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Archive for the ‘Thai’ Category

Richard, organizer of Tasting Plates Vancouver, once again invited me to check out one of its events. Because it focused on Central Richmond, my new neighbourhood, so I was quite excited to see what the area has to offer.

Funny enough, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m more familiar with Vancouver restaurants, so Richmond is still new to me and I know there’s much to explore.

At this event, we checked out the following restaurants:

  • Harold’s Bistro & Bar (Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel)
  • The American Grille (Vancouver Airport Marriott)
  • CAVU Kitchen Bar (Hilton Vancouver Airport)
  • The Apron (Westin Wall Centre)
  • Thai House
  • Fresh Press Coffee

I’ve used Storify to document the photos that I took and shared throughout the event, plus some commentary about the food and overall experience. CAVU is brand new, just opened on July 7 to the public, so it was great to be able to check it out during its opening week. The interior is nice and modern; LW even commented that she would return for dinner and drinks with friends.

In addition, we found this new coffee house Fresh Press Coffee, being tucked away in a street mall waiting for you to find it. They hand-craft all the beverages, including pour over coffee. It makes a much better hang-out spot than chain coffee shops or bubble tea house. I see a lot of potential in this and I hope they will do well.

Overall, I was very impressed by the quality of food and service we received at each participating restaurant. Tasty food, attractive presentation. Not only that, a number of actually included drinks in their menu, which is not common for Tasting Plates. It definitely helps that most of them are hotel restaurants and they have the brand and reputation to live by. This was by far the most enjoyable Tasting Plates that I’ve attended. I have found a few new spots for dinner and gatherings!

Click on the image or link below to check out my story:

 

Tasting Plates Central Richmond

Tasting Plates Central Richmond

Tasting Plates Main Street Recap on Storify

Tasting Plates is a good way to explore new and long-standing restaurants in different neighbourhoods. Check out TastingPlatesYVR.com for upcoming events.

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A spa date brought CC and me to Davie Street. For dinner we decided to be spontaneous and picked whatever that caught our eyes. We ended up at the door of Thai Basil on Thurlow.

Food

We started with a Thai Iced Tea each. It has the essence of the HK style milk tea but sweeter due to the use of condensed milk. It was quite good, had a good blend of tea flavours, thirst-quenching and surprisingly refreshing. But I felt like my blood sugar level went up just by drinking this.

Thai Iced Tea

Then we shared two entrees. The Tom Yum Noodle Soup builds on the classic Tom Yum soup base, but not as sour and spicy as I have had at other Thai restaurants. It used the same type of rice noodle as Pad Thai, so the texture remained al dente and not mushy. It was a big bowl of noodles, with a decent serving of shrimps. (more…)

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Last month we were invited to the 2nd Annual Tasting Plates Downtown Vancouver edition. This is a series of events put on by Richard Wolak of Vancouver Foodster. At this event, participants, with the help of an event map, self-guided around downtown Vancouver to try out nine restaurants in one evening.

Map that guides you through downtown

Map that guides you through downtown

Knowing that we couldn’t hit up all places, my friend JN and I had to strategize and plan our route. Of course, we started out at the kick-off spot, Vancouver Fan Club, with musician guest Gio Levy.

Live entertainment at Vancouver Fan Club

Live entertainment at Vancouver Fan Club

Our tasting plate included Barbeque Chicken Wings, Mac & Cheese, Pulled Pork, Barbeque Brisket & Chicken. (more…)

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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.

Sala Thai Interior 1

Sala Thai Interior 1

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.

Food

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.

Patong Cooler

Patong Cooler - Vodka, Sake, Cassis, Lime Juice with Splash of Grapefruit Juice

And then we dived right into our 6-course meal. First up, a trio of appetizers.

Appy trio

Appy trio

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. (more…)

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Honestly I was rather hesitant when I first received the invitation to check out Wok Box. Asian stirfry fast food usually isn’t all that authentic, but the idea of having so many options at one location definitely intrigued me. They serve stirfry noodles, rice boxes, appies (think samosas and spring rolls), naan-wich (Indian wraps), and soups.

So one day after work Mr. and I went to its South Surrey store. It’s pretty well decorated, has a modern look with TV showing the sports channel. It has an open kitchen so you can see the wok and watch as they make your food to order.

Wok Box Order Line

Wok Box Order Line

Food

After spending 10 minutes studying the menu, I chose the Hong Kong Curry, which is on the summer special menu. Original from HK, I can tell you that such dish doesn’t exist there, but the curry flavour does. It uses the thick noodle like the Shanghai-style stirfry noodle. The sauce was spicy, with lots of veggies (and some were HUGE – look at that piece of red pepper sitting on top of my box below – they need better control on prepping the ingredients) and several decent sized shrimps. The sauce was in the proper consistency, and not runny, which was good.

Hong Kong Curry

Hong Kong Curry

Mr. ordered the Chicken Pad Thai, and he was rather disappointed by it. (more…)

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Maenam

It was a saddening news when I learned that Gastropod would be closed and converted into something else. Having never tried the restaurant before the end of it, I had planned to visit the new “Gastropod”, i.e. Maenam. Since the opening of Maenam I have heard many good things about it, and now it’s my turn to pay it a visit.

Food

With the 3 of us, we picked one appy and three entrees to share. The happened to be quite disappointing. The Thai Sausage was not only small, but it’s also way too salty and dry to my liking. And the presentation was quite a turn-off, too. It was served with a few endive leaves and a dipping sauce, but we weren’t quite sure how to eat it. Should we wrap the sausage with the endive? Dip the sausage in the sauce? Wrap then dip? Or dip only the endive in the sauce? Yeah I think we did a bit of all those. Moving onto the entrees, I personally quite liked the 3 dishes we picked. The Smoked Keta Salmon Salad, a salad of mint leaves, was very refreshing yet the chilli sauce added a kick to it. Never had something like this before. The portion of salmon pieces were also quite generous and the sourness of pomelo balanced the flavour of the whole dish.

The next two dishes worked super well with the side order of steamed rice. The Duck Red Curry was basically a piece of duck breast in a red curry sauce. The sauce was more on the sweet side, but I liked it with the duck. The soft boiled egg was also done well. On the other hand, the Mussaman Chicken was just too spicy. My friend, who can handle quite a bit of heat, also found it unbearable. The heat was a bit too overpowering that after a few bites you wouldn’t be able to taste anything else. I liked the idea of the dish, the combination of longans and chicken, but I only wished they could lower the heat level so I could enjoy it fully.

Service

Overall, the service was OK. Dishes arrived promptly, and the server answered our questions and explained each dish as they arrived. Only wished that they would warn us about the heat in the Mussaman Chicken. By observation, I found it rather odd that there’s not one Asian server in sight.

Ambiance

The restaurant was decorated modernly. I especially liked the big mirror against the wall, with “Maenam” printed across the bottom half. The bar also gives it a lounge-feeling which matches the casual dining angle that it’s aiming to achieve with the new restaurant.

Final Thoughts

Maenam definitely isn’t about traditional Thai food. Adding a twist to everything, it gives you a new perspective of Thai cuisine. The challenge is you may need to pick the right thing to order.

Maenam Restaurant
1938 W4th Ave, Vancouver
604-730-5579
www.maenam.ca


Maenam on Urbanspoon

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