The Goods from Pink Elephant
Vancouver, BC | Desmond Chen, president of Thai House Restaurant Group and proprietor of Pink Elephant Thai, is pleased to announce that Thursday night is Ladies Night at Pink Elephant Thai, presented by Skinnygirl Cocktails. Beginning Thursday, September 20, visit Pink Elephant Thai at 1152 Alberni Street and enjoy $6 Skinny Girl vodka martinis and cocktails along with $8 Thai tapas share plates. Pink’s Ladies Night is for anyone who appreciates getting together with friends for dinner, drinks and a few laughs and sharing some terrific Thai tapas while lounging to great music. We’re offering some of the best value and atmosphere in the city and a great place to meet new people. Pink’s resident DJ will be spinning every Thursday from 5:30 through 10:30pm and playing Top 40, eighties, old school tunes and R&B. Read more
The Goods from Pink Elephant
Vancouver, BC | Desmond Chen, president of Thai House Restaurant Group, is pleased to announce that his newest restaurant, Pink Elephant Thai, is launching a new, expanded menu with mass appeal on October 18th. “We’ve learned a few things since opening in April,” said Chen. “One of our observations is that many guests are looking for their go-to Thai favorites, and our original menu didn’t cater to this group. Sure we had green curry and Pad Thai, but they were served with fish balls and crab instead of chicken and shrimp. We still offer the many of the more adventurous options, but now they are positioned alongside some more familiar choices as well.” Plus, Pink Elephant Thai has taken it one step further for those who want to take the guess work out of ordering… Read more
The GOODS from Charm Modern Thai
Vancouver, BC | Desmond Chen, owner of Charm Modern Thai is pleased to introduce Pad Thai Mondays at Charm Modern Thai in Yaletown. Every Monday night enjoy traditional prawn or chicken Pad Thai, eat in or takeout, for $9. About to celebrate its third anniversary on a notoriously challenging block in Yaletown (1269 Hamilton Street) there are plenty of reasons to visit: enjoy two for one appetizers, from 5pm to 6pm on weekdays; catch all the HD Canucks action in the lounge while indulging in Thai food favorites; and now $9 Pad Thai on Monday nights. Read more
Desmond Chen pretty much defines what it means to be a restaurant lifer. The proprietor and president of Thai House Ventures has been in the trade since he was a kid, working his way up the ranks to where he is now, operating Charm Modern Thai, Chilli House Thai Bistro, Urban Thai Bistro, and Alberni’s new Pink Elephant Thai.
Desmond’s story begins with that of his father, Patrick Chen, who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1967. He studied at BCIT and worked front of house at the Pacific Palisades Hotel through the 1970′s before opening a string of Chinese restaurants, among them Richmond’s first, the Unicorn. His love affair with Thai food eventually led to five other restaurants, the first of them being Thai House on Robson (1986).
His son (Desmond is an only child) officially started in the family business as a dishwasher in Grade 8. As his father’s empire expanded, he did everything from driving deliveries and preparing sauces to waiting tables and wrestling with accounts.
The rest, as they say, is history…
First memory? Ordering Lobster for delivery from my father’s Chinese restaurant in Richmond when I was 8 years old.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? Instant Ramen noodles.
Local bartender who could sell you anything? Shaun Layton [L'Abattoir].
Have you beat an addiction? Yes, smoking.
Scariest situation you’ve ever been in? At the age of 12 being hit by a Van running a red light while I was riding my bike crossing the street.
Unluckiest moment in your life? Being hit by a van.
What are you proud of? My family.
What makes you angry? Dishonest people. Read more
We have invited Pink Elephant to join our GOODS section as a recommended company. The new Thai restaurant is now a proud member of Scout, and as such we will be publishing their news on our front page and hosting a page for them on our list of local and independent goodness. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of our little website, and wish them the best in their first month.
Psst! If you think your business would be a good fit for Scout, we want to know.
A brand-spanking new 60 seat restaurant and bar called Charm Modern Thai has just opened in Yaletown. It’s in the old Diner/Lucky Diner/Flite location at 1269 Hamilton Street, and it still has that New Restaurant Smell. It’s small and sexy, with several window nooks and banquette hideways. There’s lots of crimson, dark wood, and gold, all creating and reflecting a rather ethereal glow.
