 each; considering the amount of food we received, I think it’s a wicked deal. And there are only 50 packages available so grab it while you can. But if you missed the deal, I’d recommend you to try its regular menu. Most entrees are under $15, which to me is quite affordable given its location on Burrard and Smithe.
102-888 Burrard Street, Vancouver