This past week had the official opening of Thai Confusion by owner Thai Keattivanichvily, who also owns Bob Likes Thai Food. What makes this restaurant different is that Tai is introducing Vancouverites to “Grub Gam” or Thai tapas. Thai Confuion is located on Pender (117 West Pender) across the corner from Tinseltown, where Wild Rice used to be located. The restaurant is nicely decorated and has solid wood tables that are not covered up. I enjoy the look and feel of wood, more than having everything covered up with table cloths. We were treated to several of their dishes, along with signature cocktails and some of the wines served at the restaurant.
To start off your dinner, try the Lychee Mimosa made with lychee juice and sparkling wine, which I believe is Averill Creek Charm de L’ile. It is exceptionally tasty. A few dishes that stood out for me were the:
- Three Citrus Salad (Yum Som O) – a salad made with pomelo fruit, a relative of the grapefruit, together with tamarind sauce and chili
- Thom Kha with a Fried Curry Rice Ball – made with a galangal coconut milk base soup, with basil, lemongrass, and lime; while the rice appeared to be a mixture of white and black rice and/or wild rice
- Thai Poutine – deep fried sliced of taro root topped with lemongrass, Thai basil, lime lead chili and green curry sauce, and also served with a deep fried soft shell crab.
- Curry Fish in Banana Leaf (Hor Mok Pla) – Marinated then grilled on a banana leaf with coconut milk, turmeric, red curry paste, kaffir lime and relish
The Three Citrus Salad is a wonderfully refreshing way to start or end a meal, with citrus and bitterness from the pomelo, crunch from pomegranite seeds, saltiness and spiciness from the tamarind suace and chili. Highly recommended.
The Thom Kha with Fried Curry Rice Ball, is like an Italian Arancini gone Thai. I loved the texture of the rice; both sticky and crunchy, combined with the wonderful, rich coconut milk based soup. Another dish not to miss.
Thai Poutine. Who knew? Well no potatoes here; rather taro root, sliced very thin so that when it is fried, it comes out very crunchy. I am not sure if the soft shell crab will normally come with this dish, but offers richness to the dish.
Curry Fish in Banana Leaf comes with a small fish, around the size of your hand. I am not sure the name of the fish, but it is white fleshed, and had no bones, although Tai may have removed the bones ahead of time. The fish was covered with a paste before grilling. The fish was served on a banana leaf that went into the grill, so you get some smokiness from the banana leaf, together with the flavours from the Thai spices, and the medium texture from the fish. Another dish you should try. It is small, so no problem finishing it off.
Besides the Lychee Mimosa another cocktail we were served was the Bourbon of Bangkok made from bourbon, lime and apricot jam with ginger beer. A nice contrast of ginger spice, citrus, sweet and the darker flavours of bourbon. You can also taste a selection of 4 white and 2 red wines and 6 different beers. Check out their website for the list of their beverages.
This would be a nice place to have a quick Thai tapas meal before going to a hockey or football game, or maybe a movie at Tinseltown. Enjoy.