East Kamoon displays a heaping helping of a lettuce wrap, one of the specialty items on the menu at Thai Pinto in Chemainus during the Taste of Chemainus event. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Taste of Chemainus on the menu for April 4-7

Six establishments offering customers a chance to savour the flavours

It’s all in good taste.

The Chemainus Business Improvement Association’s Taste of Chemainus event runs April 4-7, showcasing some of the diverse culinary options available at six participating locations.

The goal is to draw locals and visitors into establishments to find out what a culinary hot-spot Chemainus has become.

“We’re excited to welcome foodies and boast Chemainus’ delicious and diverse restaurant and café options,” noted Chris Istace, CBIA president. “Chefs from around the world have opened eateries in Chemainus, offering incredible knowledge, skills and delectable food fusions.”

The participating food and beverage locations include: Bonnie Martin Restaurant, Nic’s Café, Owl’s Nest Bakery Bistro, Pho Triple 7 Restaurant, Thai Pinto Cuisine and Utopia Bakery Cafe. Each place will have featured dishes and drinks.

Thai Pinto Cuisine at 9875 Maple St. is putting the spotlight on its coconut soup (Tom Kha), a heaping helping of chicken, beef or prawns soup with coconut milk, galangal lemongrass, mushrooms, tomato, onion and cilantro as well as a lettuce wrap with crispy vermicelli, stir-fried noodles, carrots, mushrooms and onions served with fresh lettuce.

The Courier had the opportunity to try both dishes. Each stood out for the bold flavours and a substantial portion of ingredients so you certainly won’t leave hungry.

The coconut soup has a great-tasting broth and large pieces of mushrooms, prawns and tender onions for a fantastic combination.

“It’s really popular here right now,” said chef East Kamoon.

Thai Pinto is a family-run operation with Art Pookjit and Kamoon’s wife Neena. They opened the location in September of 2017 and “we plan to stay a long time,” said Kamoon.

“It’s good. Very good community here. Very thankful to the customers for supporting us. Last year we were fairly new in town. Not the same this year.

“Last year we have lots of tourists. It’s good for helping promote the restaurant.”

“All family,” stressed Pookjit.

Thai Pinto was the recipient of the 2018 Golden Brush Award for exceptional customer service.

Last year Thai Pinto featured Pad Thai and Pinto Fried Rice during the Taste of Chemainus. The menu includes a wide variety of items sure to appeal to all tastes.

Utopia Bakery Café is featuring a soup and sandwich combo for lunch. Utopia makes all soups, bread and sandwiches from scratch.

There are different soup options every day – one vegetarian and one meat – and a different sandwich. There’s also a daily drink special with the combo.

At Nic’s Café, a breakfast bagel is featured to start the morning off right in a cozy atmosphere. You get egg, cheese, and ham or bacon on a toasted bagel or ciabatta bun.

The baked goods selection to go with your coffee includes: carrot cake, coffee cake, brownies, date bars and muffins.

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