My foodie friends and I went for a food crawl last Saturday in the Kensington area. We went 6 different restaurants to try some of their signature dishes. Starting from today, I will blog about one restaurant per day for the next 5 days. So here we go!
The first stop is Hoi An Cafe, the only one Viet restaurant that serve authentic Central Vietnamese food in Vancouver. We ordered some of the signature dishes to share, which includes their infamous Mì Quảng, an authentic Vietnamese turmeric noodle dish, Cafe Sữa (Vietnamese Ice Coffee), and much more!
#1 Bánh bèo nhân ướt
For those of you who are familiar with Hong Kong snacks, the base of this dish is very similar to Put Chai Ko (砵仔糕), except that it is a savory dish. In the middle of the steamed rick cakes, it is a dried shrimp paste, mixed with shallots and cilantro. You MUST eat it with the sauce, because the fish sauce would make it more flavorful. | 4.5/5
#3 Bánh Bột Lọc Lá Chuối | $7.95
Steamed pork and shrimp tapioca dumplings wrapped in banana leaf served with fish sauce | 4/5
The banana leaf brings a fragrance to the dumplings. The dumplings do not have much flavor, so make sure you dip them in their special fish sauce. I love its chewy texture, but I wish the tapioca skin is thinner, with more stuffing in it.
#4 Bánh bột lọc trần
For the most part, you would find these 3 appetizers are very similar, which they all have a chewy texture and with shrimp and pork stuffings. But they each have its unique flavor. This dish is not as chewy as #3, and it comes with chili pepper, cilantro, garlic, and scallions. It is more flavorful compared to the other appetizers (even without the fish sauce), so I could not stop eating them. | 5/5
#8 Cao lạc đặc biệt
This is the most popular dish in Hoi An Cafe! Instead of the traditional pho, I would highly recommend you to try this instead. It is a turmeric noodle dish, with shrimp, pork, peanuts, onion, cilantro, and crispy chips. Make sure you stir well, before eating it. It is flavourful, and you can get away the boring pho for a second. I love to dip the chips to the sauce, but I also see people crush it and stir with the noodles. Either way, they are just as good! | 5/5
#27 Cafe sữa
Did I ever tell you that I fall asleep when I drink coffee? But I found a delicious solution. Vietnamese coffee would help! I love how strong it is, but the sweetness of the condensed milk just perfectly balanced the bitterness from the coffee. You just cannot miss out on this drink; this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! | 5/5
#33 Chè Hoi An Special
I personally did not quite like the drink, because there seems to be too much going on in the glass. Jackfruit is an either you love it or hate it type of food. And I am more on the “hate” side. Overall, this drink does not have much of a coconut flavor. Therefore, I would prefer the #32 Chè 3 màu more, which only includes the beans and green jelly. | 3/5
Overall, I love this restaurant so much. This is probably my favourite Vietnamese place in Victoria Drive, because this is such an unique experience for me when exploring Vietnamese cuisine.
Taste: 4.5/5 • Service: 4/5 • Ambiance: 4/5 • Quality-Price: 5/5
ADDRESS: 5002 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC V5P 3T8
HOURS: 10AM – 9PM | Mon to Sun