No. 32: Maenam
LAST YEAR, ANGUS AN OPENED FREE BIRD CHICKEN SHACK, THE THIRD IN HIS ROSTER OF CASUAL EATERIES, WHICH INCLUDES LONGTAIL KITCHEN, ALSO IN NEW WESTMINSTER, AND FAT MAO, A VANCOUVER CHINATOWN NOODLE SHOP.
And now there is another fast-food concept on the way. Despite his impossibly busy workload, Maenam hasn’t missed a beat, winning Vancouver Magazine’s restaurant of the year for 2016. For that he can thank his wife and business partner, the Bangkok-born Kate Auewattanakorn, who rules the roost at Maenam, their modern Thai flagship in Kitsilano. The couple met in London at David Thompson’s Nahm, the first Thai restaurant in the world to earn a Michelin star. An, a classical French-trained chef, worked in the kitchen; she ran the front of the house.
An instant hit since opening in 2009, Maenam reinvented Thai dining with its chic decor, polished service, carefully crafted cocktails and revelatory wine pairings. Recently, the à la carte choices have been trimmed to place more emphasis on the six-course chef’s menu, which roams Thailand’s diverse regional cuisines, embraces local ingredients as much as possible, and transcends classic recipes with innovative twists (think Dungeness crab cupcakes and northern Thai larb-spiced albacore tuna tartare). Whole fish and crab are available with one day’s notice. From crispy side-striped prawns caramelized in palm sugar to locally foraged matsutake mushrooms married with Thai holy basil in hot-and-sour clam soup, the cooking is always refined, beautifully presented and uncompromisingly bold.
Tuesday to Saturday
12:00 PM until 2:00 PM
Monday to Sunday
5:00 PM until 10:00 PM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY HAMID ATTIE