Simply Thai serves authentic Thai dishes in Yaletown.
When I used to work in Yaletown, I ate a Simply Thai quite frequently. I recall the quality of the food varied from excellent at the start, to very average several years later. When I changed jobs I stopped frequenting the place.
I went back for lunch for the first time in about 4 years, and ordered the red curry beef. It's better than I remember. On par with what I recall when they first opened. The spring roll is nice and crisp and very tasty with that sweet chili dipping sauce, and the curry was fragrant, rich, and delicious.
I keep going back as the food is good but last night will be my last, the service is beyond atrocious. I cannot recall another place that had offered worse service. I had a rez but was standing at the front door with no one to greet as everyone was busy, stressing out about arranging for a big table. And then the shorter server who has been there for years, still without a smile on her face, ask me 'yes'. Not 'how can i help you' or 'table for how many', just 'yes'. I gave them my name and they sat us on a cramped table. Not one server smiled, everyone was in such a foul mood. One of the servers had accidently bumped one of the guests and instead of saying sorry, she said oops. OOPS! After we were finished, I wanted some dessert, but the grumpy shorter server came to clear the table and just ask 'anything else' without asking if we wanted to see the dessert menu. I brought out of town guests to impress but instead was very embarassed about the service. I have noticed their bad service for years but I return over and over again as I like their pad thai but after last night, its done. I will rather patronize Montri's instead, they are a little further from me, but way more personable and just as if not more authentic.
Craving for Thai last night and ended up in Yaletown. This place is right across from the Opus Hotel. Arrived around 730pm and the place was quiet. Only four other tables in the restaurant and we were promptly seated. Waitress took our drink order and rudely suggested we try something else because they were out of stock. Recommending another bottle of wine is one thing but suggesting it with an attitude is another. Anyways, we ordered our food after sipping our wine. Upon receiving our food we were asked if we wanted steamed rice with our meal which we declined as we had noodles and fried rice as our carbs. 20 minutes into our dinner we were again asked if we wanted rice but we kindly told our server we're okay with our fried rice and noodles. Rudely again she said "Ok then"... That topped off our perception of this simply bad restaurant. Food was ok but the Service was absolutley Terrible. Big thumbs down.
I've been here twice, and the first time was an absolutely mind-blowing experience. Had the red duck curry, which me and my date both thought was simply orgasmic. Also had some noodles (I can't remember which ones exactly) which were good. Me and my bf usually finish everything we order, regardless of how big the portions, but we couldn't finish the stuff we ordered that night because it was just so rich and full of flavour. We felt full already, although the plates were only average sized. We also had the satays which was accompanied by a great peanut sauce.
Second time was a year later, and a very similar experience so I won't dwelve into that too much.
I would say this place is a million times better than Thai House or Urban Thai Bistro (same thing)... and I'm simly astonished by how many bad reviews it has gotten.
Two friends and I went to Simply Thai for Dining Out for Life. We were craving Thai and of the 4 Thai places to choose from, we chose Simply Thai because it was close to my house, and I thought it would be good.
When we entered, we realized that the restaurant was very small - seats about 15 tables of 4s and it has a nice patio. There was no wait for a table at 6:30 PM on a Thursday, although most tables had been filled already. We sat near the bar.
We got the menus and the waiter came by to ask us what we wanted to drink within 1 minute. I ordered a sprite and my friend asked for their wine list. She decided not to have wine as she was craving something mango-y. She was driving so no hard liquor, she looked at the "Designated Drivers" list and there was a Mango Colada. We ordered that and it came with Rum. When my friend questioned the waiter if the drink had rum, he said yes. My friend said she wanted the non-alcoholic one and he replied, "Well you didn't specify." (We didn't know they had two drinks, of the exact same name.) He pointed it to the menu. My friend asked if she could have it replaced with the one with no alcohol. He abruptly grabbed the drink, slammed it at the bar and said to the bartender, "They want the one with no rum." After the drink was made, he slammed it on our table, without saying anything, and walked away.
