Deep in the heart of downtown Langley, there is a fusion eatery serving up such whimsical dishes you’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale.
From the moment you enter Food by Fanta, you are surrounded by lush greenery reminiscent of the tropics. That feeling extends to the menu, where you’ll find Thai-inspired dishes like sticky sweet butterfly wings, homemade hand-pressed dumplings, and appetizers that look more like a work of art than food.
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For owner Parinya (Fanta) Loptson, food is love. And you will LOVE this food.
Loptson tells Daily Hive the motivation for her dishes comes from her homeland of Thailand, and years of sharpening her culinary skills through research, reading books, taking classes with chefs, and learning from Iron Chefs in Southeast Asia.
With presentation at the forefront of her cuisine, many dishes on the menu were specifically created for local food competitions.
There are many standout items here that are as much a feast for the eyes as the tummy. The individual pedals on the colourful Chor Muang flower dumplings are hand-pressed, meaning the morsels aren’t just a labour of love — they are also a feat of patience and care from the women who run the kitchen.
Each one is hand stuffed with chicken, pork and vegetables and filled with a stuffing of peanuts, sweet radishes, onion, and cilantro.
The Ballerina Wings are an elevated take on the traditional chicken wing.
Coated with a tamarind-palm sugar sauce on top of a bed of tropical salsa, the sticky-sweet boneless wings are a perfect appetizer for the main event.
For an unconventional take on a pub fan favourite, the bechamel taro nachos are artfully placed in a decorative circle during plating.
With marinated tamarind prawns on top of freshly-shaved taro chips and mozzarella, we guarantee you’ve never tried anything like these. The bonus is the buttery (and surprisingly light) avocado bechamel sauce drizzled on top.
Served from 11:30 am to 4 pm on the weekends, the brunch menu is a dream for diners.
If you’re craving sweets, the mile-high soufflé pancakes can’t be skipped. Topped with an assortment of fresh fruit and a Crème Brûlée sauce, these are an example of something good coming to those who wait. They take approximately 25-35 minutes to make because of the hand-whipping required of the egg whites to get all that volume into the pancakes.
Savoury fans are not excluded here.
There’s a Paris Brest sandwich with Thai prawns and caramelized purple cabbage on a savoury bun. And the “Hidden Gold Benny,” Fanta’s take on traditional eggs benny, with a perfectly poached egg wrapped in a seasoned pork ball served with asparagus with a red curry sauce.
If you fancy a tipple on your visit, one of the most popular libations is the sangria flight.
With three full-size cocktails — one red wine, one white wine and one with a gin and vodka and lychee kick — these colourful concoctions pack a punch.
The standout here is the white wine sangria, pictured centre, flavoured with orange and lemons, and uses butterfly pea flowers to make the purple colour pop on top.
They serve a variety of colourful libations to round out the bar program. The Guns and Roses is a bourbon-based sipper flavoured with tamarind and lime, adorned with a rose ice cube.
The purple Pretty Lady gets its purple hue from Empress Gin, and an extra kick from lychee liqueur and lime.
There is also a hearty lunch and dinner menu that includes a sablefish risotto, 18 hour braised lamb shank with massaman curry, and a to-die-for fettuccini scallop with ginger Pad Cha sauce.
Food by Fanta opened on April 1, 2021, just a few days after restrictions on dine-in eating were enacted through BC’s “circuit breaker” measures.
It has been forced to pivot many times in its first year, including quickly introducing a pop-up patio to accommodate Mother’s Day crowds.
With restrictions now eased, it’s looking forward to introducing new seasonal menu items for spring and summer, and re-introducing Thai cooking classes in its fabulous group space behind the main dining room.
Food by Fanta is actually the owner’s third restaurant endeavour.
Fanta, who is also a mother of two teens and a bikini fitness model, opened Ban Chok Dee Thai Cuisine, also in Langley, in the summer of 2009. A second location is now open in Maple Ridge. Five years ago the Thai eatery was awarded “Thai Select Premium” status by the Royal Thai Consulate General office for its authentic culinary experience.
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Address: 20542 Fraser Highway, Langley