Baan Wasana ThaiPosted: 05/07/2013
Mid-April: that time of year when university students (in Vancouver, at least) are drowning in final papers and exams. Luckily enough for me, my exam schedule this year ended relatively early (although this resulted simply because I had all four of my exams within three days). SB’s last exam was on the day after mine ended, so we decided to celebrate by having dinner–and for this celebratory dinner, I chose Baan Wasana, recommended to me by my friend Chris.
Baan Wasana is located in this charmingly quaint area of Kerrisdale, across the street from Faubourg and just a few bus stops away from Oakridge Centre. Compared to other shops in the area, its storefront may appear a bit shoddy, but the inside is clean, pretty, and surprisingly upscale. However, the prices are still affordable (around the $10 mark), so we ordered our food without feeling too overwhelmed.
First, we shared the Satay ($8.75 for 4 pieces). We chose to have chicken, but pork and beef were also available. These skewers were served with Thai peanut sauce and cucumber relish. The peanut sauce was a bit thin and watery, and we would have preferred it to be thicker and more flavourful. The cucumber relish was vinegary and refreshing, especially in contrast with the chicken. Meanwhile, the chicken itself was quite moist, and while I’m not enough of an expert to identify the different spices used, I could still taste the different spices that the meat had been marinated in. The meat also came off the skewers quite easily, although we would have preferred to be given knives, as the only utensils provided were forks and spoons.
Moving onwards to the entrees, SB had the Raad Naa ($10.95), which was a stir-fried rice noodle dish in soya gravy, with Chinese broccoli and chicken (or pork). Neither of us had even heard of the dish before so we weren’t sure what to expect, but here goes. The gravy had a very strong savoury flavour that we guessed was due to the use of MSG. (And after the meal, both of us did get quite thirsty, which was also probably due to the use of MSG). The gravy was quite thick and gloopy, and would have probably congealed if left alone for a bit. The noodles themselves were very soft and not at all chewy, lacking what I love best about flat rice noodles. This was an acceptable dish considering that we randomly picked it from the menu, but we probably wouldn’t order this again.
And, of course, I had the requisite Pad Thai ($10.95), which came with a choice of either prawns, chicken, or veggies. You can also choose the level of spiciness that you would like. (Having been warned by Chris, I ordered it mild, and it stil had a strong spicy aftertaste after each bite). As you can see, I chose the prawns, of which there were four. These prawns were on the large size and had a nice snap to them. Although this dish looked promising, and I ate quite a bit of it, it was a bit lacking. The noodles could have been chewier, and the pressed tofu was served in tiny pieces that made it difficult to really taste anything. Moreover, this pad thai simply didn’t have the X factor. It lacked that tangy, sour taste that I strongly associate with pad thai, and in the end, it simply wasn’t memorable. It wasn’t a bad plate of noodles by any means, but it was not outstanding.
Would we visit Baan Wasana again? Perhaps. If we were in the neighbourhood and I didn’t feel like spending a lot of money, this would probably be a good option. Both of us were quite full at the end of our meal, and our bill totaled to less than $40 after tax and tip. Although the food was acceptable here, it didn’t completely satisfy my craving for Thai food.
Baan Wasana Thai
2143 West 41st Avenue