Cut from the same restauranteur-cloth that created Thai House Restaurant Group, Charm Modern Thai infuses the culture's classic fare with modern twists to give Vancouver diners an authentic Thai eating experience without having to hitchhike to Bangkok again. Dig into dinner with the duck spring rolls ($9), acclaimed by Vancouver magazine as one of the "Best Things to Eat" in 2009, or opt for the mildly spicy lemongrass mussels ($11). Super-soupers can slide spoons into the tom kha lobster bisque ($9), while the larb organic gai salad ($12) tumbles organic chicken in a mix of herbs, spices, chilies, and fish sauce. Entreewise, Charm sticks to staples such as the pad thai ($14, available with chicken or prawns), the tamarind duck ($20), and the pineapple-braised short ribs ($17), which bring together meat and fruit in harmonious fashion.
In the city of Chongqing, restaurants and vendors line the streets, tempting passersby with spicy Szechuan-inspired cuisine supplemented with chili peppers, sesame, scallions, and ginger. For more than 30 years, Bor and Kai Wong?owners of The Original Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant?have brought this mix of powerful flavours to Vancouver through carefully prepared dishes. Chefs pluck lobster, fish, and jumbo prawns from the live seafood tank and braise and fry them with traditional sauces, such as black bean and garlic or spicy chili. A hot pot, the Chongqing answer to fondue, simmers at the centre of tables, letting customers submerge thinly sliced meats and morsels of brisket until they?re fully cooked. A dozen different noodle dishes and 20 extra-spicy chicken, pork, and beef feasts fill plates in the eatery's comfortable dining room.
Though the chefs at Spoon Kitchen stir up a mean pad thai, their signature dishes are the true stars of the Thai and Malaysian menu. The seafood pumpkin fried rice, for example, requires an entire pumpkin to make?and once it's sold out, it's gone for the day. The kitchen also cooks seafood papaya soup to order, pours house sauce over mussels from Granville Island, and preps vegetarian dishes such as work-fried eggplant and basil.
U & I Thai owner Ui Ratsomjit began her restaurant career running her own food truck in Bangkok. At U & I Thai, her knowledge of the culinary traditions of northeast Thailand blend with chef Maitee Yangsuwan's southern style, forming a diverse menu of Thai dishes rich with spices and herbs, true to their origins.
There’s a comforting vibe at Divine Indulgence Café. Even though there's no family currently residing inside, the warm, repurposed house keeps its homelike atmosphere. The dining areas evoke the feeling of a well-worn abode with dark-wood furnishings and shelved knickknacks. The coziness extends to the menu as well, surfacing in comfort food dishes such as fish tacos or guacamole burgers made with house-made beef patties, Havarti cheese, bacon, guacamole salsa, and fresh baguettes. Decadent slices of cake and more than 20 different flavors of tea also add to the cafe's homeyness, as does the the baristas' constant reminders not to play ball inside.