Spring Rolls 4 for $10 - Small, not flakey enough, very very greasy
Pad thai $15 - It was good
Yellow Curry $16 - Mild was SO spicy!!
Overall, not a great experience.
Went there tonight with 3 other friends. Got there at 5:45pm(Friday night). Not too busy. Very small restaurant, decent and clean place. We each order a cocktail $6 each, not bad for the price but tasted just ok. Had stuffed chicken wing for appetizer, it says 4 pieces on menu but when the order came out, it was actually just two wings cut into four pieces, was good but expected more for $11. Also order 4 other dishes, green curry chicken which was spicy, Pad Thai(not good),curry duck was really good, and mix seafood with vegi and another seafood dish. A bowl of coconut rice was $4 and Jasmine rice was $3. It seems like all the dishes that we ordered have lots of sauces, too much of it, actually. All the dishes were around $15 to $18 which I though was kind of expensive. Our total bill came to $140. Overall, the food was just okay way overpriced. I guess it's in Yaletown, maybe that's why it's so expensive?
Please take my advice and DO NOT EAT at Simply Thai in yaletown. If your looking for good thai in yaletown, Urban Thai Bistro (same company as Thai House) or Charm. This restaurant left a very negative impression on us. The service is atrocious. The waiter had a very pompous condescending attitude throughout the entire dining "experience". In the end we wanted to use our open table cheque as payment (which every restaurant on open table accepts). He wasn't sure how to tender it so called his manager at home as they had no manager on site. He came back and said he can't accept it. I informed him there was an open table number at the bottom of the cheque that stated "Restaurant: Any questions please call 1-800-OPENTABLE". He refused and told us that we could leave but that we should be aware that this would be coming out of his pocket to pay for OUR bill by the end of the night. His mannerisms and shrugs and rolling of the eyes didn't leave a lasting impression that's for sure. I work in the hospitality industry and will be sure to never recommend this restaurant to guests visiting from out of town.
My wife and I went on an early Sunday afternoon. It was sunny, which meant we were expecting a crowd. None appeared but one male server in particular gave us the impression that there were people waiting for our table. We sat outside and asked to have our soup brought out with our main dishes. Our mains came out but our soup did not. So we asked why, a waitress apologized and told us that the restaurant was very busy inside. When we left about half an hour later, we noticed that the inside eating area was empty.
As for the food, our tom yum goong soup was too sweet. It did not seem to include some of the ingredients (galanga and lemongrass) that make the dish true. We expected this since the restaurant caters to the Yaletown yuppie crowd and not to expat Thais looking for a homey meal to remind them of the homeland.
We asked for our larb gai salad spicy, again expecting that it would be watered down for their clientele. Rather than using fresh chili peppers mashed into the salad, they used dried red pepper flakes to add spicy. That was the same with our basil beef dish.
The restaurant is more hype than substance in ambiance and taste. But then again where else can you go for real Thai in Downtown area?
It's hard to live up to first impressions. I came here a couple of years ago with a group of hungry men who were out to drink and eat. And boy, did we do that! My last memory of this place was of an infamous critic getting the alcohol cutoff for his boorish behavior. We had become victims to their great wine list.
However, my most recent expedition was a little more subdued. I brought the two toughest connoisseurs of thai - my parents, who grew up on this stuff in Bangkok. As far they're concerned, this is cheap street food. Not something you pay $20/plate in an swanky bistro in Yaletown. It would take a lot to impress.
7:15 Asked the manager to recommend good authentic dishes. Jokingly told him that mom will be hard to please. He looks alarmed and sends over waiter. Waiter looks confused. No specials of the day and recommends the usual stuff - curry, pad thai..how disappointing. At most says, "I really like #75 but most people like #55". okay leave, useless man.
7:25 Wrong soup comes but it's got a decent zing. My parents pretend to like it but i know they're thinking they could make this better at half the cost (they can't help it, it's a chinese thing)
7:40 Pad Thai arrives - really nice smoky pan fried flavour that slowly becomes too lardish. 7:45 Stir fried eggplant had too much sauce but the basil was a lovely offset. they're too zealous with the green peppers here.
