If you have been following my blog since the beginning, you should be able to gauge what type of foodie I am: A foodie on a budget! With Vancouver’s food culture thriving, it’s hard to stick within a reasonable budget when your wish list just keeps growing and growing. It’s possible to be a foodie without going completely broke, but sometimes you just have to let loose a little to justify why splurging over $20 for a single meal would seem like a good idea. And to me, splurging is only allowed for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!
Maenam is a well known Thai restaurant that takes on a more modern approach to traditional Thai dishes. Funny enough, this place has been on my wish list for years, but I’ve never had the courage to come here on my own until my friend suggested to come here for her birthday dinner. Being voted as Vancouver Magazine’s ‘Restaurant of the Year 2016’ you could say my expectations were extremely high that evening. Among our party of five, we ordered a couple a couple of appetizers and entrees recommended by our server to share.
Hot and Soup of Sablefish ($19) with turmeric, galangal, and dill. The ingredients incorporated had some bold tasting flavours, but it just did not work out for me. The soup tasted extremely sour and citrusy from the use of lemongrass which left a very unpleasant lingering aftertaste. However, we did have nice chunks of tender sablefish, bamboo shoots, corn, and oyster mushrooms. In terms of spice, it wasn’t too spicy at all! Although the menu states the soup is served between two people, this could be easily divided between four people.
Green Curry of Halibut ($20) with fresh baby corn, pea eggplants, wing beans, thai basil, holy basil. I tend to gravitate towards green curries more as I like the spice level to be mild and aromatic. The taste was pretty flat and consistency was rather thin for this dish. Despite the thin consistency, ingredients were plentiful. Another comment to add would be the halibut chunks were overcooked and chewy.
Roti ($4) Their flatbread rotis are made in house and they were soft, buttery, and pliable. They can be eaten alone or with curry as an accompaniment 🙂 .
Rice ($3) Standard steamed white rice to go with our green curry.
Pad Thai ($16) Pad Thai is one of my favourite dishes to eat when prepared well. When I think of pad thai, I think of the perfect balance between sweet, spicy, and tang. Maenam’s take on pad thai was super disappointing. The noodles were extremely sweet and lacked essence of tamarind and fish sauce. Every bite tasted like a spoonful of palm sugar 😦 . For the price tag, I expected more than just two pieces of prawn as well.
Grilled Free Range Chicken and Pomelo Salad ($17) with mint coriander, shallots, and cashews. Overall, the salad was very refreshing and unique. My friends did comment that the salad was very spicy because of the excessive amount of hot chillies tossed in the salad. I would recommend politely asking your server to hold off on the spice for this one!
Water Spinach and Pork Stir Fry ($17) with fermented soy bean paste and fried garlic. This was recommended by our server and I’m glad my group went with this choice. The pork slices were well-browned and crispy and water spinach had good texture and taste. Adding fermented soy bean paste really helped build on the aromatic fried garlic. Surprisingly, this dish was the highlight of my meal!
Food was mediocre at best. Perhaps my expectations were just set too high for a restaurant that earned the prestigious award of ‘Restaurant of the Year’. On a positive note, service was very attentive and professional. Our server made sure our water glasses were always filled and was very knowledgable about the menu.
1938 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5