Maenam brings a world-class Thai dining experience to Vancouver . Chef Angus An (formerly of Gastropod) creates the perfect balance of flavours using recipes and techniques authentic to Royal Thai traditions and inspired by Chef David Thompson of the world-renowned Nahm in London. Maenam also features expertly crafted wine, cocktail and dessert selections, created specifically to pair with Thai cuisine – all served in a modern, casual and comfortable setting.
Stopped in for lunch on a Saturday, we were seated immediately, and given menus.
Between four of us we ordered, the roti, chicken satay, deep fried oysters, oxtail soup, pad thai, penang curried beef and the green papaya salad.
All was quite good, but the penang curry was the stand out.
Our server was excellent (pleasant, friendly and attentive).
The room is bright and understated, with bamboo accents.
I’ve been to a lot of Thai places around town, and even when the food wasn’t the best, it was still enjoyable. Maenam is a really beautiful, slick room, no doubt about that. It’s not very large, it has about 16 small tables. There were a lot of servers for such a small room, and the service was still just okay. Maybe their timing was just off…some of them could be friendly and accommodating, but for such a small restaurant, we had trouble flagging anyone down when we needed something.
The food was okay. I was really looking forward to the hot and sour soup, because I love the subtle layers of flavors in this soup, and I have it at every Thai restaurant I go to. It’s kind of my standard bearer. I thought it was too spicy, that it overpowered the taste of the soup to the point where I couldn’t figure out what the actual flavors were at all, besides spicy. And then we had some of the main dishes, which I expected to be very spicy, but were actually incredibly mild to the point that it didn’t seem hot at all. I wasn’t wow-ed by anything…maybe because I expected coconut milk in the duck curry, and it was a different kind of curry, so I found it disappointing. The pad thai was way too sweet, and the chicken satays were pieces of grilled chicken with peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was good, but I’ve had more exceptional peanut sauce with a lot more complexity and depth at about half the price, so I definitely had bigger expectations.
It’s a good restaurant, but for all the raves it’s been getting around town, I expected to just love everything and be amazed. I think I would go back for drinks and some small snacks, rather than a full (and fairly price-y) meal.
I went to Maenam on a busy Friday night with a few friends and had a fantastic time!! The service was choppy and slow, but warm & friendly. The restaurant gives off a casual vibe; a good cozy ambiance. I'd recommend making reservations, cuz this place was super packed the night that we went. The food was really delicious and unique - it's definitely not your typical Thai Restaurant. Very flavorful dishes, but presentation was poor. While I thought the metal round bowls the curries came in were cool, it could have looked way better. I thought each entree was reasonably priced and we went home full. Of course for 4 people we ordered much more than we would if it was just myself & my husband. The only thing that was a bit overpriced was the Jasmine Rice. Otherwise it was a good value for what we got. The Thai Sausage was salty on its own, but topping it with the housemade sweet chili sauce made it fantastic. The green papaya salad was kind of boring, didn't really taste spicy nor spectacular. The green curry halibut was insanely spicy but good. Definitely a nice kicker. My favorites were the Aromatic duck curry - the flavours of the meat were accentuated by the cucumber relish, the yummy pork cheeks w/ longan and the Panaeng Beef - very meaty and tasty. For dessert, we tried both the Dark Chocolate pot de creme and housemade rice donuts. Mmm, soo good! Overall, a very enjoyable first visit to Maenam! =)
We have been to Maenam twice now, and had similar experiences each time. This place looks great with a very modern, warm decor, and the service is fantastic, and the cocktails are delicious. The same owners who owned Gastropod own Maenam, and many of their influences can be seen in the menu, which offers many inventive uses of traditional Thai ingredients, and "twists" on the classic thai dishes, often using locally-sourced ingredients. This can be excellent, as I had tonight in the duck salad, which was piquant and savory and provided that excellent balance of flavors that one expects to see in high-end Thai. This can unfortunately also be very poor, as I have had several times with the chef's insistence on trying to cram tamarind in places it does not belong (ice cream, a tequila drink). Overall, the dishes write a check that the taste doesn't always cash. I would go back, but stick to the soups and salads and cocktails (which are more consistent), and be careful about ordering the mains.
The food I don't have particular gripes with. In fact, the crispy fried oysters were quite well done. also acceptable were the duck and beef curries. portions tend to be on the small side and thus value suffers. what was clearly unacceptable were the following: server asking you "are you ready for your check" in a militant fashion without mentioning dessert as well as a second person who couldn't remember what to pack for take-out and haphazardly directs the server to include other people's food as well. from other tables presumably.
nightmare for $80 and two people. go elsewhere.
