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Apr 28, 2009 08:02 PM

Good Thai on the Drive - Bangkok Bistro, Vancouver


Commercial Drive has had its share of bad "Thai" food in the last few years. Finally, there is a Thai place on the Drive that I will actually return to eat.

Bangkok Thai opened quietly in the beginning of this month. It's a small two-person operation run by Thais. The service was very friendly and attentive ( the chef came out a few times to check on us). The food is well prepared, fresh, bright, and pretty authentic tasting. The have a good selection of vegetarian offerings and are looking to expand their currently limited menu.

The Pad Thai is properly dressed with a tamarind, lime, fish sauce based dressing. The rice noodles (a Thai brand) were cooked al dente and were loosely separate (not the clumpy mess we normally see in "Thai" restaurants here).

The curry was also very good and devoid of fillers such as brocolli, potato, and the like (they did use a couple of slivers of green pepper more as a garnish or for colour, forgivable. ) The Tom Yah was very good - they used real chicken broth instead of the very commonly used Knorr stock cubes (which imparts a round, MSG-ness).

The glutinous rice and mango dessert was a standout. The chef perfumed the rice subtly with jasmine essence - very nice.

The restaurant is operating in the old "Yumm Yai" Thai location - they still have their old don't let it fool you. ( Yumm Yai was a terrible "Thai" restaurant.


1859 Commercial Dr


Bangkok Bistro
1859 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N, CA

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  1. Thanks for this writeup, fmed -- good Thai is hard to come by anywhere in our fair city. Also thanks for adding the places link. Although a recent post of yours led us to a tasty repast in Richmond today, I had to Google for the addresses as the search function is so lame on here and alas no places links...

    4 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      I should be more diligent about the Place link. I'm getting better, but I'm still a little gun shy...I was burned too many times in the past when the Places link was so unstable that I would lose entire posts and pictures when I tried to use it. It seems to be quite stable now though.

      Where did you go in Richmond?

      1. re: fmed

        Golden Spring but I'll blather on about that in a more appropriate thread -- I'm behind on posting about recent snacks :-).

        BTW there is a new place in that strip mall, Jubilant Restaurant, that has replaced the Hakka resto you wrote about. I'm not up on Chinese subsets to know what kind of food they specialize in but the takeout menu lists "Chinese dishes", fried noodle, fried rice, snack, noodle in soup, congee and tossed noodle if that's any help. I also note a $1 charge for "E_FU" noodle and hand pulled noodle...

        1. re: grayelf

          Do you mean Famous Hakka or Hakkasan?

          1. re: twinkienic

            Famous Hakka was right next to Golden Spring. They didn't last long. I heard from someone that they started to de-emphasized the Hakka dishes shortly after I visited. Too bad.

    2. fmed -- I just saw a post of yours elsewhere saying this place is no longer good. Is that a permanent change, you think, or just a fluke that day? Too bad, because I wanted to try it. Hmm... now to think of some other place to eat on the Drive tomorrow...

      3 Replies
      1. re: twinkienic

        I should have updated this. I don't know if the sudden change is permanent. I'll have to pop in one more time to confirm.

        The last time I was there, the food was not very good at all - gloopy, starch thickened sauces, imbalanced soups (too sweet, not enough saltiness, indetectable nam pla and aromatics, etc.) The chef and server were different.

          1. re: fmed

            I walked by yesterday during the Car Free Day celebrations on the Drive.

            Something definitely changed - at one point it was branded "Bangkok Bistro" on a small hanging sign (though the awning said "Yummy Thai" - the old name). Now the small sign stated "New Yummy Thai". Perhaps the previous management took over?

            I didn't stop to eat - but if the food the last time I went was an indication of the quality....then I retract my original recommendation. The food then was not good even for typical Vancouver pseudo-Thai (eg across the street at Thai Away Home).

   to Maenam this week I hope.