“Urban Thai” is part of the “Thai House Group”, traditional Thai cuisine done fast food style, quick and easy at a fair price.
I was invited to a media dinner by Kenny of @hangryhippovancouver, to join he and Grace of @gracecheung604 for dinner. The weather was nice so we enjoyed our multiple course meal on their Yaletown patio.
Having to pass through the interior to get to this outdoor table, I was able to take in their comfortable setting. Rows of black tables flanked by black booth seats and black chairs. The dim light bulbs encased by steel cages furthered the darkness of the place. Thai brass Buddha statues over booths and small iron lanterns along the wall added authenticity. They were definitely intending the space to fill used for dressier occasions.
The following is what we enjoyed, share-style. But first, when it comes to a media tasting: plating and portion size may be gussied up and/or paired down, and the service will usually be top notch. Though I can at least paint you the most accurate image when it comes to the food and the setting, as how I interpret it. But as always, these are my opinions and you need not take them as fact. Unless you have my exact background, have lived my exact experiences, and we possess the same tongue; no one can truly taste and appreciate as you do.
The “Deep-fried Boneless chicken wings” were stuffed with shrimp, wild mushrooms, carrots, vermicelli noodles and Thai spice. I like the idea of a heartier wing and marvelled at their ability to stuff each so much. However the wings were extra crispy, and the filling only made things drier, but the side of sweet garlic chilli sauce helped to rectify this.
As for their regular wings they come in your choice of red curry, chilli basil, or sweet & sour. We had the former, sadly they too were on the drier side. I found them too salty, the flavour spicy without actual heat. I didn’t like them alone, but found they gave some extra tang to the rice below.
Their signature “Tiger Prawns fried rice” made a great base for many of the meat and vegetables dishes that needed something to round them out. A light mix of tiger prawns, eggs, onions, cilantro, and green onions; served with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes for some freshness. The rice was as juicy as the succulent shrimp with, extra spice from the chilli.
I really liked the “Boneless Beef with Red Curry”, the photo shows their lunch special serving. The curry was creamy and rich, flavoured on the sweetener side, then further accented by the fragrant coconut rice. Similarly the tender beef that soaked up the sauce, and the sweet coloured pepper tied it all together.
The “Stir-fried fresh noodles” are available in chicken, beef, pork, or mixed seafood. We had the chicken with Thai herbs, fresh chilies, basil, bell peppers, onions, and green beans. I really enjoyed the flavour of this dish, and just wished there were more of the chewy noodles then there were onions, in our serving. I however got plenty of noodles from the dish below.
The “Crispy noodle with mixed vegetable” came in your choice of chicken, beef, pork, or mixed seafood as well. We went with beef seeing as we had chicken above. I really enjoyed the crispy noodles and the sticky sauce that softened them, they held up from first to last bite.
The “Thai style half B.B.Q chicken” comes with a 20-30 minute wait. Sadly, like the other strictly chicken dishes, this too was on the drier side with the need to use sauce for moisture. In this case it was a homemade sweet chili plum sauce.
Chicken with green beans, lime leaves, fresh basil, and bell peppers in spicy sauce. Despite the bold colour, this wasn’t all that tasty or even spicy. A little lack lustre.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I solid place for some quick and easy Thai cuisine. Simple easy. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t deny your cravings.