When the restaurant formerly known as Pho Hoang was facing the brink of closure, siblings Amelie and Vincent decided to take over the family business and revamp the entire space and rename it Anh and Chi. The restaurant literally underwent a huge transformation to a more upscale dining ambiance with a menu that includes a combination of traditional and contemporary Vietnamese delights.
Nowadays, Vancouver’s vibrant Vietnamese scene extends well beyond pho. With restaurants like Mr. Red Café setting their own unique array of Vietnamese dishes, Anh and Chi provides a more modern take on classic Vietnamese dishes relevant to the current crowd. We all know how important it is for food to be instagram worthy! 😛 After months of seeing their food pictures on social media, I decided to make a trip to East Vancouver with my friend to see what the hype was all about.
We were greeted by a hostess who directed us our table.. and knowing that we would be ordering quite a bit of food between the two of us, there was no way in hell that we were going to be seated on a small and cramped table. In the end, the hostess reluctantly gave us a table of four because they still had quite a few empty tables to fill for the anticipated lunch rush. The interior is very sleek and modern which is something you rarely find at Vietnamese establishments. They’ve also installed a full bar offering a wide variety of drinks and cocktails giving you that full dining experience you normally find at mid-upscale restaurants.
Some complimentary water to start. Call me old school asian, but I prefer the regular jasmine tea Vietnamese restaurants normally serve you.
Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($11) Butter, garlic, and green onions. Nicely stacked pieces of well marinated chicken wings as an appetizer. I thought they were super delicious with the salt and pepper dressing provided. Comparing them to Phnom Penh‘s chicken wings would be like comparing apples and oranges as the flavour profile is entirely different. I think there were about 8 pieces on this plate.
Vietnamese Crepe ($15) Pork, prawn, bean sprouts and mung bean in crisp rice flour, coconut milk and turmeric crepe. Served with lettuce, mixed herbs and chili fish sauce. I grew up eating Vietnamese crepes thanks to my grandma, so I had high expectations for this dish. Banh Xeo is a snack you roll up with herbs and leaves dipped in sweet chili fish sauce. However, the dish was a huge disappointment. The meat to bean sprouts ratio was really off and it was really bland without the fish sauce. I just felt like this dish was made with no love at all and for the price they charge is absolute robbery.
Side Street Platter ($19) House made pork sausage, beef in betel leaf, grilled chicken, crisp fried spring roll and grilled prawn. Served with fresh lettuce, mixed herbs, pickled carrots and daikon, vermicelli, rice paper, and chilli fish sauce. I figured the platter would be a great idea to get a chance to sample a little bit of everything to give a better and honest review. Great on presentation, not so great on taste. 😦 Again, everything was very bland and tasteless without the fish sauce. The only highlight of this dish was the spring rolls. I thought the filling was really unique and well made.
As someone who grew up eating Vietnamese food Anh and Chi was a huge letdown. If you plan to try this place out for yourself, I would recommend the chicken wings and spring rolls.
3388 Main Street