7:47 A big bowl of coconut white rice arrives which almost ruins the whole meal with its lukewarm clumpiness.
7:50 Tilapia fish under a bed of veggies and tamarind sauce. My dad, the fishhead eater, thought the fish flavour was lost. My mom was digging it. You gotta have a sweet tooth to enjoy it.
Simply Thai seems to be making an effort to be a more hip and contemporary than other thai places, so perhaps they should consider having specials that are off the beaten path. And of course, having the kind of staff that can sell a delectable adventure to you.
Not sure why the reviews are so bad for this restaurant. My husband and I have been going here since they opened and love it. There are only certain dishes we order and they are fantastic. The panang curry is really flavourful and thick. The Pad Thai is the way it should be and not how most of the Thai Restaurants in Vancouver serve it....most restaurants use ketchup as their base, which is not the correct form of pad thai. We've been to Thailand and feel their pad thai comes as close to the real thing by using real tamarind in their dish. We also love this scallop dish; the sauce is really tasty and simple.
As an Asian myself and have been trying many different cusine around the world, this Simply Thai is definitely westernised, over-priced and pretendous. We had order quite a few dishes and I would say none of them are qualified to be Thai food. All the dishes that we ordered had some sort of artifical sweetness in it, and they tend to use cheaper ingredients instead of the real stuff which should not be too expensive anyway. And of course the result is poor. For over $100 a dinner per head, this is so not worth it at all.
I won't be as over dramatic as the other reviews but this place is just SIMPLE thai food. I live in Yaletown and I go here as a last resort for good Thai food, if I can't make it over the bridge.
The place fits yaletown, very trendy yet super cramped. You can literally here every conversation in the room over the level changing music.
I am a retired sommelier who loves & enjoy great wine pairings. They have the one of the most immpressive wine lists I have ever seen. That being said I am afraid it is all a FRONT. None of the servers know any of the wines. Forget about even knowing how to pronounce Gewurztraminer ( which by the way is amazing with spicy curries). The first 2 bottles I ordered were " sold out" but I doubt they even had them. The third that was given to me was the wrong year that the server had already opened and spilled on the table cloth so we decided to just drink it because it already took her a very long time to find the bottle. Not one apology, just a smirk & a "i'll be right back". No manager... so theres no one to complain to. So I hope you have good patience when you come.Enough said about service.
Food came out nice and hot on some creative plates however they didn't fit on the table ! We had to transfer food the was already plated on to one plate so it could fit. If i wanted a pile of hot food all on one plate I would have gone to a buffet. Besdies that the food was very simple. I would at least say its better the the Thai House chains by a hair.
So if you happened to go be sure that you order a beer because they can't mess that up & make sure you ask for some condiments so you can fix some of the bland flavours.
I went to simply thai the other night and had a great meal. The food has always been outstanding but service has sometimes been an issue . Violet flower dumplings were fantastic ,satays had a very distictive yellow colour and were grilled perfectly. Followed by hot and sour soup . pad thai, garlic pork and som tum salad. Overall it looks like thay have made some staffing changes and are tryng to correct service issues so give it an other try.
Our expectations were met after reading the reviews from others. I would go again as the food was quite tasty and fresh. Better than most Thai restaurants I have been to. In particular, the pad thai was tasty and the spicy beef was great!! Appies were good. All of the dishes were around $15-16 so it was a little pricier than most Thai restaurants. The service was good and the waitresses kept our water glasses filled. But it wasn't busy neither.
My expectations were quite low for this place after reading the reviews below. I was even thinking of talking my friends out of going here but I'm glad I didn't. Simply Thai is actually pretty good. In particular, the pad thai was tasty. The "Simply Thai Gai-Yang" chicken dish was a little on the dry side.
