I had dinner with a meetup.com group, and we met at a recently opened thai fusion restaurant in Kitsilano.
We had reservations, but being a mid-week evening, it wasn’t really necessary. ‘D’ was early and was already seated when I arrived.
The menu is mostly Thai with a mixture of other influences. There seem to be some taiwanese and japanese influences in the dishes on the menu.
We took some of the server’s recommendations for house specialties, and added a couple of favorites of our own.
Our first dish was Zesty Raw Fish
This is sushi grade snapper, sliced thin and shingled over greens, dressed with a citrus glaze, slivered raw onions, crispy fried garlic, and fresh sprouts. The citrus was very mild. The snapper was firm and rather mild, so the presiding flavor here was the garlic.
The next dish was Spicy Citrus Seared Beef
At a glance, this appears to be the ‘turf’ variant on the previous ‘surf’ dish of sliced raw fish, but it’s not. This is lightly seared rare beef, served over greens, garnished with raw onion slivers and sprouts, then drizzled with a citrusy sweet spicy dressing. The spiciness kind of sneaky, it hit on the third or fourth chew. The citrus flavor here was very pronounced.
The next dish was Chicken in Grains of Paradise.
This is a fillet of chicken, dredged in flour/starch, battered and deep-fried, then sliced in strips, served on a bed of fresh greens and crunchy cabbage, dressed with a pepper-tree prickly ash sauce. This was probably the best dish of meal. The chicken is tasty and quite crunchy. It’s nicely seasoned and spicy, with a bold crunch.
This was followed by Barbequed Pork Jowl
This is pork jowl, grilled, and seasoned, sliced thin and served with a sweet salty dipping sauce. This dish came twice. The first arrived a little overcooked and dry. When ‘J’ brought this to the servers attention, he offered to take it away and bring a newly prepared one. The second was much better, still tender and juicy. The dipping sauce has strong citrus and fish sauce flavors.
No Thai meal would feel complete without curry. This is Coconut Green Curry Chicken
I was a little slow on the camera here, but this is a mild green curry filled with carrots, green peppers, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, lime leaves and chunks of chicken. Its served with bread that’s been smeared with shrimp paste and quickly flash fried to a light crisp. The concern with curried chicken dishes is that the chicken is frequently overcooked and dry, but not here. It was tender and moist, with just a little heat. The bread was wonderfully savory and crispy.
The other ‘must have’ dish is pad thai. This is the Thai One interpretation of the oh-so familiar dish.
This is fresh rice noodles, with bean sprouts, ground chicken, tofu, basil leaves, stir fried with fish paste and a spicy sauce. It’s served with crushed roasted peanuts and chili flakes on the side. This is apparently their own spin on the classic pad thai. The noodles are nicely ‘al dente’ (for lack of a better word), but it doesn’t have much tanginess nor sweetness to it. It’s predominately savory. I squeezed a little lime juice for a lime wedge provided, and it added a little tartness.
The room is very contemporary and modern, and sparkling clean. The restaurant has been open for only a couple of months.
It’s quite comfortable and spacious.
Our server was quite helpful and pleasant, and very accommodating when we had issues with the pork jowl dish. As asian restaurants go, this service was quite exemplary.
This place is a little bit pricier than a lot of other Thai restaurants, but we had a 20% off coupon, so that helped. I’ve seen some groupon offers for this place as well.