Food: We were a large group of 10 and it was difficult to decide. The server suggested the Chef's menu and it turned out to be a great idea and made sure to ask if there were any preferences or allergies. We had heard good things but no idea what to expect and each dish was a pleasant surprise. It was a great way to sample a wide variety of dishes. Flavours and textures were complex and ingredients were fresh and of good quality. Something basic as pad thai so good with delicate tamarind flavour - finally, thankfully - someone has got it right! Not the usual and terrible sweet sour ketchupy tomatoey mass of rice noodle. There were too many dishes to name but all delicious and creative...creamy chicken soup, green papaya salad, steamed mussels, caramelized pork belly, curried pork shoulder, scallops, eggplant, lingcod.
Service: The restaurant is not big and we were a relatively large group. Even though we were the ones who were unorganized and called for a very last minute reservation they not only graciously accommodated us within the hour and they were apologetic about squeezing us into a tight corner! They also assured us that as soon as another large group vacates, they would move us into a more comfortable tables and true to their word, they came by to relocate us later on but we were having such a good time in our corner that there was no need to move. Service throughout the meal was attentive - water and wine refilled regularly. Food took a little while to arrive at first, which is understandable with size of our group, but the dishes arrived steadily once the kitchen got going. Servers gave us a brief description of each dish as they arrived.
Value: Excellent considering the quality and service and portions are just right for sharing. Highly recommend the Chef's menu.
Ambiance: The decor is modern and minimalist but very warm with the dark bamboo paneling and soft lighting. It is busy and has a great vibe.
Very excited to see Chef Angus on the front of the georgia straight. No doubt, he deserves to be there, but I have some issues. Does media can create a hype ,can media make a chef popular.
Started with steamed mussels which was really flavourful but too hot to can handle (As an east Indian we always like hot food). At that point I wanted to have another beer but the waiter who is really a nice guy went missing. I know most of service mistake happens when it is a slow night, meanam is no exceptional.
For bigger we had shrimp with salad which was full of tough mint leaves and made me think of Mexican flavours. May be chef thought as Mexican food getting more popular in Vancouver we should have this on the menu.
Lastly, the most disappointing sable fish jungle curry. Now here is the point , there are things which make Vancouver proud one of is buttery sable fish .How can you deep fry this fish? All the juices were gone and I was getting an infused flavours of frying oil. So I went on a quest ….ways of cooking sable fish. End result what I got ,you basically waste sable fish when you deep fry it (I hope chef is right and I am wrong) .
Service and ambience very good ,very classy but can these two strong points and support of media can make a place busy? ……we will wait and see.
Maenam is yet another ethnic restaurant in this city that offers mediocre food and fancy lighting, wood wall pannelling and fancy cocktails all designed to bring in the kits crowd.
I was part of a group so we had the opportunity to taste many of the dishes on the menu (soup, fried oysters, beef, halibut, chicken curries, pad thai, beef salad, grilled prawn salad and papaya salad). None of them were bad, but none of them were special...Actually, let me edit that. The pad thai was bad. Too sour and gelatinous.
I've had better thai for less than half the price at some of the mom-and-pop thai places in town. And that's the trouble for restauranteurs: this city is so cosmopolitan that fancy cocktails and wall panelling just isn't going to cut it.
I wouldn't go back for another visit.
Wow. The reviews for this hot new Thai restaurant are unusually thoughtful and detailed. Perhaps this is because Maenam is the revamped incarnation of trendy Gastropod, or perhaps people are slightly let down by the purportedly "world-class" menu (in which I found a typo upon initial inspection).
I must say that of the six entrees our table ordered, I was blown away by two (Panaeng Beef, David Thompson's 3-Flavour Fish), fully satisfied with three (Pad Thai, Mussaman Chicken Curry, Grilled Prawn Salad), and disappointed with one (yes...the Siamese Watercress). The flavours in the Panaeng were bright and aromatic ...the fresh lime leaves and tamarind literally started a party in my mouth.
What else should I tell you? They have great cocktails, no draft beer (boooo!), slow service and a fairly casual vibe. I actually got semi dressed up to dine here, fully aware of the sterile, prim atmosphere that Gastropod exuded.
I should also note that they charge for roti and condiments. This, combined with the slow service and freakishly salty watercress and lack of draft beer (again: boooo!), left me mildly disappointed BUT I was very happy with my experience overall.
It was such a smart move to axe Gastropod, especially with Fuel next door.
