In almost every food write up I do, somewhere in the article I find myself praising Vancouver’s diversity and quality of choice when it comes to dining. Seemingly whatever world cuisine or dish you favour, you can easily find it in our beautiful city. Although not as prolific as say Japanese sushi or Chinese dim sum, Thai food has enjoyed a very long and successful history in Vancouver. Opening in 1986, the Thai House in Kitsilano is one of the oldest and most recognizable Thai culinary experiences around. As the latest collaboration with our good friends over at VANEATS.ca, Eating in Vancouver & the World was invited to preview the upcoming 5 course dinner pass at the Thai House Kits. Boasting two unique VANEATS exclusive dishes, we were curious and excited to review this brand new menu!
A. “Lettuce Wrap“, served with lean ground beef with chopped onion, bell pepper, basil and a touch of oyster & chilli sauce
B. “Chicken Wing“, deep fried and stuffed with vegetables and glass noodles
C. “Fresh Mango & Chicken in Yellow Coconut Curry“, a VANEATS.ca exclusive entree
D. “Pad Kee Mao“, stir fry rice noodles with beef, fresh basil, chopped veggies, bell pepper, onions and fish sauce, also a VANEATS.ca exclusive entree
E. “Deep Fried Banana“, served with mango ice cream
The first two dishes were served in tandem which was a good move as they went together quite well. First off, I just want to say I have eaten A LOT of deep fried chicken wings in my time i.e. salty wings, spicy wings, BBQ wings etc. That said, I have never in my life had a deep fried chicken wing that had glass noodles inside! I was so shocked after my first bite that I actually stopped chewing in amazement. Inside the chicken wing, the chef had stuffed vegetables and glass noodles! After getting over the initial surprise, I really enjoyed this offering. The chicken wing was perfectly deep fried perfectly which was reflected in the wonderfully crisp outer skin. Along with the diced vegetables and noodles inside, the actual chicken meat was perfectly cooked and flavourful.
The second dish I tried was the lettuce wrap served with lean ground beef with chopped onion, bell pepper, basil and a touch of oyster & chilli sauce. Although early in the meal, this dish turned out to be my favourite of the evening. The leaf of lettuce was amazingly fresh and served as the perfect foundation for the lean beef stir fry. I found the beef tender and very tasty with the oyster and chilli sauce used in just the right amount to heighten the flavor profile of the wrap. The chopped veggies and basil added another layer of texture and freshness that I really enjoyed. Nothing more to say other than I could have eaten this delicious dish all evening!
The third dish I tried was the fresh mango and chicken in yellow coconut curry. I was especially curious about this dish as the press email we received said it was a VANEATS.ca exclusive entree. The use of mango is fairly common in many western and European chicken dishes but I personally have never had it in a curry before. Due to the high heat that curry is cooked at, I was very surprised at how well the slices of mango maintained their structural integrity upon service. The slices of chicken were very tender and paired with the mango slices nicely. There were also some green bell peppers to round out the curry bowl. Overall, a slightly sweet chicken curry that many will find intriguing. Served with a generous bowl of white rice, this could almost be a quick lunch unto itself.
The last entree of the evening was the second VANEATS.ca exclusive entree and it was the Thai House take on the traditional Pad Kee Mao. Now, for those fairly well versed in Thai cuisine, you will know that the most popular Thai noodle dish is of course Pad Thai. Kee Mao or literally translated as “drunken noodles” are not exactly like Pad Thai but share a similar noodle type base. Having had some amazing Kee Mao in Thailand, I was very interested to see this collaborative effort take place. Typically, Kee Mao is characterized by the use of herbs and chilli to give the noodles some spicy flair, however this dish was not spicy at all. In a way, the usage of the broad flat noodles and tender pieces of beef reminded me of a staple Cantonese dish ‘beef hor fun.’ Both dishes utilize the noodles and beef quite nicely and are supplemented by other ingredients like chopped veggies, soya sauce etc. An interesting dish for sure and one that all Thai lovers should check out for the creative experience.
The last offering of the evening was dessert and what better way to cap off the evening than with mango ice cream and deep fried banana? At most Thai restaurants, this dessert is served with vanilla ice cream, which is nice but not altogether creative. Offering a generous scoop of mango ice cream, this dessert will definitely be a crowd pleaser. The banana was perfectly deep fried with none of that pasty, excessive batter shell you may find at less quality establishments. Overall, a very nice way to wrap up a respectable meal.
If you enjoyed the photos and review above, definitely check out the VANEATS.ca Thai House video above to see all the dishes we reviewed. If you have read enough and just want to eat, the “AppeTHAIzing” dining pass will be available for a limited time for only $18 (before HST and gratuity). Head over to VANEATS.ca to buy your pass on June 27th and enjoy!