Ardor: Baoqi

Dear pho of Baoqi, Embrace me. Take me into your arms. Envelop me with you warm, sweet fragrant stock. Allow me to stroke the tendrils of your velvety rice noodles. Caress me all over with slices of your tender, raw beef. Overwhelm my senses with you unending leafs of basil. Nurture me with the the pure manna within your bean sprouts. Throw me upon the trapeze of your beef balls. Dear betel -leaf wrapped beef vermicelli of Baoqi, Grant me the power of our complacent leaders as my chopsticks tightens around you like them upon their stogies. Confer upon me … Continue reading Ardor: Baoqi

I went: Green Bamboo

A Case of Apple Sidra stacked on two cases of Coke and a few more cases of Chinese beverages. Right next to the door. The door made of glass not completely closed but wedged with a piece of solid worn wet wood so that it would bring in a bit of fresh, cool, moist, and onion-tainted air. Inside, rising up somewhere off-center in the longer section of the L-shaped room was the smoke and vapour and mist that assimilated to become that all too familiar kitchen stovetop steam. Steaming up to the right and left and up and higher up … Continue reading I went: Green Bamboo

Everything But The Pho: Ha Cafe

Ha Cafe is not the most inviting of restaurants if you were to look at it from the outside. Its red chairs, red walls, and photo-menu-board combined to give it a look as dated as the old orchard shopping centre that it was located in. Passing by the place several times as I visited Pearl Castle and the liquor store around the opposite corner, I hadn’t even noticed that Ha Cafe was a Vietnamese restaurant. It looked like a decrepit diner of some sort, and I never gave it more than a passing glance. It wasn’t until about five weeks … Continue reading Everything But The Pho: Ha Cafe

“Vietnamese-lite”: One Saigon

I found out about One Saigon while waiting for a table at ShiZen Ya┬ánext door. I noticed that the tiny Vietnamese place had the “must-try” trifecta: all of its tables were occupied, a sizable lineup of diners were waiting to order and purchase food, and an equally sizable crowd was hanging around waiting for their takeout orders. I went back to One Saigon a few days later with my wife and son to see if its food was good enough to justify its popularity. Hoping to avoid the long queue and subsequent long wait for food, we arrived at the … Continue reading “Vietnamese-lite”: One Saigon

A Value Proposition: Pho Century

My wife and I were in the mood for some casual Taiwanese after we picked our daughter up from Mandarin school in Burnaby yesterday, and we made our way to our favorite casual Taiwanese joint in Burnaby: Pearl House. As we parked our car in front of the restaurant, we noticed that no light was emanating from its interior. Its shades were all drawn when the sky was covered double-thick with clouds. The restaurant was obviously closed, but we were perplexed as to why it was closed. By all accounts, Pearl House was popular and does brisk business. I noticed … Continue reading A Value Proposition: Pho Century

Winner, Winner, The Soup Is Thinner

Pho Hoa – …And the award for the worst dish I’ve had all year goes to…the Beef Stew with Bread at Pho Hoa! The worst Vietnamese meal? Pho Hoa! The worst bowl of pho I’ve had locally? Pho Hoa again! It’s a clean sweep; Pho Hoa wins! Pho Hoa wins! I would have never guessed that the food at Pho Hoa would be so bad. After all, I consider it to be the McDee’s of Pho restaurants. There’s a branch of Pho Hoa in every (North American) city that I’ve lived in, and I can’t say that I’ve ever had … Continue reading Winner, Winner, The Soup Is Thinner

An Exceptionally and Extraordinarily…unpleasant meal experience

Pho Express Angkor Noodle House – I can’t recall the last time that I visited a restaurant with either a sticky door, sticky floors, or sticky tables. In general, I have found most of the local restaurants I’ve visited to be clean, sanitary, and devoid unpleasant elements. Thus it was a little surprising for me to find Pho Express Angkor Noodle House to have all of the three abovementioned elements of stickiness when I visited it for lunch today. The stickiness was something that had to be felt by physically opening the front doors of the restaurant, walking into it, … Continue reading An Exceptionally and Extraordinarily…unpleasant meal experience