| Whenever I hear people talk about how amazing Vietnamese food is, all I hear is Pho this, Pho that. Pho is overrated. A few thin slices of meat, a handful of noodle, a thing of soup many times flavoured with powder from a supermarket. And I’m hungry an hour later.
This article is not about discounting the importance of Pho in the world. It is an opportunity for me to talk about another side of Vietnamese cuisine that doesn’t get nearly as much love that Pho does. This is my small attempt at changing how restaurants and restaurant goers go about this experience. Life’s too short to keep getting salty water. I’ll introduce a couple of dishes below.
I’ll start by naming my favourite Vietnamese restaurant — Vina, the sit down location, not the food court variety that throws freshness into question and yields indigestion. Located at 2508 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, this place has been here since I was a kid (so about 30 years). That stands for more than something knowing how hard it is to stay alive in the restaurant business. It’s a nice place to go (a) in the evening and especially (b) in the summer since you get a piano player and you can enjoy a walk on the seawall or around the nice and quiet neighborhoods afterwards. At the time I’m writing this, Vina has an average rating of 3.1. Based on what I’ve had here, I have to disagree with whoever’s trying to talk trash about this place.
It’s never really that busy so you don’t have to wait long for a table or your food, not to mention you get to hear the words of the person you’re with. And if you do happen to get bored of your company, there’s always the muted TV to stare at. That, or admire the decor which includes the likes of sculpted elephants, porcelain pieces, and miscellaneous hung artwork of the Orient.
Prawns a la Vina is baked jumbo prawns served in a honey lemon cream sauce. The description and pictures included here speak for themselves.
Chicken Farcie Grande-Mere is a roasted roll of meat, delicately crisp and brown on the outside, moist on the inside. It’s boneless chicken stuffed with mushrooms and ground meat. Sweet pickled vegetables and rice round out the meal.
Both dishes are about $20 so you’re looking at about double the cost of Pho, but really, in terms of a dining experience and quality, it’s worth it to pay more to get something better. Plus, it’s not like $20 is an outrageous price point anyway.
And if you really can’t help yourself and need to do Pho, fine, they have that too.
If all you’ve ever known about Vietnamese food is Pho and you’ve never been to Vina Vietnamese, check it out and you won’t see Vietnamese food the same way again.food review, vancouver, vietnamese, vietnamese cuisine, vina, west van