by Andrew Morrison | In a recent feature on the award-winning Maenam on West 4th, my newspaper ran with a shot of chef/owner Angus An preparing some food. It was the right one to use, as my story was more about the chef and his restaurant’s greater value than the individual dishes he so deftly pumps out 7 nights a week. Still, who doesn’t like good food porn? From top left/clockwise: hot and sour soup with fried chillies and thai basil; freshly baked roti; Pad Thai; aromatic curry of oven roasted Maple Hill Farm chicken; Maenam’s interior; chicken satays with housemade peanut sauce and sweet cucumber relish; crispy lingcod served in a caramelized tamarind and palm sugar sauce and topped with 8 different types of fried herbs and spices; Nahm Manao cocktail. #nomnom.
Chef Angus An, his wife Kate, and their son Aidan have been traveling in Thailand doing research for Maenam, their popular Thai restaurant in the People’s Republic of Kitsilano. They have been keeping a photo journal of their tasty adventures, and will be keeping Scout readers abreast of them with guest blog dispatches and pictures as they go…
Hua Hin used to be one of the most glamorous beach towns in Thailand. In fact, it was the first official beach resort in Thailand and a favourite getaway spot for celebrities and royalty during the 1920’s.
Right now, Hua Hin is a mix of good tourist resorts and small fishing village charm. It is the top weekend spot for Kate’s family due to the close proximity to Bangkok (3 hours drive – if no traffic, I learned painfully). The drive there is very peaceful once you manage to exit Bangkok and are able to enjoy the seaside scenery. We went through towns where everyone sells and produces sea salt. Shortly after those towns were others that produced fish sauce, then shrimp paste, then palm sugar…
We stopped for lunch about half-way to enjoy some nice hot & sour soup. As you get closer to the ocean, the seafood is noticeably fresher, and simplicity seems to be the general rule for most dishes. For example, there are many different versions of the Thai hot & sour soup, some have chilli jam, some have fried garlic, but most of the seaside soups are just plain herbs, fish sauce and lime juice. The food tastes cleaner, and you are able to truly enjoy the freshness of the seafood. Some of the noticeable lunch items were steamed blue crab legs with nahm jim sauce, stir-fried baby razor clams, and stir-fried soft shell crab.
Once we arrived at our hotel, I quickly went on the deck for a beer, as it was 32 degrees and beautiful. I really don’t miss winters in Vancouver, and Aidan seemed really happy to get his R&R. That night, we had dinner right on the beach, and once again the food was simple and delicious. My favourite of the night was a simple fried fish: crispy and flavoured by a fish sauce marinade. Another dish I really enjoyed was a razor clam salad. And I washed everything down with a nice, dark Laos beer, which is full bodied but smooth. Later that night we went to the Hua Hin night market. Here, seafood is on display on ice in the streets and you pick what you want to eat and they cook it for you inside. Read more
Chef Angus An and his wife Kate are currently traveling in Thailand doing research for Maenam, their popular Thai restaurant in the People’s Republic of Kitsilano. They have been keeping a journal of their tasty adventures, and will be keeping Scout readers abreast of them with guest blog dispatches and photos as they go…
Lamnairai & Wichian Buri
We had one day of rest back in Bangkok before heading off to Lamnairai, Kate’s hometown, for a few days. During the one afternoon I was here last year, I was able to try one of the town’s specialties, jumbo wild river prawns. These are hard to catch and very expensive. In fact, most of the locals can’t even afford them and usually you need to book in advance for them to catch the prawns—one by one. When fresh, they can run up to $15 CAD a kilo. A good-sized prawn can be as big as half a kilo, or a full day’s wage for most locals. Read more
Chef Angus An and his wife Kate are currently traveling in Thailand doing research for Maenam, their popular Thai restaurant in the People’s Republic of Kitsilano. They have been keeping a journal of their tasty adventures, and will be keeping Scout readers abreast of them with guest blog dispatches and photos as they go… Read more