1938 West 4th Ave
T: 604 730 5579
Brief Description: A popular Kitsilano-based restaurant that offers well-executed, modern Thai food. Maenam is friendly on the wallet, without sacrificing quality or ambiance.
I realized, with some horror, that I haven’t done a photo visit post on Maenam for quite some time. With even more horror, I realized that almost all of my previous posts contained pictures that I’d taken with my old camera, likely contributing to me doing Maenam a disservice (sorry about that Maenam!). Even though I haven’t been doing regular photo updates, I still frequent Maenam and think very highly of it.
I almost feel as though Maenam should be classified as mod-Thai as the flavours are very traditional but they do a modern take on classic dishes. Whilst the restaurant could use a lick of paint to revitalize it, it still appears to be bopping along quite nicely and is usually full during the evening rush, particularly on weekends. Lunch times are a bit quieter, but with a $25 tasting menu, I don’t know why. The tasting menu represents good value for money as $25 per person gets you get one starter, one salad, one curry, and a stir fry, to share between the table.
Grilled Thai Sausage and Crispy Rice Salad – $10
Maenam have recently changed one of their dishes, the grilled Thai sausage, for the better. The grilled fermented Thai sausage is now served with crispy rice puffs, shavings of lemongrass, fried shallots, and coriander. With different textures (crunchy, chewy, crispy) and Thai flavours (sour, salty, sweet,) this dish represents a well-balanced tribute to Thailand. I love it and can’t get enough, especially at only $10 a serving.
Roti and Peanut Sauce – $6
I can’t pass up servings of flaky roti, especially when paired with chunky peanut sauce ($6). A definite must-order.
Prawn Pad Thai – $15
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I honestly believe that pad Thai should NOT be made with ketchup, it really should be made with tamarind paste otherwise the subtle flavours of the dish are completely over-powered by the sweet ketchup. Maenam, thankfully, makes their pad Thai with tamarind paste so the flavours are well-balanced and they included a side of chili flakes so that you increase the heat, if needed.
I’ve been neglecting Maenam a bit lately as I’ve been distracted with all the newbies that have been popping up, but I really shouldn’t have. Maenam has been a consistent player for years, and remains strong.