Spend even just a little bit of time roaming Granville Island and it’s clear that this is a haven for food lovers, offering both a taste of the hyper-local and great global bites all in one spot.
Just a stone’s throw from the always-bustling Public Market, with its brimming options for quick-serve casual eats and treats, is the newly-opened Sen Pad Thai, a noodle-centric stall in the Net Loft building run by local chef superstar Angus An.
An, whose palate-expanding Maenam in Kitsilano has earned raves since its debut, has quite the Thai-slash-noodle mini-empire in Metro Vancouver. Sen Pad Thai is An’s fifth concept, joining the aforementioned Maenam, New Westminster’s Longtail Kitchen and Freebird, and Chinatown’s Fat Mao Noodles.
Needless to say, An knows a thing or two about bold, bright Thai flavours and the fine art of dishing up crave-worthy noodle dishes (and more).
Sen Pad Thai has a menu that includes variations on traditional Thai “dry” noodle dishes, taking their cue from food stands in Chanthaburi, Thailand. Sen is a Thai term for noodle, while “pad” means fried, and noodles are indeed stars here, with multiple variations on a theme available, from a classic pad thai to versions with northern-style crispy pork, or crab.
There are wide, flat rice sheet-style noodle (“siew”) in the pad siew dishes, as well as thin vermicelli noodles. It’s not all noodles, though–also in the “pad” category are fried rice dishes. A daily curry special comes on your choice of base noodle or rice, while you can also tuck into a hearty Thai omelet, with the thick eggy blanket fortified with chunks of sausage and bits of crab, served atop rice.
Though it’s easy to just get a helping of noodles to happily slurp solo, if you are dining with a friend or two or three, you can mix in some of Sen Pad Thai’s must-try sides, like An’s signature salty-sweet crispy chicken wings and the equally addictive crispy ribs–I dare you to try to eat just one. Not gonna happen.
A classic papaya salad keeps things cool but still packs heat, and you can reach for drinks like a traditional Thai iced tea or a PokPok “drinking vinegar” soda to temper the spice.
If you save room for dessert, check out the banana roti, which is a Thai-style street sweet comprised of sliced bananas wrapped in a roti (sort of like a flatbread or a thick crepe) and drizzled with condensed milk.
Sen Pad Thai is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm.
Address: #7–1666 Johnston Street, Vancouver (Granville Island)