The GOODS from Maenam
Vancouver, BC | On Monday, June 20th Maenam’s Angus An will be indulging spot prawn fanatics with a spot prawn season wrap up dinner served with cocktail pairings by local barman Ben DeChamplain. For one night only, the revered Thai hotspot will feature a custom menu of five spot prawn dishes in two courses, served family style, alongside thoughtfully crafted flights of ingredient-focused cocktails. Seating for the 6pm event is limited. Tickets are priced at $75/person. To reserve a table, click here or phone 604-730-5579. Menu and further details after the jump… Read more
I took a gander inside the upcoming Pink Elephant restaurant at 1152 Alberni yesterday. Even if you’re not entirely sure about the hot pink and light grey colour palette, it’s nevertheless impressive what they’ve done with their allotted 2,800 square feet, especially considering the address used to be the entrance to an underground parkade (for serious).
So what do we know about it? It’s an 88 seater and the newest province in the Chen Empire, aka Thai House Restaurant Group (see also Urban Thai, Charm, Samba, etc). Split on two levels with the kitchen and an approximation of a chef’s table filling the mezzanine, it’s a voluminous box sound-softened with faux concrete linoleum floors. A communal table runs down the center of the main floor and is flanked by an 8 seat bar backed with flat screen and a series of deuce booths complete with stainless steel foot rests. The straight-lined look comes courtesy of restaurant first-timers Horizon, and as you can see their aesthetes have really tucked the garish brand’s shirt in (this place is freakin’ pink).
As for the food, the plan is tapas-style Thai street chow priced in the $5 to $15 range with nothing over $20 (menu 1, 2). The chef is Parichat Poomkajorn stable poached from cousin Thai House on Robson. Expect opening day before the end of the May.
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
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.