Sherman's Food Adventures: Sandar's Thai Garden

Sandar's Thai Garden

The last time I visited Sandar's Thai Garden, Vancouver was a year away from the Olympics and Barack Obama made it into the White House for the first time.  Yah, that was a long time ago and yes, Sandar's is also still around.  To be honest, I vaguely remember my experience the last time and really, that was so early on in the life of this blog, I admittedly must've said some stupid things.  Therefore, I had only one choice but to do a couple of return visits over 6 years later.

To start things off, I was presented with a Tom Yoong Soup and a Spring Roll.  Devoid of ingredients, the soup was rather plain.  There was a significant galangal hit to it with an equal amount of lemongrass.  I would've liked to see some form of ingredient in it though despite being complimentary.  The spring roll was good though as the outside was firmly crunchy.  There was a minimal amount of grease.  Inside, the filling was more vermicelli than meat, but it didn't matter as it did taste good.

I began with the Pad Thai which appeared to be legit.  It was rather saucy (a touch ketchupy) though which meant the noodles were a touch past an al dente texture.  Furthermore, the whole thing had so much wok heat that a few parts were actually burnt.  This wasn't a huge concern as it did add an appealing smokiness and caramelization.  The whole dish was rather tart though, but I didn't mind as I much prefer that over being too sweet.  For my second dish (yes, I had 2 lunches), I went for the Green Curry with Chicken.  I liked how the sauce was creamy, yet not overly thick.  There was definitely an immediate spice that was balanced off by a smooth coconut milk finish.  The chicken was sufficiently moist while the veggies were still vibrant, except for the soft eggplant (which was good).

On another visit, I decided to go for something off the regular menu being the Pad See Ew.  This was a fairly good portion of stir fried rice noodles and chicken.  There was a considerable amount of wok heat as there were actually a few small burnt parts.  Hence, there was a smoky caramelization of flavours.  It was especially noticeable due to the liberal use of palm sugar.  This was a pretty good dish despite the noodles being a touch soft.  Next, I went for the Ginger Pork which was also the beneficiary of good wok heat. Although there was plenty of ginger present, it remained in the background.  Rather, the dish trended towards the sweeter side.  As for the pork, it was sufficiently tender while the veggies were crisp and vibrant.  These 2 revisits to Sandar's was pretty decent considering its location.  Won't put a scare into the top Thai restaurants in town though.

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Reasonably-priced
- Nice people

The Bad:
- A little aggressive with the wok heat
- Noodles could be less soft

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