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3
  • Food3
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews34

Maenam

1938 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J1M5
Tel: (604) 730-5579 Reserve Online
Fax: (604) 730-5675
Neighbourhood: Kitsilano
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Service: Takeout, Banquet
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Late night
  • Features: Wheelchair accessible
  • Hours: Mon - Thu: 12PM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 11PM, Fri - Sat: 12PM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 1AM, Sun: 5PM - 11PM
  • 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.

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 34 of 34 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Fantastic Dining Experience
By SabrinaChoice of East Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 1:23pm [Dine in]

I visited Maenam for the first time during DIne Out Vancouver. The restaurant was full and very busy, but our table was ready when we arrived. Our server was adept at guiding us through the menu selections. The food was fantastic! Authentic thai flavours and dishes I have not seen elsewhere in Vancouver. The ambiance was elegant and relaxed, and the cocktails and wine brought us to new heights of enjoyment.

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Blows Tropika out of the proverbial water.
By muimuimui of Coquitlam (8 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 10:41pm [Dine in]

After my experience with a few other Thai restaurants around Vancouver, I was a little hesitant to visit Maenam, despite raving reviews. To me, the Thai I've tried was almost identical to middle of the road Chinese food. I do not mean this as an offense to Chinese food, but as China and Thailand are two different countries, I would assume at least a few differences in cuisine.
Maenam changed my perception entirely.

Ordered the 8 Spice Fish (cod), prawn and chilli jam salad, and roti.
The cod was wonderfully sweet and spicy. The burn stayed on the mouth, yet the sweet kept you eating it. The roti was great with the remaining sweet sauce.

At the majority of restaurants I've been to, the only saving grace of salads were the copious amount of other various items they decided to mix with the vegs. And they'd be nothing short of average, and something I could recreate at home. Not in the case of this salad. Flavourful and consisting of kaffir lime leaves (something that I have not previously experienced), this was something special. But there was one downside. We started off with the salad, and it tasted perfect. We then had a few bites of the cod with the sweet/spicy sauce. When we went back to the salad, it felt far too salty. But I don't put the food at fault for that. Just a warning if you are to order the two dishes. : )

The roti was a tad disappointing. I am used to a fluffier on the inside, crispier on the outside roti. This roti was flat, chewy, devoid of layers, and quite boring. It's only saving grace was that it was a blank slate to layer the more amazing flavours of the other dishes onto.
Service was impersonal and a bit slow. But it was a full night, so I don't put it against them.

Value is poor if you're looking for quantity. But if you're looking for quality and true flavour, value is great. (With the exception of the $3 rice.. But for a lot of the mains here, rice is mandatory to truly enjoy the main)

I'm not a fan of the bar..ish atmosphere, but to each their own.

Recommended. And will be going back to try the other dishes.

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Once Bitten...
By martinthinks of Kits (7 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 12:02am [Dine in]

Not likely to return here. Perhaps it was due to the late hour we visited, I don't know. What I do know is that the service was atrocious, the food was very mediocre, and the ambiance was nice. When you stand at the doorway in full view and are completely ignored in a half empty restaurant, servers chatting it up at the bar, there is something wrong. When servers make mistakes and forget you, and then don't apologize, there is something wrong. When food that is supposed to be hot off the grill bears grill marks but is still steaming from the microwave, and cold in the centre there is something wrong. Again, not likely to return.

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Highly disappointed
By culinarydelights of vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 1:26am [Dine in]

I went here expecting great Thai food after reading many reviews, boy was I seriously disappointed. Pad Thai was gelatinous, clumpy and had no flavour. I could of made this at home by over boiling store bought noodles. Som Tom presentation I have to say was nice. Unfortunately, it didn't taste as great as it looked. Again, I felt that the dish lacked flavour, the scale of the beans were a bit thick and so was the papaya. But again, taste was probably compromised in favour for presentation. Salad with eggplant and mushrooms was a bit too oily and heavy for a salad, didn't leave me feeling so great after. Dessert, what can I say....nothing spectacular. Everything was a way too overpriced for the small and disappointing portions. Service was good though, but not enough to make me come back.

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Great thai food, crisp service, beautiful room
By wjo of West End, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, August 14, 2009 - 1:20pm [Dine in]

First time submitting here as I just discovered this site. I read a lot of praise from pretty well all the local and national press about Maenam and I am a big fan of Thai food. I lived near the Haight in SF for many years and frequently haunted Ploy II Thai. Until Maenam, I was always disappointed in the level of Thai food in this city. And it always perplexed me why given the large East Asia influence here.

No more. Maenam is terrific. It also seems uncompromisingly authentic whenever possible. I read a review somewhere that the meats are organic and vegetables organic where possible (sometimes it is not possible to get authentic Thai ingredients that are organic). The point is that the restaurant clearly seeks the highest standards, something which most run of the mill Thai restaurants don't seek (and the vast majority of Thai in Vancouver is run of the mill).

The musselman chicken is fantastic. My favorites included also the smoked duck (something I have never tried before), the amazingly great pad thai, the hangar steak salad and if your mouth can handle the heat, the great halibut curry.

