Aree Thai Restaurant provides authentic Thai food in East Van’s Kingsway area. Tuesdays to Sundays they offer $8.50 lunch specials from 11:30am – 3:00pm. Although carnivores will appreciate their meaty offerings, vegetarians and vegans can substitute any meat option for vegetables or tofu. Since Aree’s lunch specials are such a great deal, we both ordered them that afternoon.
The specials are served with jasmine tea, spring rolls, and salad. The spring rolls were fresh out of the deep frier, and still steaming hot. The salads, although tiny, were crunchy and we enjoyed the creamy dressing.
Tom Yum – Spicy Thai hot and sour soup with mushrooms. The soup was created with aromatic lemongrass, and galangal. Although this dish was not included with our lunch specials, we were feeling in the mood for something spicy, and decided to order it separately. The hot broth was fragrant and flavourful, and was a nice light soup.
Yellow Curry – Pretty self-explanatory: Yellow curry paste with chicken pieces, potatoes, onions, and served with steamed white rice. Flavours were traditionally Thai, but lacked the depth and flavour sensations found here.
Pad Thai – I’ll have to agree with our friend who raved about Aree Thai, claiming it serves some of the most authentic Thai food in the city. This Pad Thai is quite authentic – especially since it’s lacking the dreaded ketchup that so many “Thai” restaurants add in this city. The portion was slightly small, but then again, it was the lunch serving size. An excellent balance of noodles with toppings were included in this dish, so I didn’t feel overwhelmed by any particular ingredient.
Complimentary coconut and mango ice cream – Our server wanted us to sample her homemade ice cream, which we happily obliged. They were exquisitely flavourful, with the mango ice cream offering a sweet and tangy tastes, and the coconut was rich and nutty.
Having traveled to Thailand a few times, most recently at the beginning of this year, we’d say Aree Thai is a pretty authentic Thai restaurant for Vancouver. Bonus – they offer traditional Thai flavours at inexpensive prices. Check it out the next time you’re in the mood for Thai.