Myself and two girlfriends ate at Maenam last night for 'Dine Out Vancouver 2011.' We had a reservation for 8:15. The restaurant was busy so our reservation was delayed, we were seated at about 8:25, not a big deal. We were given the dine out menu and drink menu right away. We decided on what drinks we wanted but when our waiter finally came to take our drink order he dived right into taking our dinner order first. The menu stated $28/per person and had 4 courses to choose from. One starter, salad, curry, and stirfry, and to finish off a dessert. Each of the courses had a meat, seafood, or vegetarian option (as do most dine out menus). I informed the waiter that I'm a vegetarian but I still eat seafood and then started to place my order starting with the mussels as the starter. He interrupted me and told me if I was going to choose the vegetarian option, then each course would have to remain as the vegetarian option. He could tell I looked puzzled and said he could double check with the kitchen if they could make an exception. He came back to say that unfortunately, they could not do it. I was left with one option, to choose all of the seafood courses. At this point I wasn't too impressed with the service or the kitchen staff.
As for the food, the mussels were a delight! They were cooked to perfection in a broth that included lime leaves, lemon grass, and chillies. Next came the salmon salad which was probably one of the worst salads I've ever had. Something about the consistency and texture was off, and the flavours did not go well together. They had mint and cilantro leaves mixed with dry salmon. I then had the 8 spice fish and the ling cod which were both delicious. The desserts were okay.
All together, I felt that the service and kitchen lacked to accomodate their customer's diatery needs. The ambience was really warm and modern and the food was very up and down. Perhaps if I had tried some of the vegetarian options on the menu, I would have some more positive feedback on the food? On a positive note, I did order a pad thai to go for my boyfriend and it was delicious. Perhaps their regular menu is better than the dine out menu, but Maenam didn't leave a lasting impression when it came to service and as a result I probably won't return.