Maenam is not your run-of-the-mill food court Thai place. This place serves the real deal of Thai cuisine.
Oysters, tom yum soup, oxtail soup, satays are all winners. Duck curry and halibut curry are well-made-- you could taste all the different flavors in the curry but the chef makes it all blend together well. Their Pad Thai is my absolute favorite. It's not the typical peanut butter sauce you get from anywhere else. They use fresh rice noodles and the accompanying sauce just makes it a satisfying dish. Price point is okay, some curry dishes might be small for some people but I find that it's perfect for sharing among 2 to 3 people ordering 2-3 varieties of food.
Deserts were also good-- loved their different flavored ice creams (lychee and mango) and also love the budino.
The only item on the menu I did not enjoy was their roti. Too flat and oily.
Service for the first week was sub par but my subsequent returns (three times since the opening), service has been very prompt, courteous and consistent.
I look forward to going through all the soups they offer and dropping by their lunch/ late night hours to try other items on the menu.
Think Vij's only thai with Rangoli prices is how one food critic put it and this is a good description. Not sure what to make of the earlier comment that the colour of the Pad Thai is unlike the standard fare in other Thai eateries--that would be a good thing, no crappy ketchup like colour or flavouring. The pad thai is about as authentic as it gets. The restaurant soft opened the very last few days of May and that was my first visit. It was outstanding but I recently went again and the service is completely seamless now. The food is interchangeable with the best Thai one can get in Thailand. There seems no compromise in terms of only authentic ingredients--no vegetables which are not part of the Thai staple, for example. I am told the meats are organic when possible. The sausage is homemade and absolutely delicious. The fried oysters incredibly light. Fantastic restaurant and the prices are extremely reasonable (again, not sure about how Maenam prices do not fare favorable with the mainstream of Thai eateries in thsi city. Pad Thai for 12 bucks. Satays 2 bucks per. Appies 6 to 8 bucks. To each his own I suppose but to my tastebuds, Maenam is the standard bearer for the very best Thai food in the Vancouver area.
Went there a few weeks after they opened and I don't know. It seemed as if they could have pulled it off better. You could totally find cheaper thai food at other restaurants.
Price was reasonable considering how it is a fancy thai place and its on west forth but I don't believe it was worth the food.
Food came out pretty slowly, they brought food out to other tables before they served us and we had came in first.
When the food did come out, it was cold. The chicken appetizers that we had were honestly, not even warm it was just straight cold but it was still very good. We also ordered the fried rice and pad thai (the pad thai is something you just have to try at maenam), rice on the outside was cold and so was the pad thai, you could tell it was sitting out for a bit before being served.
Overall, I do recommend people to go and just try the restaurant because there's not many fancy thai places around vancouver so check it out! And, definitely try the pad thai, probably the best thing on their menu.
This was the first of three restaurants I ate at for Dine Out Vancouver 2011. We had a reservation and were seated promptly. The restaurant isn't that big, and it was full, so it seemed a bit crowded but not intrusive. The decor is casual, but upscale without seeming pretentious.
We ordered a bottle of wine to start and then the Dine Out menu was explained to us. The way it worked was that you were able to choose one soup to start, one salad, one stir fry, and one curry to be shared between two people. Each person could pick their own dessert. It sounded like a lot of food. We were very excited.
We weren't let down. Our soup arrived quickly and it was a good sized portion. There was just the right amount of spice, saltiness, and sweetness that blended perfectly. Next were our mains, and they all were served at the same time. We had so much food on the table that we couldn't fit it all on our plates at once. Our favourites were the hanger steak salad and the 8 spice fish. The tastes and textures were amazing. The only disappointment was the Sloping Hills pork belly curry, but I think that it was just a more familiar taste for us and we weren't wowed. Dessert was excellent though and we finished it off even though we were stuffed.
Service was great throughout our meal with each course explained to us. We were glad to have such a great start to Dine Out.
I loved the Gastropod restaurant that was the predecessor of Maenam (and run by the same chef Angus An). Eager to try Maenam for awhile now, we went there last nite.
What a disappointment!
We ordered 1) hot & sour chicken soup w/ chanterelle 2) fraser valley duck red curry and 3) mussaman beef curry and 4) rice. Before even finishing our order, my server rudely interrupted me and said "we highly recommend you to order rice with the curry". I'm asian, why would a white girl want to remind me that simple fact that we should order rice with curry??
