Bob Likes Thai Food

by KimHo on February 28, 2011 · 9 comments under: British Columbia,Food,Restaurant



Bob Likes Thai Food
3755 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
Bob Likes Thai Food on Urbanspoon

We have had discussions about authenticity for a long time. How important is it? Does it matter if it is authentic is people enjoy the resulting dish? Over the last couple of years, my perception has changed: If people is enjoying it, I think that some leeway can be given. But, at times, when the modified version is a hacked job that you simply can’t help but shake your head. Such is case with Thai food, specifically Pad Thai. For the longest, we have “complained” a lot of restaurants serving Thai food making that dish using catsup rather than tamarind sauce; but, would people “know” any better? In fact, what if a restaurant make it the original version. Would people accept it for what it is? With that in mind, I kept hearing about Bob Likes Thai Food and that meant I should drop by one of these days…

Thai, Vancouver, Main, Street, Fairview, noodle, pad thai, pad, see, ew, tofu, noodle, chicken, pork, shrimp, bean, sprout, peanut, wonton, salad, satay, peantu, sauce, fish, sauce, tamarind, catsup, ketchup

Yes, you have to wonder where that name comes from. I myself didn’t inquire but, regardless of its origin, if I were to ask myself “do I like Thai food?”, the answer would be, for the most part, yes! Of course, I have made only dent on some stereotypical ones, from their pad see ew or pad thai to curries and so on so that “yes” might not necessarily be 100% true… But, in the end, and as usual, it is me falling back to what I ordered in this visit rather than generalizing to everything in their ethnic culture.

Arriving at Bob’s, I had some odd feeling about it’s location. For one, given the buzz, I was expecting this restaurant to be closer to the “usual suspects” area (Downtown, Gastown, Yaletown, Kits) but this is located instead in Main Street, near King Edward Ave. But, not only that, I have been to this place before. As in way back before it was Bob Likes Thai Food. Instead, I visited this locale when it was City Temple of Shanghai! When I arrived – around lunchtime on a weekday – I found it odd it was almost empty. Again, given it’s location, should I be surprised? Again, if it was closer to “the usual suspect” places…

Thai, Vancouver, Main, Street, Fairview, noodle, pad thai, pad, see, ew, tofu, noodle, chicken, pork, shrimp, bean, sprout, peanut, wonton, salad, satay, peantu, sauce, fish, sauce, tamarind, catsup, ketchup

Moving to the food, despite I was by myself, I started off with an appetizer. Here, their satay, off their “regular” menu. For $4.5, you get two chicken skewers with their peanut sauce. In the grander perspective of things, this can’t be considered a cheap appetizer but, at the end of the day, the major question would be: is it good? And in this case, it was sort of middle of the road. First, I would have preferred dark meat. There was a visible char and good coconut hint behind it. The peanut sauce was a bit of a mixed blessing. It added some different type of nuttiness compared to the coconut; however, at the same time, I thought it was a bit too sweet. In the end, I am not sure if I were to order it again…

Thai, Vancouver, Main, Street, Fairview, noodle, pad thai, pad, see, ew, tofu, noodle, chicken, pork, shrimp, bean, sprout, peanut, wonton, salad, satay, peantu, sauce, fish, sauce, tamarind, catsup, ketchup

Given all the “noise” about Pad Thai, it was destined I would order that dish, right? So, here it is from their lunch menu ($7.50 from their lunch menu). At first, I thought it would be carbs only; however, they added some side salad as well as fried wonton skin. This last one was a bit of an oddity but I will take it for what it is. The only “bad’ part was that it was a bit too oily. Then again, given I wasn’t expecting it…

Thai, Vancouver, Main, Street, Fairview, noodle, pad thai, pad, see, ew, tofu, noodle, chicken, pork, shrimp, bean, sprout, peanut, wonton, salad, satay, peantu, sauce, fish, sauce, tamarind, catsup, ketchup

As for the Pad Thai itself… Starting off with the consistency of the noodles, it came out drier to others, which I thought was a good starting point. I did feel a light pungent taste; just wasn’t sure if it was due to the tamarind or fish sauce or other ingredient(s). And, based on the picture, everything was there: tofu was there, shrimp was there, peanuts were there and so on. However, for some odd reason, something didn’t work. It was as if the ingredients didn’t “meld” together. Was it better than the catsup-y Pad Thai? Yup, from that perspective it was; just that it felt slightly short.

Then again, it begs the major question… Short (or better) compared to what? Given the yardstick is a bit of a blur (Khunnai Chang and Thai Basil, for instance), the answer will be extremely relative to my personal tastes. As for Bob, I feel it is a place I would do a revisit, not to mention I saw several dishes from their regular menu I would like to give try. And, if I were in the area around lunch time, I actually won’t mind, considering price seemed right (for lunch dishes).



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