Half of the fun of going to a restaurant is the experience. Yes, the food is an integral part of what makes a restaurant worth going to, but so is the experience. That being said, I find that when I read reviews on urbanspoon or yelp or Google Places, I find that there are two types of people posting: those who absolutely loved their meal and those who hated it and wanted to make sure people knew. There are barely few that are in between. I guess a great experience or a poor experience are the only reasons to spark the motivation to write a review. I’m not going to wash my hands clean of that and say that sometimes I don’t do that, because yes, I do. But sometimes I find error in judgement of places.
This brings me back to my latest encounter. While there are a lot of negative reviews regarding service, there are so many positive reviews regarding food at this particular restaurant. Perhaps looking at it from a different angle may change reviewers thoughts (but most likely not), so let me add my two cents to the pot!
For my birthday dinner, we tried something a little unconventional. Unconventional in the sense that I kept it pretty quiet this year and spent the day with my husband. And no, I’m not becoming a reclusive foodie – I just know with the holidays coming up, there would be little to no quiet time between my and my husband. Anyway, he went through my list of restaurants (yes, I have a list – am I nerd or what?!) and he chose Chad Thai.
Chad Thai is located a little past Gilmore on Hastings. They have free 2 hour parking on the side street. Our dinner was a little late since we had brunch and also because we were trying to avoid the BC Lions fans commute back home.
Anyway, we were seated right at the window so we could watch the rain and passerbys. I’ve been on the search for amazing Thai food in Vancouver and although I’ve found some great ones, I think that Chad Thai is by far my favourite one.
Similar to Filipino cuisine, I feel that Thai cuisine can only be done right by a home cook. Chad Thai comes close as I believe they are family owned.
We started off with two appetizers: Chad Thai Garden and Gai Yang.
The Gai Yang is Thai grilled chicken marinated in herbs and spices ($8.99). I’ve had this dish at other Thai places and this definitely is a great start to a meal. The chicken is tender, flavourful and perfectly paired with the sweet chili sauce. The portion is fair and is perfect for two people to share.
The Chad Thai Garden ($7.99) is the appetizer I really enjoyed. It’s a fresh roll wrapper with tofu, mushroom, carrot, lettuce and basil that can be served with either spicy sauce or peanut sauce. It’s amazing with peanut sauce. It’s a little similar to those Vietnamese fresh rolls (but without the vermicelli). The flavour is great and the basil is not overpowering (although, I wouldn’t mind since I love basil)!
Brian wanted to share a curry so I suggested we try the Panang Curry ($10.99), I enjoy Panang curry because it’s a little bit thicker than most other Thai curries. We had it with the beef and it’s served with peppers, kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, ground peanut in the panang curry and coconut milk. We asked for it medium and it had a little bit of heat but enjoyable to eat. The curry was good for the two of us.
To pair with the curry, we ordered a large coconut rice ($5) which could’ve easily served 3-4 people.
Finally, we had the Pad Thai ($9.99) with chicken. Pad Thai is a maker or breaker of restaurants, and the Pad Thai here was delicious. I ordered it medium (the reason being I like my food spicier, but my husband does not) but I added some dried chilli to it and it was perfect. This pad thai is served with the thinner rice noodles and authentically with tamarind sauce. The noodles were a little sticky for my liking, but the heat and the flavour was delicious.
Now back to my little rant in the beginning, while it is true that the service is a ‘little slow’ here, I’m thinking it’s because almost everything is made to order. We were informed that our Chad Thai Garden would take 15 minutes to make and that was perfectly fine to me – because that means it was made fresh, Our server came to refill our glasses and also to check on how we thought everything tasted. This meal was the best Thai food I’ve ever experienced.
Check out their website and menu here.