Lanna Thai is this tiny, tiny restaurant close to the corner of Robson and Denman. Seriously, you blink and you miss it. They specialize in Northern Thai Cuisine.
To be honest, I was crossing the street to try out a different restaurant when I stumble upon it. It’s been awhile since I’ve had Thai food, so I decided to give it a go.
On the table: Som Tum (Papaya Salad) $10.95
It’s a small portion for 10 bucks, but then again what was I expecting Downtown Vancouver? The salad was super spicy. I saw on the menu it had two chillies beside it, but I can handle my heat (I’m usually a three chillies kindda girl). Man oh man was it ever spicy! Word to the wise: when ordering here, make sure that you go down one level from your spice tolerance, because whatever they’re using, they’re using the good stuff!
I’m saddened to report that the spice overpowered all the other flavours, so I can’t really comment on anything but the fact that the papaya was fresh and crispy.
Next dish – Turkey Satays ($7.95)
This would’ve been the satay gai or “chicken satays” on the menu, but they had turkey as a feature so I decided to give it a go. There were four skewers per order, and were served with their special homemade sauce. The turkey was marinated in Thai spices making it very fragrant. The smell was enough to make one salivate.
Moving on: Chicken Pad Thai ($11.25)
Now that’s what I’m taking about! A very generous portion of Stir-fried rice noodles, bean sprouts, tofu and egg. But where was my chicken?? There was very little chicken in my Pad Thai.
The tamarin sauce was excellent, and aside from the small amount of chicken in the dish I was very pleased with the flavours.
I’m glad I stumbled upon Lanna Thai. This is what I love about Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood: You never know what little gem you’ll find around the corner!
Follow them on Twitter: @LannaThaiVan