Talay Thai dishes up tasty meals at affordable prices in Marpole

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      For many Vancouverites, Marpole is out of sight and out of mind.

      Tucked away on the southwest side of the city, it's never been a major "destination neighbourhood" for those coming from other parts of the city, unlike Main Street, West 4th Avenue, or Commercial Drive.

      But over the years, I've discovered some delightful dining spots in Marpole at affordable prices. One of them is Talay Thai Restaurant (8369 Granville Street), which is exceptionally clean and comfy.

      In fact, it was one of my go-to places for takeout when all the restaurants were closed after the pandemic was declared.

      Long before masks were mandated in indoor public spaces—back in March—Talay Thai staff were wearing them and placing hand sanitizer at the front door. It was very comforting.

      Talay Thai struck me as a place where the employees were truly concerned about not spreading COVID-19.

      Last night, I returned to Talay Thai to enjoy the mixed seasonal vegetables (Pad Num Mun Hoi) and stir-fried chicken with roasted cashew nuts, onions, celery, bell peppers, and fried chilies (Pad Med Mamuang Himaphan).

      What sets Talay Thai apart from other Thai restaurants is its gentle spicing. The only way you're going to set your mouth on fire is if you accidentally bite into one of the chili peppers.

      The dishes aren't bland; they're just seasoned with less of those in-your-face spices. It's very nuanced.

      Another appealing aspect of Talay Thai is the prices—they seem to be charging what I used to pay back in 2000 or 2005 at some restaurants. Perhaps the lower rents in Marpole make this possible.

      The two dishes mentioned above, plus taxes, came in at less than $30. That's not a normal occurrence on the West Side of Vancouver.

      Restaurants need the public's help

      It's worth noting that there's no shortage of superb restaurants across Metro Vancouver. The owners, chefs, and other staff are coming to the end of an absolutely brutal year with no relief in sight.

      Some of the hardest hit have been higher-end establishments, which didn't have a history of offering takeout before the pandemic.

      They sometimes went to great lengths to make their dining rooms as safe as possible by improving the ventilation. But this second wave of COVID-19 has put many of these businesses in jeopardy.

      One way to cheer them up would be to order in a big meal to ring in the New Year, if you can afford it.

      For many years, Vancouver has been defined by its restaurants as a cosmopolitan, welcoming city. They're central to the city's culture.

      Now is the time to let them know how much they're appreciated for doing this.

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