When I walked in tonight, the first thing I thought was that it was amazing how they – just like the three restaurants that came before them – had radically altered the layout of the space. I’m sure the kitchen is much the same (the line and the open pass looked to be where they used to be), but the floor, as you can see from the pictures above, is totally unrecognisable.
In the materials that have so far come my way, they refer to Charm as a “resto-bar”, saying that it combines “Thailand’s traditional tastes, aromas and warm hospitality with the pristine spirit of modernism.” Though the stylish redressing of an ethno-specific cuisine sounds plenty like many a recent room (think Piato, Italian Kitchen, Cibo), it’s a line I’d like to see more of. The modern aspect is purely an aesthetic thing, I should hope. I don’t assume we’re going to see much in the way of freakish nastiness on the plate (no guava juice shrimp ceviche tacos, Panang Coho, or ponzu Pad Thai). A restaurant called OThai gave this same wheel a spin and failed on West Broadway in 2007 (they’ve since re-opened), but with the backing of the Thai House empire behind them I think they have a leg up out of the gate (Charm’s proprietor, Desmond Chen, is the front-of-house/operations veteran son of mega-restaurateur Patrick Chen, owner of Thai House, Chilli House, Urban Thai Bistro, and Samba Brazilian Steakhouse).
For certain, they have their work cut out for them. Three restaurants have come and gone in this same location since the last time I blinked, and these aren’t exactly the best of economic times. Still, I’m as eager to give it a shot as you are, and hope to check it out soon (I’m a year-round sucker for Tom Yung Goong).
You can check out the dinner menu here.
The People That Make It Happen
Owner: Desmond Chen
General Manager: Panee Mesri
Manager: Sunisa Keawpradit
Chef: Parichat Poomkajorn
About Pink Elephant Thai
Desmond Chen, president of Charm Modern Thai, Urban Thai Bistro, and Chilli House Thai Bistro, opened his newest restaurant, Pink Elephant Thai, at 1152 Alberni Street on April 29. Pink Elephant Thai is open daily from 11:30am through midnight, serving lunch, dinner, cocktails, plus everything in between.
The restaurant is comprised of 88 seats, including 8 at the bar, with a large communal table running the length of the restaurant. The oversized booths are sure to become coveted tables, while a chef’s table, ideal for larger groups, has a view of all the action in the kitchen and below from up above on the mezzanine. Overall, the look is ultra sleek with gleaming white, cool grey, polished black, and lots of the restaurant’s signature pink. The name, Pink Elephant Thai, marries old world Thai culture and tradition with all that is fun, sexy and hot – hot pink that is.
Pink Elephant Thai’s menu is inspired by all of the regions in Thailand as well as popular Thai street food faves, with a $5 to $17 price range to match. Guests seeking classic dishes such as Pad Thai with soft shell crab won’t be disappointed, while oxtail curry with pumpkin will delight more adventurous palates. Bring one friend or many, dishes like Floating Market – spinach tempura and prawns served with a spicy Thai applesauce – Double Spice Sukiyaki Beef, or the pomfret fish with mango shallot sauce are all perfect for sharing.
Executive chef Parichat Poomkajorn’s exceptional broths are the base of Pink Elephant’s Thai noodle soups such as Keaw Teaw Moo with ground pork, prawns, crispy bacon and ground peanuts; or guests may create their own combination by choosing from four types of noodles, five soup bases, 10 meat and seafood choices, plus crispy toppings.
Creative cocktails, imported beers including Thailand’s Singha, along with a varied and well priced wine list, all pair nicely with the menu that ranges from just a touch to totally spicy.
At the front of house, the restaurant group’s general manger Panee Mesri and manager Sunisa Keawpradit, formerly of Urban Thai Bistro in Yaletown, set the tone for service that caters to guests looking for a “sanook” dining experience, that’s Thai for fun with tons of energy; or those who prefer to “sabai sabai,” or relax and chill.