Those lucky enough to land coveted reservations at any of the Vancouver restaurants awarded recognition by the prestigious Michelin Guide have made it through one hurdle. There's always going to be a bill, and in the face of inflation, many local food fans may be opting to go out a little less often.
While Michelin did single out a few Vancouver spots known for their great value - called the Bib Gourmand - they also highlighted several restaurants as being "recommended" by their anonymous raters.
Among the diverse options on the Michelin Guide's recommended list for Vancouver is Kitsilano's veteran Maenam restaurant. Maenam has been a standout since its debut just over a decade ago when chef/owner Angus An turned to modern Thai cuisine for his West 4th Ave restaurant space. There he offers a menu of traditional Thai fare made with bold contemporary and West Coast-fuelled influence.
Maenam now offering approachable, wallet-friendly lunch menu
Maenam is one of two Thai spots among the 60 Vancouver restaurants heralded by Michelin (East Broadway's Kin Kao Song, which has since dropped the "Kin Kao" shared with its sibling Commerical Drive operation, earned "Bib Gourmand"), and until recently had only been offering dinner service.
An has now re-opened the restaurant to lunch guests and has created an incredible opportunity for diners to enjoy a robust meal of his bold Thai dishes at an approachable price point.
At lunch, served Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., Maenam features a lunch set with your choice of several tantalizing mains, along with rice, soup, and salad, for a full meal. The lunch sets will set you back just $24 to $28, depending on the main you select - an incredible value. An and the Maenam team are delivering their usual high-wattage flavours using top-quality ingredients and refined techniques to present stunning Michelin-calibre platters for a lunchtime feast.
Options for mains include a tender stir-fried beef tenderloin with holy basil and a crispy fried sunny side up egg and the zingy, deeply flavourful juicy stir-fried prawns served with long bean, sweet peppers, Thai basil, and tangy fried garlic. Other main include Maenam's signature red or green curries or the crowd-pleasing Hat Yai fried chicken. Veggie and gluten-free options abound.
The lunchtime menu also has some tempting add-ons, for those who can't imagine a Thai meal without dishes like Pad Thai or roti (flatbread) with peanut dipping sauce.
Of course, it's understandable if your lunch expedition to Maenam turns you into a full-fledged devotee; the full dinner menu is available evenings from 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and Maenam also offers take-out.
Watch: Checking out Maenam's new lunch set menu Thai meals
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