All of the dishes were around $15-16 so it was a little pricier than most Thai restaurants but not ridiculously expensive. They are in Yaletown after all.
The service was quite good and the waitresses kept our water glasses filled.
I guess 3 out of 5 isn't bad, but this used to be a 4 out of 5, if not a 4.5 out of 5 in my books.
We've been eating here several times per year since 2004 but it has been well over one year since we last dined here. No real reason why we stopped going, but decided on a Friday night, it was time to head back for a reliably good Thai restaurant experience.
Despite all the reviews about bad service, we've never experienced anything like that at all - the staff have always been very accommodating. Great bartender, hostess, servers.
This time, it seems as if the Yaletown barstar scene has finally seeped its way into Simply Thai, where you no longer feel paying $150 (including tip) for a dinner for two (and a bottle of wine) is worth it.
Reasons: the music. One of the Simply Thai's virtues is their jazz music which they advertize eagerly on their website and in their menu. It used to feel like an upscale jazz lounge - a classy Thai bistro (if there is such a thing). It was relaxing, casual, but classy.
This time? Loud, awful club techno music (just like how the previous reviewer states). And while I do enjoy the occasional LCD Soundsystem tune as much as the next person, I do not want that at Simply Thai. Major ambiance ruiner.
The servers were well meaning and were really good for the most part, but obviously knew little about the wine on their menu. The valley girl giggles and the, "well, like, I've heard it's supposed to be good" doesn't cut it. Wine was poured initially and was placed in an ice bucket, but we served ourselves for the rest of the night.
The food was good but seemed to lack the "oomph" of our previous visits. The coconut prawns were good, and the red curry served in a coconut was really good, but really no different from their competitors, Urban Thai Bistro or Chilli Club (which are a part of the Thai House chain). It didn't make it bad food (it was really tasty), but up to the quality we've seen here.
The service was very good, very polite and helping host, drink menu was fine too but food quality was terrible.
Seefoad dishes had a unpleasant smell, that shows it is not fresh. Veggie dish with peanut sause was ok.
overall i don't recommend it, bad experience for thai food. I didn't find the spicy disher really spicy either, even though they had a hot pepper sign beside them in the menu.
After reading the last couple of reviews, I am beginning to wonder if we all had the same waiter?
Anyhoo... I remember coming to this restaurant several years ago and it was much better. The food is now overpriced and not that great, unfortunately. The spring rolls were overly deep fried and greasy. The scallops I ordered for my main were nothing to write home about: several scallops and tons of veggies with even more sauce. Coconut rice? Rip-off at $4 a bowl! Mind you my rice came with an extra helping of a hair... maybe hence the price?
I was here with 5 other friends for a birthday dinner during Taste of Yaletown. We had a set menu for $35 each. There were several items for each course and I thought we had to chose, but we were surprised to learn that we get every item on the menu! The food was absolutely delicious and came in very generous portions. I don't know what the regular menu is like, but the TOY was definitely worth the price. The ambiance and decor was very nice and so was the service making this Thai restaurant notches above any other Thai place I have been to.
I have visited Simply Thai for a total of 7 or 8 times for the past three years, only because of one thing ---- Yellow Curry Chicken. Read on...
Comfortable and nicely decorated restaurant, typical of most Yaletown establishments. Parking can be a nightmare, but then again it is in Yaletown. Seating is a bit crowded and may lack some privacy.
I keep coming back to the place for three years only because of one dish, their yellow curry chicken. It is by far the best tasting curry chicken I have had so far, comparable to Authentic thai cuisine in Asia. Their other dishes are also decent, like the spring rolls with Thai sweet chili sauce.
Service was friendly, but a bit slow even on non-busy days. Nothing too special that stands right out.
If you seek a good value, this is not the place for you. Although the food is good, you pay for it. At $16 for a yellow curry chicken dish and $10 for four pieces of small spring roll, you get the picture. After all, they do have to pay the expensive Yaletown rent somehow.
Pros: Food taste, well decorated
Cons: Expensive, poor parking