I don't drink alcohol so I can't comment on the drinks menu but my companion thought a spicy cocktail he had was outstanding. I was too full to try any desserts but they at least looked amazing, judging by other tables.

Service is crisp and friendly. A lot of attention to detail. The restaurant has a fun environment. We made reservations mid-week and it was completely full. We waited only about five minutes and our table turned up. We were given freebie appies and drinks for our wait. Great restaurant serving wonderful Thai food.

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Not too sure..
By dal of van (35 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 2, 2009 - 12:15pm [Dine in]

I'm not sure if I would frequent this place often... its a nice space - great for a date... but as a regular spot... I don't think so. I don't like their beers, and their wine pours are 1 oz, however ... the pad thai is amazing, I would probably do take-out just for the pad thai... entrees are delicious - value there- :-) but the appetizers not so much..

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MaeNOoooOo!
By food-queen of East Vancouver (28 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 5, 2009 - 11:34pm [Dine in]

Went to try this restaurant after the excessive hype surrounding the opening of this restaurant (formerly Gastropod). Boy, were we ever let down! Started off with 2 appies - papaya salad & hot and sour soup. Papaya salad was average ... and the hot & sour soup was very watery and bland beyond belief. We also ordered roti which was not fluffy (nothing like what you would expect at Banana Leaf or Tropika), not to mention oily.

Entrees consisted of a smoked duck red curry (which was the only good thing that night) and the pad thai. Wow, don't even get me started on the pad thai - it was very wet aaand the colour of the pad thai was totally uncharacteristic of the typical pad thai that you would normally expect.

All in all, it was a very disappointing experience, to say the least. Service was ok -you can tell they're still in the midst of straightening out the odds and ends. Cocktails were ok. But this place definitely does NOT live up to all the hype! Perhaps, there will be improvements, but I am definitely not coming back anytime soon.

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Dine out menu too confusing? Service rushed?
By world_traveller of Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 28, 2011 - 1:31pm [Dine in]

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.

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Mehhhhh
By imprimatur of Lower Mainland (19 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 4:12pm [Dine in]

Food: Delicious, if inauthentic. Poor balance overall of /thai/ flavours but nevertheless the execution of the meats was great - fish was moist, flakey, perfectly cooked, etc.

Service: A bit snobbish. I'm used to getting a sort of sigh when I order water instead of alcohol (because they figure one won't tip), but here the service ultimately seemed a bit disorganized and a bit aloof - or perhaps distracted? It wasn't bad.

Value: Way overpriced. Inauthentic curry in a bargain-basement sauce, a serving that would be hard pressed to fill an egg cup - for almost $20? The piece of fish, for the same, was the size of a Mcchicken patty - I have no issue with paying for quality but there are limits here. While the fish was perfectly cooked, it was not the best I'd ever had, and I'd had better for much less. Nothing on the menu is at a reasonable price-point - even the roti canai (?!) is almost five dollars - almost 100% pricier than at any Malaysian restaurant.

Ambiance: Trendy. Nice if you're a yuppy I suppose, and tastefully lit, but rather predictable in the main.

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Best Thai I've had outside Thailand
By Brizz of Langley (18 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 21, 2009 - 12:21pm [Dine in]

My wife and I have been itching to go here since I read a couple reviews about the restaurant and their connection with David Thompson.

We weren't let down by the high praise. We arrived without a reservation at around 5:30 (they open at 5) on Saturday and we were seated at a decent table in the middle of the restaurant. The place is very small so I would make reservations next time as the place was completely packed by 6pm. The design and ambiance were great, no complaints.

The service we recieved was excellent and our waiter was not only friendly, attentive, educated, but also very passionate about Thai cuisine and the quality of the ingredients they source.

We had the Chicken Satay to start which was very good. The in house peanut sauce was incredible and I would buy a bottle if they sold it:)

For mains we had the Pad Thai and the Halbut Green Curry. Not sure why people are complaining about portion size because with those three dishes my wife and I were stuffed with no room for dessert unfortunatly.

The Pad Thai is the best I've had outside of Thailand hands down. I think the negative reviews stem from people not knowing how Pad Thai is traditionally made. Unfortunately it is common for local thai places to use ketchup as the sweet element in the dish to cater to the local palate, hence the redish colured dish. Here they use tamarind seeds/sauce to achieve this result which is both sweet and sour and is probably why some people found it either too sweet or too sour. To me, this dish has the perfect combination of taste and texture with crunchy peanuts and bean sprouts and perfect noodles which are sourced out of LA and are THE best noodles I've had locally.

Next the Halibut Curry. Wow. The flavors in this dish are AMAZING and the pea eggplants which I've never heard of are a burst of flavor which is new to me. This dish is quite spicy but you can still taste all the amazing flavors.

The wine selection is great with Wild Goose (one of my fav. local wines) being their house wine. The Autum Gold from Wild Goose pairs great with spicy foods.

Overall a great place that I would definately go back to and try some other dishes, notable the Penang Beef Curry.

