Monday, March 5, 2012

Maenam - modern Thai restaurant



1938 W 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Maenam on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair +

For R's 2010 birthday, his friends actually got him a $50 gift certificate to Maenam, and for some reason we never thought to use it. It's a good thing there was no expiry date and I am so glad they did not close down. Maenam was not hard to find, but parking on the other hand was a little hard to come by. If you are lucky you can get free parking once you turn onto Maple street. The restaurant was a decent size with fairly dim lighting, I guess they are trying to give you that relaxed ambiance.

I can never say no to Pad Thai 9$15), so that is the first thing we ordered. The portion was smaller than I am use to, but at least they used tamarind instead of ketchup which was a good sign for authenticity. The al dente noodles were springy and flavourful. The prawns were very fresh and tender. I love how they put the chili powders on the side, so you have total control over the spiciness.
The 2nd dish we ordered was the tender Fraser Valley duck curry ($18). This was very delicious, because the tangy taste from the tomatoes worked harmoniously with the aromatic red curry, it almost seem to tone down the spiciness. The duck meat was soft and just falling off the bones. The only odd ingredient in this dish was the addition of lychee, I thought it didn't contribute much to the flavour.
We knew we wanted an order of rice, but once I saw Roti ($3) on the menu, I just couldn't resist. The roti here is purely served as a side, so no curry dip was provided. This was fine with us, as we intend to use this to scoop up the duck curry sauce anyway. The roti was buttery, but not fluffy, it lacked that flakey texture that I love.
The rice was also $3 for a potion. This jasmine rice was fragrant and moist.
To end our meal, we wanted dessert. After looking over the menu, I noticed they had assorted tropical fruit as one of the options. I was really hoping for mangosteen, as it's one of my favourite fruit, sadly none was on the plate. Most fruit were sweet, the jack fruit (right hand corner) was very interesting. I can't describe it, but R thought it tasted like raw meat (gamey). I love wax apples, but 2 small slice we had was not even sweet. Overall, this was rather disappointing, as it was quite pricey ($9).

Both R and I enjoyed our meal here, as the majority of it was pretty good. The price was not exactly expensive, nor was it cheap, but given the location, decor and the food presentation, I say the price is fair. Therefore, if you want cheap Thai food, then skip it, but if you need a impressive place for Thai food, then give Maenam a try. 


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