M has this goal of finding the best Thai restaurant in Vancouver. We heard much about maenam and decided to come here for dinner. The space looks beautiful and very modern.
We really didn’t know what to order since there were so many choices, but in the end we settled on the Chef’s Menu that includes 5 courses for $32.50 per person. Traditionally, Thai dishes are supposed to have a balance of hot, sour, sweet and salty in the flavour profiles. As we didn’t know what dishes would be arriving, we were very very excited and worried at the same time.
The first item to arrive was a mixed mushroom and halibut hot and sour soup. This dish was really good and did have a great balance of sour and hot. I really liked it.
Steamed Mussels in Lemongrass and Thai basil arrived next.
The mussels were plump and full of flavour. The lemongrass and basil were nice accent flavours that went well with the mussels, but the sauce that came with it was pretty hot, so we didn’t use it.
The final 3 dishes arrived and are meant to be shared. In the Thai culture, meals are best shared amongst family and friends.
Pork Cheeks came with 5 pieces and tasted ok. They were not very tender nor very fatty. We thought it would melt in our mouths, but it was a bit dry.
This salad had some salmon, ikura eggs, kaffir lime leaves, orange chili dressing, peanuts, and cilantro. The salad was very sour and salty. The balance of this dish was not to our liking.
This curry has fresh baby corn, pea eggplants, thai basil, holy basil,and Fraser Valley chicken. This dish was incredibly hot. We ate this with the jasmine rice, but it still packed a punch.
Overall, as this was our first time at Maenam, choosing the chef’s menu was a bit of a mistake. The dishes were definitely a hit and a miss. Best to start out with dishes you are familiar with and then start venturing out. I also thought that it was weird that this set menu didn’t come with dessert. Next time, I’ll probably not do the Chef’s menu and just chose items off the menu, it would be cheaper.
We rate Maenam:
1938 W 4th Ave