It took 1/2 hour for the soup to come. My guy was famished by then, it was already 8:30pm and we have no food on our table. The soup turned out to be very, very sour - and I normally like sourness. It also lacks the coconut milk-based texture of a common tom ka gai soup, this is a broth. The sourness took away all other taste in the soup and started to tapdance and kill my empty stomach.
Another 45 mins passed by before our entrees came. I tried to get my server's attention, but none of them pay attention to the diners, they just like to talk to one another.
The curries came. The fraser valley duck curry was flavorful but there were few pieces of duck in there. The mussaman beef curry has a very, very sweet taste - again, overpowering all other flavors of the dish. What's pathetic though is the beef pieces were not marinaded at all, it's completely bland...so you bite into a piece of bland beef chuck that is smothered in overly sweet curry. It was quite disgusting.
2 hours and $65 bill later, I honestly wished I'd gone next door to Refuel instead!
Will never go back!
Great food, depends what you order of course. We had the tenderloin, and the fried basil fish with 4 spices (this one would have been just enough for a 2 year old toddler), hence the 3 main dishes pls. But the flavor was exquisite, the best Thai so far outside of Bangkok. Snobbish, yes; but hey Vancouver + 4th Ave = aforementioned.
So yeah, check it out, but you may need fries with that (plus ketchup with the Pad Thai?) .
My fiance and I took a friend out for her bday dinner. She was craving thai food and after reading the reviews on Maenam we decided to try it out.
Roti.. not as greasy as some mentioned but were somewhat tasteless.
Tom yum gung... very good. Generous portion of prawns and was very delicious. The balance of spicey and sour was perfect.
Pad Thai was overrated. The noodles were a bit too gluey but the dish itself was well balanced. It was missing some chopped peanuts for texture contrast.
Hanger Steak Salad.. This is definately something new and interesting. The crunchy toasted rice made the dish. I think it had too many herbs and wasn't really a salad. Red onions, cilantro, mint, steak... where were the other veggies? Cucumbers would been nice addition.
Green Curry Halibut.. not for those who cant take the heat. I was sweating bullets and if it wasn't for the beer i wouldn't of made it.
The highlight of the night was walking down the block to SCOOP! Had a frozen yogurt to sooth the heat.
Maenam is not your choice for quick, run of the mill restaurants that serve Thai in Vancouver. This place in Kits is rather trendy for thai food, and is a little more expensive than your average Thai because ingredients are locally sourced. Prices are still not expensive though and I'm willing to pay for it.
While there are other places that beat it in terms of food, the ambience was quite nice, more upscale, and you can even take a date here. Service could do with a little more though, our server was not very helpful and didn't come back to check up on us when we didn't order drinks. We ordered the coconut mushroom soup which was for two as a starter and found it to be quite tasty. The pad thai was just average; I've had better elsewhere. My friend was more lucky and ordered the curry w/ pork belly and liked it. The roti was kind of bland. Wouldn't consider this my go-to place for Thai food but wouldn't completely turn it down either. 3.5 stars.
Gastropod was good but not great. Maenam, however, reaches levels of greatness even though it is only weeks old. The redesigned room is warmer, the service less stuffy, and the menu reads like a dream list of things to eat. This is Thai food you won't find many other places, especially in Vancouver, and the balance of all the dishes sampled were near perfect. The two curries we had, the mussaman chicken and panaeng beef, were suitably rich with deep complex flavours that complimented without overwhelming the palate. My lone complaint was the spiciness of the green papaya salad. The salad itself was a refreshing combination of slivered vegetables (and fruit) with the tastiest roasted peanuts and a nice light dressing but that light dressing certainly packed a punch. I probably wouldn't get it again as my taste buds took half a beer and 10 minutes to draw level. Dessert menu is compact but the sorbets, notably the rich coconut and tangy pineapple, were delicious. Short but affordable beer and wine by the glass lists and like its predecessor there is a very solid selection of cocktails. Late night and lunch service available. This place has wedged itself very quickly onto my list of city-wide favourites.
The originality of the food was amazing. Not your typical fast made Thai food I have found in a lot of downtown Thai restaurants. Went back a second time and again the food was great. Brought some friends from Thailand and they said very much the same - just like really good Thai food from home.
Will go back!
I've been to Thailand a few times and going to Maenam always brings me back. The flavors are authentic. My favorites are the pad thai, hanger steak salad, and halibut cheeks. The decor is warm and inviting. I especially like the bamboo by the windows. I think theres good value there. Everytime I go with friends, we end up averaging 30 dollars a person, with left overs to bring home. The service is always friendly, I don't feel like they are rushing me out like most other busy restaurants.