Rainy day yesterday morning. No real plans except having “Godfather” and “The Girl” over to the house for dinner. I was sipping a Nespresso when “Monk” asks me if we want to meet up with a couple of her friends in New Westminster for lunch. I’ll be the fifth wheel in a group of “ladies who lunch” anytime!
A few weeks ago, I had seen a list of 101 best things to eat in Vancouver Magazine. Number 1 on the list, though order was probably insignificant, was a crab and prawn roll at a Thai restaurant in New Westminster called Pattaya [406 6 St, New Westminster, (604) 529-9161]. Since New West is relatively close to our suburban dwelling, I had been meaning to give it a try.
“Monk”, “Jazzy” and I hopped in the hybrid, pick up her fellow “Rocky Mountain Nuts” and off to lunch we went. Pattaya is relatively simple, clean and is very much what one would expect from a Thai restaurant. After some debate on how and what to order (“Monk” don’t like spicy and her pals love uber-spicy), we decided on the prawn and crab roll, tom kah gai, pad thai, gang keaw waan (green curry) and a red curry chicken dish that the girls ordered thermal nuclear. The prawn and crab roll was interesting. It was filled with the seafood, veggies and cream cheese and was served with a sweet chili sauce. It was hot, tasty, crisp, but not spectacular in any way. The tom kah gai was reasonable, but a touch too sweet, under seasoned, lacked depth and not enough acid. As for the other dishes, they were OK, but again, very lack lustre. The lunch specials we ordered are a good value at $7, but I’ve had better $7 lunches elsewhere. Overall, the meal was reasonable. The company was good. Issues and concerns; an overall lack of pizzazz when it came to the food. The food was not ingredient, flavour or technique driven, in any way.
I fell in love with Thai flavors years ago when I worked for Jean-Georges in London. We were cooking Thai inspired French dishes and I learned about lemongrass, coconut milk, tamarind, galangal, kaffir lime, chilies, curry pastes and fish sauce. Since then, I’ve had really bad luck with Thai food, particularly here in Vancouver. I’ve only heard good things about Maenam, (previously Gastropod) so I figure we’ll be trying it very soon.
On my chef’s night out scale, Pattaya receives 2/5 SOB (slices of bacon).