On a windy rainy Friday, we decided to go to Montri in Kitsilano. This is Montri’s third go around in Vancouver, he previously had a restaurant at Broadway and Alma from the mid 90s to 2006, before retiring. Be apparently he wasn’t ready to retire and opened his new place at West Broadway and Trafalgar.
We arrived at 7pm and were promptly seated. I had called earlier in the day and left particulars on voicemail requesting reservations, but it was not received. Fortunately there was room to accommodate us anyways.
This was one of the most expansive thai menus I’ve seen, including a diverse wine list.
We started with Thai spring rolls
These rolls were hot and crisp, stuffed with bean thread noodles, carrots, bamboo shoots, onions. It comes with a small cup of sweet fish sauce. These are good spring rolls. They have some good crispness and the filling was hot and tender. The sauce was salty, sweet, and tart.
We were also offered a cup of fresh chili sauce
This was a mince cup of mixed hot chili peppers with some palm sugar and fish sauce.
We can’t go to a thai restaurant without ordering Pad Thai, this was with prawns.
This is stir fried rice noodles, with eggs, tofu, bean sprouts, scallions, and shelled tiger prawns, and a tangy sauce made of tamarind, palm sugar and fish sauce. It’s topped with crushed roasted peanuts. These noodles are slightly sweet and needed the chili sauce and lime wedges to balance it.
We also ordered the Panang Curry with pork
This is pork slices simmered in red curry, coconut milk, slivers of red bell peppers, and sweet thai basil. This was probably my favourite dish of the night. The pork is tender and cooked to the right done-ness (curry dishes so easily overcook the proteins). The curry sauce is a splendid blend of sweet, spicy, salty and sour. The slices of red peppers are mostly for color, since they were so scant as to be overwhelmed by the other flavors in the dish.
We ordered a small bowl of coconut rice to go with this curry.
And we finished the night with a dessert of Deep Fried Bananas with ice cream
This is two bananas, battered and deep-fried to a very light crisp. It was drizzled with honey and dusted with powdered sugar. These were good. The banana was hot and lightly crisp (but it went soft fairly quickly). The ice cream is creamy and smooth, and just sweet enough. I don’t think the honey added much. It tasted like clover honey, which is quite sweet, but has no depth (I prefer caramel sauce that comes with many other interpretations of deep fried bananas).
The room is simple and elegant with just a hint of tropical thai influences.
It’s also reasonably spacious, and bright (well, except for the corner of the restaurant where we sat, there it was dim).
Our servers were pleasant and friendly, but I thought the service was a bit slow, and it was sometimes difficult to get the server’s attention.