Pho from Hai Phong - photo: Chowtimes.com
Vietnamese food reflects the perfect infusion of ingredients with flavour. If you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a culinary delight. About 10 years ago I backpacked extensively through Vietnam and I vividly remember being floored by the freshness of the ingredients and the hospitality of the people. Most dishes are accessorized by a multitude of fresh herbs and lemongrass is often used to flavor grilled meats. I'd like to highlight three local Vietnamese restaurants, each boasting a particular specialty that is, in my humble opinion, stupendous. This is not fine dining but rather a roll-up-your-sleeves and plunge in affair.
To lead off, is Hai Phong where I was lucky enough to try their pho. Vietnamese pho is a healthy rice noodle soup that is both comforting and delicious. The secret lies in the broth and every family seems to have their own secret recipe of simmering bones and herbs. At Hai Phong, you have numerous choices of delicious pho. For the uninitiated, ask for pho with thin slices of rare beef. Accompanying each pho is a big plate of sprouts, fresh herbs and lime which are meant to be added to the pho before eating.
Hai Phong Vietnamese Restaurant, 1246 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, (604) 872-3828; Hours: Open Daily 10am-10pm; Lunch or Dinner: $10-15/person