Value wise I found it not too bad. 1 appy, 2 drinks and 2 mains for $65 with a 20% tip... not bad. The fresh ingredients and house made pastes and sauces is well worth it.

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Upscale Thai on 4th
By moot of East Van, baby (5 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 5, 2010 - 10:02am [Dine in]

This is a very hip little spot - emphasis on little, as the dining room is tiny. It gets quite loud and hot as the place fills up. You have to watch it if you sit in the middle of the restaurant; the staff walks up and down the aisles, and you can get clipped if you move around too much. Or, hit in the head by a guy putting on his jacket at the bar, which is inches away. The food was solid, and staff knowledgeable about their dishes. The crispy fermented pork appetizer was tasty, but it was like eating jerky. A total conversation killer, it took a few minutes to chew each bite. The mussels were flavourful. We tried the pad Thai - yum, didn't find it too sweet as mentioned before. The crispy coriander beef (which if you don't like super rare meat, don't order it) had some spice in the coriander crust. Unexpected, but in a good way. We had the fried banana and sesame dessert, which was tiny, but we were stuffed after two appetizers, two mains and a small rice to share. The best part for me was the cocktail - a Pink Orchid. The combination of flavours was excellent, and it was refreshing, especially as the room got hotter. Maenam is worth a try. You must make a reservation to avoid disappointment, there were only a few spots for one at the bar that walk-ins could take. Enjoy!

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Blows Tropika out of the proverbial water.
By muimuimui of Coquitlam (8 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 10:45am [Dine in]

After my experience with a few other Thai restaurants around Vancouver, I was a little hesitant to visit Maenam, despite raving reviews. To me, the Thai I've tried was almost identical to middle of the road Chinese food. I do not mean this as an offense to Chinese food, but as China and Thailand are two different countries, I would assume at least a few differences in cuisine.
Maenam changed my perception entirely.

Ordered the 8 Spice Fish (cod), prawn and chilli jam salad, and roti.
The cod was wonderfully sweet and spicy. The burn stayed on the mouth, yet the sweet kept you eating it. The roti was great with the remaining sweet sauce.

At the majority of restaurants I've been to, the only saving grace of salads were the copious amount of other various items they decided to mix with the vegs. And they'd be nothing short of average, and something I could recreate at home. Not in the case of this salad. Flavourful and consisting of kaffir lime leaves (something that I have not previously experienced), this was something special. There was only downside. We started off with the salad, and it tasted perfect. We then had a few bites of the cod with the sweet/spicy sauce. When we went back to the salad, it felt far too salty. But I don't put the food at fault for that. Just a warning if you are to order the two dishes. : )

The roti was a tad disappointing. I am used to a fluffier on the inside, crispier on the outside roti. This roti was flat, chewy, devoid of layers, and quite boring. It's only saving grace was that it was a blank slate to layer the more amazing flavours of the other dishes onto.
Service was impersonal and a bit slow. But it was a full night, so I don't put it against them.

Value is poor if you're looking for quantity. But if you're looking for quality and true flavour, value is great. (With the exception of the $3 rice.. But for a lot of the mains here, rice is mandatory to truly enjoy the main)

I'm not a fan of the bar..ish atmosphere, but to each their own.

Recommended. And will be going back to try the other dishes.

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Overrated in the press
By ceeniebinks of commercial drive, vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 17, 2009 - 10:27am [Dine in]

My husband & I recently tried this Thai restaurant which was getting glowing reviews in the local press. Needless to say, we were overwhelmingly disappointed. For a previous "gourmet" restaurant which was supposedly downscaling due to the economy, I found It to be very pretentious. The food was mediocre at best & grossly overpriced for the portion size. The critics have been falling over themselves complimenting Maenem, but our experience, aside from the great service, was completely dismal. Needless to say, I had to go home & have a large snack to compensate for my grumbling stomach...We would have dined at the Noodle Box down the road for half the price, where the food is delicious & reasonably priced for the quantity & quality.

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Authentic Thai
By Globe_eater of kitslano, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - 6:17pm [Dine in]

A disappointing experience. When their ad raved "authentic Thai", I couldn't to go, but only to find that it's just another highly acclaimed fusion place that couldn't get it all right. The following is my good and not so lists:

Good
1. Beatuiful display of food -clean and fits the kit crowd
2. wonderful service
3. great ambience.
4. wasn't super busy so no wait

Not so good
1. green papaya salad: whilest it was beautifully displayed, the papaya itself is below the ripeness fit for a salad. it was very hard to chew. I have had my fairshare of papaya salad to know what's what.
2. No chopsticks available. Extremely difficult to eat papaya salad with a fork as it doesn't pierce the stiff salad sticks. Chopsticks are a must. I don't buy that authentic Thai food utilizes forks. I rather use my hands
3. Terrible mushroom soup. WAY too much coconut mulk - it's NOT supposed to be ALL coconut milk - cus that's a strong laxative. No taste. No texture.
4. Pad Thai: too sour. Way too sour. Though the sprouts are fairly crispy and the contrast of texture wasn't a total miss.

I will give this restaurant another try before I put it on the "never visit again" list.

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