I have an office across the street from this Yaletown restaurant and was excited to see a 'non-chain' restaurant (ie. Cactus Club, Milestones, etc) opening up. Upon dining however I did discovered that the restaurant was owned by the Thai House group, still not a bad thing I thought.
Unfortunately, Charm is the Thai House's take on "Modernized Thai Fusion" and while the concept may be good, the execution failed big time.
FOOD: Started with the appetizer sampler (spring rolls, chicken "balls", Thai-style tuna sashimi) which was decent. Sashimi was warm and seasoned with fish sauce; not to my liking.
We shared two mains. First was a braised beef ravioli in a green curry sauce. The ravioli were small with very little filling, couldn't tell it was braised beef... it didn't seem like they made it in house. Curry was nice however but no different than what the Thai House offers in their take-home curry packs.
Second was scallops served on some braised vegetables. The vegetables were great, perfectly seasoned. The scallops had nice grill marks but made them taste bitter.
We had coconut jasmine rice as a side and it was mushy. When we asked the waitress, the answer we got back was that it's supposed to be like that. Didn't know how she could give an Asian couple an answer like that, we know rice!
In general, it seems that the chef had good intention and ambition with the menu at Charm but fails miserably at execution.
SERVICE: For the price and decor, the service certainly did not match the level of expectation they set up for this restaurant. Instead, service is what you would expect from a "family-run" joint. Our waitress knew very little about the menu and when asked for recommendations she would always steer us to the most expensive items.
Poor followup and awkward throughout the meal.
VALUE: Appys ranged from $8-$12, mains ranged from $15+ from what I recall. The Ravioli dish we ordered was $15 and Scallops $25 for 4. You do leave full but I felt I overpaid for everything.
AMBIANCE: It's modern with an Asian influence. The restaurant was only two weeks old so it's clean. Music is typical of a yoga studio.
Overall, I won't be coming back which is too bad considering how convenient this restaurant is to my work. Given the value and location of Charm, I wouldn't expect this restaurant to be around in a year.
If you're looking for Thai "fusion", try Urban Thai two blocks north on Hamilton. It's also owned by the Thai House group but is much better all around.