I’ve been wanting to try Maenam for a while now since I’m a big fan of all things Thai and was curious about trying Thai food with a gourmet twist, which is exactly what Maenam offers. The first thing I noticed was the warm, inviting atmosphere, made apparent through use of light and colour. I really dug their tabletops as well 😛 (see pics). We had made reservations for the Chef’s Royal Thai Dinner ($47.50/person) in advance, a 3-course, 9-dish tasting menu of on- and off-menu selections which changes occasionally. I’m not sure how often, but this one had started just that week.
First up was an appetizer platter featuring free range chicken satays (satay gai), tempura made with some thin type of fern, crispy fried oysters (hoi tort), prawn cakes and a couple pork rinds and cucumber wedges. The sauces included standard homemade peanut, a red chili one, some watery cucumber relish and my personal favourite: the house sauce, nahm jim. It embodied all of the Thai taste senses: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter (spicy). Each bite made me forget my surroundings a little at a time, daydreaming of bustling Bangkok streets teeming with the pungent aromas of various mobile food carts.
The oysters were the highlight for me, and the nahm jim worked perfectly with them. The fern dish was very bland although an interesting idea, and the chicken was just your usual Thai streetfood variety, but were on the dry side. The pork rinds seemed out of place and had some inedible-y chewy hard bits in them. But everything tasted good enough when dipped in the nahm jim I suppose.
For drinks Wendy ordered a virgin Thai and Ginger which consisted of passionfruit and cassia bark topped with gingerbeer. She was expecting a bit more kick from the gingerbeer than what was delivered but still enjoyed the drink. I ordered a pot of lemon ginger tea. I found it a bit mild as well, but pleasant enough.
The next course consisted of soup, salad and mussels. Wendy regrettably forgot to take photos of the soup which is unfortunate since for me it was one of the high points. It was a hot and sour (tom yum) ling cod soup w/ Thai basil and oyster mushroom. Needless to say it was tom yummy! I think I enjoyed it a bit more than Wendy since she didn’t finish hers. I did notice the absence of any big chunks of ginger or lemongrass which I normally like in this type of soup though. But I guess that’s kind of the point here, this ain’t your traditional Thai food.
Filed under: CUISINE / RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Fusion, Kitsilano, Thai | Tagged: chicken, drinks, fish, lobster, meat skewer, mussels, oysters, ribs, salad, sausage | Leave a comment »