Present Tense Suck: Tung Hing Bakery

There are many things I don’t know about the city, like how this stretch of Kingsway, with Vietnamese storefronts slightly outnumbering their Anglo and Chinese counterparts, is known as Little Saigon. I also have no idea that Tung Hing Bakery is supposed to be a bahn mi destination. The present tense gives me goose bumps in a bad way. I type in the present tense and I tensely cringe. I can’t. Formal designations gives me expectations. I see the words “Little Saigon”…strike that. I am not “seeing” the words “Little Saigon”. I saw them. I saw the words on one … Continue reading Present Tense Suck: Tung Hing Bakery

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

“Vietnamese-lite”: One Saigon

I found out about One Saigon while waiting for a table at ShiZen Ya next 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

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

Good Food, Bad Stomach

Joyeaux Cafe & Restaurant- More often than not, you can tell that  a restaurant is popular from a (figurative) mile away. Whether it be a huge lineup out its front door, a backup of cars prowling its block for street parking, or even the incredible amount of noise emanating from the restaruant, there are usually signs that indicate a restaurant’s popularity. But Joyeaux Cafe is one of those restaurants that I have probably passed by a hundred times without realizing how incredibly popular it is.  In fact, I wouldn’t have even known what kind of food the restaurant served if … Continue reading Good Food, Bad Stomach

Umami Overload

Phnom Penh – Never in a million years would I have imagined that MSG is such a popular seasoning with the locals. With all the urban legends and negative attitudes towards this product of fermentation, I would’ve thought that the health-concious, modern city-dwellers known as Vancouverites would be averse to restaurants that use it liberally. But apparently that is not the case because Phnom Penh is currently the number 1 rated restaurant on urbanspoon. It is also named as the top Vietnamese restaurant in 2012 by Vancouver Magazine. My wife and I dined at Phnom Penh for the first time … Continue reading Umami Overload