Situated in trendy Yaletown, which has its share of restaurants that usually range from bad to worse (with a few exceptions like Cioppino’s and Rodney’s Oyster House), I really wasn’t expecting to find good Thai food. Good Thai food is notoriously hard stuff to find; after living in Toronto for 8 years, I only found one or two actually good Thai restaurants. So, please understand that I was pretty surprised to find in the heart of the district where ‘see and be seen’ is a mantra more than a catchphrase a decent meal of Thai food.
We went with friends from out of town, and all of us enjoyed our dinner. Service was very attentive and pleasant – our servers were actually Thai, as were I suspect the kitchen staff with food like this. We ordered three dishes and some rice. One of them (I didn’t get the name) was a special of the day, and was a beef curry served in a fresh coconut, containing fresh coconut, potato, beef, and onions – and was truly delicious. The kind of dish that you want to pick the coconut up at the end of the meal and drink the rest of the curry sauce (I didn’t, nobody did, but I couldn’t have been the only one thinking that).
We also had chicken with vegetables in Thai soya sauce and cashews, which was great – the vegetables were perfectly crispy, and the sauce had the perfect balance of salt, savory, and sweet that is so important in Thai cooking. We also had a chicken/glass noodle dish similar to phad thai and a green papaya salad that while I can’t do much of a job describing them, both were also great.
The interior is lots of warm wood, white tablecloths and soft lighting; there is a patio on Hamilton Street for those who enjoy dining outside (a bit cold in October in Vancouver for that in the evenings). I guess the only thing is that at Simply Thai, while the food, service, and ambiance are great, you are paying for what you get. Dinner for 4 dishes (with some kind of a 2 for 1 coupon) and one glass of wine and a caesar came to $67 including tax – if you consider that last night’s dinner of 2 (and a half) dishes came to $21 at Sha Lin Noodle house, you can see that there’s a (not-unreasonable) premium applied for the experience of dining at Simply Thai.
But as the company couldn’t have been better, and as the dinner experience was basically perfect, I can’t complain, and wouldn’t hesitate to come back here – for those less intrepid folks in your family who maybe haven’t had Thai food before, this would make a great place to take them, and for those people who have ‘done’ Thailand, this will bring back many (hopefully) happy memories.
1211 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 6K3, Canada
Tel: (604) 642-0123
Open Weekdays 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-10:30pm; Weekends 5pm-10:30pm