Vietnamese food is awesome. If you have never had it you really are missing out on one of the best cuisines in the world. It can be spicy, savory, sweet, salty, or all of the above at the same time. Most people are familiar with phở, especially if you’ve ever driven along Kingsway, it is a soup made with chicken or some rather sketchy pieces of beef like tripe and tendon and has rice noodles. The customer adds in things like bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime and as many types of peppers and chili sauces as they can handle. It may be the most perfect soup ever made and has a very strong reputation for bringing people out of a deeply hung over state.
A taste of Vietnam is located at 1016 W Broadway in Vancouver surrounded by residential buildings and other ethnic foodie treasures. We walked by it earlier today and decided it looked like a good lunch stop for a Friday. When we arrived for lunch the place was full except for one table which we took to be a good sign. After being seated I ordered some water and had a look at the menu which was very traditional with a lot of real Vietnamese items.
I ordered one of the lunch combos that came with fried rice with peppers and chicken, 2 beef skewers, a spring roll, green salad with carrots and Thai basil and a little bowl full of fish sauce. Fish sauce is a very subtle flavor that has a hint of sweetness and needs to poured over everything on your plate whenever the opportunity presents itself. The rice was amazing and cooked perfectly with the chicken and peppers adding a little substance. the salad was good with the fish sauce used as a dressing and the beef didn’t suffer from the dryness usually associated with meat on a stick and it had a nice flavor with a hint of soy sauce and of course drizzled with fish sauce. The winner of this plate was the deep-fried spring roll. I’m not sure what was inside it but I’m fairy certain it was awesome. The crispy outsides covered in yummy fish sauce and the inside full of pork and veggies…i figured it out.
The second best part of lunch was when the bill came. Under $9 including a 15% tip. Full belly, full wallet and satisfied taste buds. That’s a win in my books.