My third and final Dine Out Vancouver stop was to Maenam. I went with my beloved foodie friend, Glenny, on an incredibly busy weekday and unfortunately, we were stuck in traffic. I ended up calling Maenam to notify them that we might be 10 minutes late and usually restaurants would wait 10 minutes until they give away your booking ( I respect that). Maenam disappointed me when they told me that they cannot save my booking and I will have to wait till 8:30pm if I did turn up late. Are you kidding me? You can’t wait for 10 minutes or even 5 minutes?
Luckily, Glenny and I found parking 2 blocks away and we ran to Maenam just in time for our 6:30 reservation. To my surprise, Maenam’s design was nothing compared to their service. Blending in some warm wood tones with Thai floral decorations and dim lighting, the ambience was hip and comfortable.
We were served by a male waiter who was sassy and a “let’s just get this over with, shall we?” attitude. During our dinner, he would also ask us if everything was going okay and while one of us was mid-sentence complimenting the food, he would walk away. Another incident was when Glenny and I wanted to split the bill at the end of the meal. His response to us was “Ugh..I’m not really good at math”, and as usual, he walked away. So…are you going to split our bill or what? Eventually, we did end up splitting the bill with Glenny paying with credit and I paid with cash. He actually gave me too much change in return, but I ended up leaving the extra change as a “tip”.
Other than the service, I really enjoyed the food and I hope to go back again. Their DOVF menu was meant for two people, sharing one starter, curry, salad, stir fry and two desserts.
Without hesitation, Glenny ordered a Thai Milk Tea to calm herself after our crazy run down West 4th Avenue. I had a sip of the drink and I really liked the different taste of Thai tea mixed with milk…extremely different from Hong Kong milk tea.
Salads were a bright and vibrant array especially our Green Papaya Salad (Som Dtam) with long beans, carrot, garlic, bird’s eye chillies, and dried shrimp. The salad was pungent with the chillies and the sauce, but refreshing with the crunchy carrots and green papaya. The long beans neutralized the bird’s eye chillies giving the salad a cooling from the spicy hit. Talk about a perfect salad for the summer!
Moving onto entrées, my favourite was the Green Curry of Halibut Cheeks (Geng Kwio Wan Plah) with kaffir limes, holy basil, fresh baby corn, clams, and mussels. The curry was flavourful and creamy…I ate more rice because of this and I poured curry on all of my food. The seafood was normal stuff but the curry dominated everything else that was served.
Onto the stir fried selection, we had the Crispy Pork Belly Stir Fry (Pad Prik King Moo) served with fresh baby corn, holy basil, and red curry paste. This dish felt more like Filipino food than Thai, and the pork had a smoky flavour with the natural juiciness sealed in the meat.
By now, I’m pretty much sticking with the curry when the Squid Salad with Chilli Jam Dressing (Yum Pla Plah Meuk) arrived. Tossed in was grilled squid with mint, coriander, fried shallots, clams, and fried garlic. The clams were redolents of the sea, but the portion of the grilled squid was disappointing. The mint leaves were a bit of an overkill too.
Lastly, because you can’t share dessert, the first one we had was the Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème with sea salt, tamarind tuile, and tamarind semi freddo. This is not really Thai food and I thought that I was eating frozen chocolate cake. The only thing that “Thai” about this sweetie was the additional tamarind, but then, I could barely taste it. However, I still enjoyed it regardless of it being not as authentic.
Steering away from the not so authentic Thai dessert, The Passion Fruit Trioice Cream topped with tuille and jelly was divine. One spoon of the passion fruit cream gave me the balanced sweetness needed after my entrées, but one bite of the jelly offsets the sweetness with a sour hit. I loved the unique flavours in this small dessert that looked simple but clearly tasted beyond simplicity.