by Kurtis Kolt | Just sending a quick note to share that Maenam’s Chef Angus An and I are in New York City and in the home stretch of prepping for his dinner at James Beard House this evening. As a little refresher, Angus has been the consulting chef in New York at Kittichai in the Thompson Hotel for the last little while, so he’s officially wearing two hats tonight as he presents contemporary Thai dishes out of both New York and Vancouver. As the lucky guy who consults on the wine list at Maenam, I got to come along for the ride; designing tonight’s wine program and overseeing wine service!
Angus was invited to cook at James Beard House many months ago, and much of the coordination has come out of Vancouver. I got to dive into a whole new realm of liquor laws to adhere to, and track down various wines from suppliers I have no experience with. The good folks from the Okanagan’s Tantalus Winery did us a solid by doing a good ol’ fashioned border run of their kick-ass 2010 Riesling a few weeks back. I’m quite excited and proud to represent BC wine country tonight, with a little Mission Hill in the mix as well!
Angus and his team – many of whom are from Vancouver – are hustlin’ away doing prep as I type this, and they’re pretty stoked. I will indeed rock out a full report for you on our New York adventures later in the week, loaded with pictures and good cheer. In the meantime, I will be Tweeting and Instagramming (both @KurtisKolt) tonight using the hashtag #AAJBwKK.
Do follow along as we represent!
by Andrew Morrison | Chef/restaurateur Angus An of Kitsilano’s multiple award-winning Maenam restaurant is opening a new counter-service eatery called Longtail Kitchen in New Westminster’s popular River Market. An, you might recall, trained at New York’s French Culinary Institute and worked in such famed kitchens as Jo-Jo, The Ledbury, The Fat Duck, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Nahm before opening Maenam in 2009. He’s one of Vancouver’s top culinary stars. His new joint is named after Thailand’s ubiquitous, iconic, and often turbo-charged “longtail” water taxis) — a cool name that fits that address’ Fraser River waterfront location and Thai theme.
The lease was just signed this week, but it’s been in the works for many months. And it’s no wonder. Between shuttling to and from New York City where An consults at the famed Kittichai restaurant, overseeing the perennially busy Maenam, and raising a young family, An is a busy guy. You’d think opening another establishment would seem a daunting, overly complicated prospect, but he shrugs the notion off. “I wouldn’t have done this if it didn’t feel right for me,” he says. “It’s a fine balance, but I can do it comfortably.”
The 25 seat, 880 sqft Longtail will focus on sea-centric Thai street food. “Quick and easy Thai fisherman comfort food”, is how An likens it, adding that there “will be noodle dishes, fish stews and fish curries, with price points ranging from $8 to $12.” Sadly, there will be no liquor license to start off with, but the application is under way. They’ll also be trying for a sectioned-off patio (which would work beautifully with garage door frontage), but if you’ve ever been to the River Market, you already know how easy it is to take your meal outside and sit just about anywhere (the gull population mercifully appears to be about 1/50th that of Granville Island market).
Longtail is being designed as a multi-functional space. By day it will concentrate on regular service with a retail component (selling An’s signature curry sauces, spices, cookbooks, etc.) and then at night it will host cooking classes, private functions and special chef-collaborative suppers. “I’m a longtime fan of Angus’ cooking,” says Mark Shieh, the River Market’s Director. “He and I have talked a lot about the future of restaurants. One of our goals at the Market is to reconnect with food in a meaningful and playful way. Angus’ imagining of a restaurant as a multifunctional seaside kitchen is a great fit with our Food 360 approach.”
Longtail Kitchen is another big “get” for River Market (already home to Wild Rice, Re-Up, Wally’s Burger, La Grotto del Formaggio, among other food fetishist faves). Opening day is scheduled for early May, 2013.
The GOODS from Maenam
Vancouver, BC | A Vancouver favourite of the New York Times, Maenam restaurant brightens New Year’s Eve with Chef Angus An’s signature Thai flair. Rich with flavour and spice, the one-night-only menu features four family-style courses ideal for sharing with fellow celebrants. Of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without a toast to ring in 2013; Thai-inspired cocktails and optional wine pairings inspire raised glasses for an elegant finale to the year. Full menu after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Maenam chef/owner Angus An has taken a job in New York City. Before you freak out and decry an eastern conspiracy to drain us of our top culinary talents, let me first just say that it’s not a full-time gig. An is now the executive chef/consultant at the famed Thai restaurant Kittichai in the swanky 60 Thompson Hotel. He has agreed to make 8 to 10 trips this year, with each sojourn being a week to 10 days in duration. An says the Soho restaurant has a very capable chef de cuisine, and that he was brought on board to develop a new menu and help with its roll-out and maintenance. He’s doing French technique with modern Thai flavours for a NYC customer base (think Gastropod meets Maenam, only a little more sophisticated). The room has been known to pull in 300 covers a night on weekends, so it’s volume, volume, volume. A challenge, to be sure.
So how did this come about? Maenam has always gotten a lot of attention from visiting international reporters and has seen consistent action in New York especially, from The New York Times and New York Magazine (among others). It’s hard to think of the mild-mannered An as a star, but I suppose that’s what he is. Anyway, a headhunter contacted him a year ago about moving to Kittichai full-time, but with a successful restaurant in Kits and a young family to look after, it wasn’t something that he could do. Thank goodness for that. The headhunter was persistent, however, and they eventually arrived at the above accord, which keeps him in Vancouver enough to ensure that life at Maenam (and in his home) continues relatively as is.
