Ban Chok Dee—which translates to house of good luck —captivates visitors with a spread of colourful, fragrant, and expertly balanced curries, noodle dishes, and rice plates. Traditional entrees, from pad thai to spring rolls, offset modern variations, such as the Pad Ped Jungle—crispy pork sautéed with shredded bamboo shoots in a spicy sauce—all of which draw from a palette of zesty sauces, potent chili oils, and creamy, coconut-milk-based broths. While embarking on their culinary voyage, guests gather amid leafy potted greenery and black-lacquered wood accents for a calm respite. Together, the food and atmosphere were voted Best Thai restaurant of 2011 and 2012 by readers of the Langley Advance.
To enhance the appreciation for Thai cuisine, owner and executive chef Parinya teaches lessons in how to create flavourful meals using simple techniques and telekinesis. The hands-on courses demystify ingredients, equipment, and the steps necessary to form four dishes, finishing up with a fun and delicious tasting.
Sang Thai Restaurant has garnered local praise for its pan-Asian cuisine; diners even crowned it Favourite Thai Restaurant on the 2012 Tri-City News A LIst. Inside, bright red walls and hanging lamps surround guests as they dine on Thai and Asian specialties, including curry, fried rice, and clay-pot dishes. Wooden pillars divide the sleek, minimalist dining room into two sections. A bar decorated with martini glasses and figurines stands next to a wall of illuminated bamboo that frequently attracts botanists eager to nibble on it.
Chada Thai Fine Cuisine—named after the traditional headpiece in a Thai classical dance—prepares platefuls of pan-seared tiger prawns, chicken blanketed in curry sauce, and pad thai noodles. Around the dining room, elaborate headpieces adorn walls, and sculptures sit near the entrance, high-fiving patrons as they walk in.
Before diners place their orders at Thai D'or waiters will often inquire, "Can you handle spicy food?" True to Thai culinary techniques, many of its dishes brim with fiery spices and chili-infused sauces, but chefs are eager to adjust spice content to suit each individual palate. Named for the French word for gold, the Thai restaurant lives up to its title with its fresh, authentically prepared curries, noodles, and specialties and its commitment to cultural traditions of hospitality. Servers bear blended cocktails and simmering meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes into the dining room, where guests recline on cushy leather chairs beneath the glow of red lanterns. Eastern decor adorns the wall, and water trickles down from stone mosaics. The restaurant opens its function room to private parties, designing customized menus for family gatherings, business meetings, and kindergarten graduations.
Though patrons only visit three restaurants during the Around the World Food Tour, their taste buds travel on a global expedition. Each jaunt begins at Caribbean eatery The Reef, where participants sample plantain chips, a curried chickpea dish, coco prawns, and jerk wings that are surprisingly kind to hunger pangs. Diners can pair offerings with housemade ginger beer, a pineapple shake, or house wine before moving on to Bua Thai Cuisine. Once inside the welcoming, multihued confines, they can dig into classic dishes such as pad thai and chicken satay while sipping Thai–style iced tea and young coconut juice. The final stop, Siddhartha's Indian Kitchen, rewards bellies with potato cakes, vegetable and chicken pakora, chai tea, and house wine or beer.
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.