The vibe here is definitely relaxed with a medium-sized cocktail menu and quite frankly, it’s all very refreshing.
Hanson Do | Nosh & Nibble | May 2016
Hey guys! One type of food that always seems to taste great in Vancouver is Vietnamese food. Whether it’s the classic banh mi from the bakery or the pho from Kingsway, our stomachs leave happy. How about a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in upping the quality of the food, atmosphere, and service, all at once? Anh and Chi is one of Vancouver’s newest eateries along Main Street that tries to fit this bill. Are the lunch options here enough to satisfy all cravings or should you stick to 24-hour pho? Read on to find out.
Food and Drink:
Team Tastic came here for lunch and I had a great taste of the following:
Dragon Fruit Tonic ($4)
Gòi Xoài (Mango Salad) ($14)
Bún Bò Huê (Spicy Noodle Soup) ($11)
Khay Bánh Hòi Lui Nuóng (Street-Side Platter) ($17)
The Dragon Fruit Tonic was a light wooden colour with a slight carbonation to it. The Tonic is actually made in house so this was no generic club soda being added. Dragon fruit itself doesn’t have a main taste but like the fruit, this soda had a refreshing finish with a bit of sweetness which went well with all of our dishes.
The Goi Xoai was a mango salad with fried shallots, roasted peanuts, mint, and mixed herbs crossed with three skewers of fried prawn skewers. No fear here, we ate everything including the crispy heads (remember to chew!). The pickled vegetables in this plate tasted fresh and mixed well with the fish sauce. On the mango side of things, most slivers were sweet though I did run into some greener slivers which were bitter if eaten in isolation. These moments didn’t happen often.
We wanted a noodle dish so we had the Bun Bo Hue. The beef in this bowl was A+! Each bite of brisket and pork hock was tender and the soup did not taste as if it had much MSG, if at all. The noodles were also quite absorbent of the broth compared to the bad places in Vancouver.
Last but not least, the Street-Side Platter. Skimming through the menu, it looked like this platter contained most meats offered at Anh + Chi so we gave it a try. On a straw plate came house-made pork sausage, beef in betel leaf, grilled chicken, fried spring roll, and more grilled prawn. This was accompanied by lettuce, herbs, pickled carrots and daikon, rice vermicelli, rice paper, and chili fish sauce. The idea here was to dip the rice paper in water to wet it and then wrap ingredients like lettuce and meats into a salad roll. I found it quite fun and interactive to make the rolls but since our rice paper was cracked in a number of spots, it was hard to make neat salad rolls. The meat was very tender though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some people went à la carte on this plate.
Anh and Chi is hands down the most beautiful Vietnamese restaurant I’ve been to (and according my blog, I’ve been to 19). The interior looks like a place that would be situated next to a beach with the bright patterns, stained glass, and huge sliding windows. There’s seating for about 80 guests among irregular booths, tables, and the bar so capacity is not a concern. Also great points for the washroom. The vibe here is definitely relaxed with a medium-sized cocktail menu and quite frankly, it’s all very refreshing.
Service at Anh + Chi was the best I’ve received in Vietnamese restaurants, and perhaps here is some extra justification for the pricing. You might normally pay $9 for a bun bo hue, but you certainly won’t be asked how your meal is going or if you need drink top-ups. The servers here were always a-buzzing but seemed to hear my quiet “Excuse me”’s. Thumbs up. Our food also came out within 15 minutes of ordering which is great speed for a busy lunch session.
One-liner: Vancouver’s best-dressed Vietnamese restaurant with great-looking choices
Highlight: Mango Salad
Recommended for: Those looking for a fine Vietnamese meal
Would I go back? Yes.