Will Maenam suffer? It’s not very likely. Its Thai cred/game is in the capable hands of chef de cuisine Mike Tuangkitkun, who has been at the West 4th award-winner for a few years now (Sean McGuire is his sous chef). What’s more, An’s wife Kate is staying put, the service team is all good, and Kurtis Kolt is consulting on the wine list. It still kind of sucks, though. A few months ago I wrote a story about An and Maenam for the paper saying that we needed him to do a cookbook, a street food cart, and a French restaurant (not necessarily in that order), so it looks like none of those desires are going to be met, at least not for a while. Oh well. Our congratulations to Angus. May he break a leg, and teach them Yankees a thing or three.
Take a look inside Kittichai after the leap… Read more
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.
The GOODS from Maenam
Vancouver, BC | The playoffs are here and Kitsilano’s Maenam restaurant wants to help you cheer on the Canucks at home with free game day Thai chicken wings. Takeout orders of $30 or more on Canuck game days will include a complimentary order of Chef Angus An’s signature Thai chicken wings seasoned with chilli salt and accompanied with authentic nahm jim dipping sauce. To score your free Thai chicken wings, all you have to do is follow Maenam on Twitter @maenam, or “like” Maenam on Facebook. For each Canuck’s game, a special code word will be released on Maenam’s Twitter and Facebook pages at noon. Simply use this code when you order takeout of $30 or more and the wings will be on the house. Read more
The GOODS from Maenam
Vancouver, BC | Venture to Thailand this New Year’s Eve with a four-course menu of Maenam favourites for $55 per person. Chef Angus An will be offering NYE revellers specialty Thai dishes influenced by the best of Southeast Asia. Guests can expect traditional flavours covering the gamut of hot, sour, salty and sweet, with the option of celebratory savvy pairings and pours of grower champagne from sommelier Brooke Delves. Get the menu and details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Maenam
Vancouver, BC | Join chef Angus An and sommelier Brooke Delves on Tuesday, September 27th for a multi-vintage showcase of Schloss Reinhartshausen rieslings and pinot noirs paired with five courses of fresh Thai flavours. Set in Maenam’s intimate dining room, guests are encouraged to reserve tickets early for this single seating event. Dinner begins at 6:30pm and tickets are $75.00/person excluding taxes and gratuity. Details and menu after the jump… Read more
The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit.
The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. From our calendar to yours… Read more
The GOODS from Maenam
Vancouver, BC | It’s playoff time at Kitsilano’s Maenam restaurant, where chef Angus An is offering Canuck takeout dishes for fans hooked on hockey. Cheer the team into the next round with shared, family-style selections from Maenam’s full lunch and dinner takeout menus.
FIRST PERIOD: Get started with tom kaa gai, a creamy hot and sour soup of chicken thighs braised in coconut cream, or pass around tort man gung, wild prawn cakes made with sustainable baja prawns and served with cucumber relish.
SECOND PERIOD: Prepare for the sweet sound of a victorious buzzer with a variety of small plates, including naam, a fried house-fermented thai sausage dressed with garlic, chiles, and Maenam’s house-made sweet chili sauce. Soak up the goods with a side of roti.
THIRD PERIOD: Things heat up in your third and final course with the aromatic and smoky pad phed si krong neaua, beef short ribs braised in coconut cream then stir fried with pad prik king curry paste. For those glued to the screen, there’s always Maenam’s reliable and legendary pad thai (add your own chilies for extra spice). Read more
News from Scout supporter Maenam
Vancouver, BC | Fresh off his annual three week exploration through Southeast Asia, Chef Angus An has launched a new menu highlighting the iconic street eats of Southern Thailand. This food vendor speckled region offers cuisine themed by local seafood, fruits, and nuts, with dishes that are typically fresh and sharp or nutty and spicy. Largely influenced by its proximity to coastlines and a land border with Malaysia, the south has a strong Muslim presence resulting in the widespread use of spices like cumin, fennel, anise, and turmeric.
In the months to come, guests at Maenam can expect to try dishes like Kao Yum Pak Tai, an elegant rice salad of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, green mango, cucumber, pomelo, toasted coconut, betal leaves, and lime; Kua Kling Beef, an aromatic turmeric spiked dish with thinly sliced beef, kaffir lime zest, galangal and kaffir lime julienne; Tom Som Plah, hot and sour soup of sablefish and turmeric accented with dill; and Mussaman Gat, a mussaman curry of lamb leg, with toasted peanuts, perfumed with lots of dried spices and balanced with pineapples and pearl onions. To view Maenam’s new lunch, dinner and take out menus please visit www.maenam.ca. Read more
From Scout supporter Maenam today…
Maenam is seeking candidates for the position of General Manager. Applicants should be dynamic, self-motivated and have extensive wine knowledge. Previous management experience and leadership qualities required. Email resumes to chef/owner Angus An at email@example.com.
News from Scout supporter Maenam
Vancouver, BC | Executive chef Angus An was honoured with Gold for Best Thai and Silver for Best New Restaurant at the 21st annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. It was just one short year ago that An decided to re-brand his west coast inspired Gastropod (winner of Best New Fine Dining at the 18th Annual Vancouver Magazine Awards) and reopen as Maenam, a restaurant dedicated to serving authentic Thai cuisine rooted in traditional recipes. In that short time, the West 4th Avenue wonder has been applauded by both customers and critics alike. “These awards are an incredible honour,” says Angus, “and it is wonderful to be recognized by such a distinguished panel amongst such a talented group of industry professionals for creating dishes that are true to Thai tradition.” Read more