Halong Bay is a newly discovered gem near my workplace. All my co-workers have been continually raving about this joint. Halong Bay serves simple but fairly good Vietnamese cuisine. Their menu is pretty standard of what is found at other restaurants.
Their décor is worth a mention and not because it is gorgeous. With laminated pictures of their menu items plastered on their pale blue walls.
Lemongrass Vietnamese sub was decent very typical of what you would get. $4.75 3.5/5
Special tripebeef balls were comparable to the standard pho available downtown. Special tripe beef balls $6.50. Very comparable to the standard pho available downtown 3.5/5
Chau Kitchen and Bar – Traditional Vietnamese with a modern twist
Food Persuasion Level : [rating=3] Value: [rating=3] Service : [rating=4] Ambiance: [rating=3] Price: $$ Cuisine: Vietnamese Tapas Restaurant Location: Downtown Vancouver, Robson St Chau Kitchen and Bar
Chau Kitchen and Bar – Traditional Vietnamese dishes with a modern twist. If you ever have a hankering for Vietnamese food, which seems to be only a handful downtown Chau is your restaurant. The prices of the dishes are probably 10-15% more expensive than the usual traditional Vietnamese restaurants in East Vancouver. The portions are also smaller but, the plates are meant to be shared.
This is coincidentally my secret hangout for UFC fights. Their projection system is decent, picture and sound quality is passable. Of course, Chau will never have the rowdy atmosphere of a sports bar but, at least you’ll have a seat.
We started off with their paper rolls aka rice rolls in two varieties:
Black Cod & Mango with garlic-lemon sauce with nuoc cham sauce $3.50, the black cod was so small you could barely see taste it. Nem Pork & Mint with apple-lemon sauce $2.95, this was a bit too bland, either forgot to add the mint or the amount was so insignificant that my taste buds were unable to register it.
Crispy Pork & Prawn Wontons $5, were served hot and crispy.
Pacific Octopus – sautéed with grilled pineapple & onions $10, were slightly overdone which meant they were tougher. The pineapple added a hint of tang and a nice twist to what otherwise be a very traditional and average
Lemongrass Chicken – vermicelli noodles & herbs $6, this was my fave dish in terms of taste and value. The chicken was juicy and tender, the vermecelli was a bit too undercooked for my tastes. All in all this dish was great with a lit of hers that added layers of flavour
Crispy Chicken Spring Rolls – lettuce & fresh herbs $10, came out steaming hot and were very crispy.
Coconut Pineapple Creme Brûlée, this was delish, with pieces of pineapple that added an interesting tang to it. The coconut was the highlight ingredient bringing a different texture and an exotic flavour to the dessert.
Rightfully dubbed, Gastown’s neighborhood cocktail parlor, lacking of any pretentions and Yuppie entourages. We fell in love with the space and atmosphere. Unanimously agreed this is a perfect date spot. Great for people watching, if you are like us, we like to entertain ourselves by watching first dates, while making up soap opera worthy stories. When your date starts to bore you can choose from a plethora of creative cocktails, wines and spirits and livin it up! Ahem…responsibly of course*
It is an Asian inspired menu, with items from subs to Betel Leaves to peking duck noodle soup
For lack of better reason, we have been noticing the portion sizes in Gastown’s newer resto’s have been getting increasing smaller and the prices have stayed relatively the same. I’d hate for Gastown to be fostering anorexic, anti-yuppie, food snobs.
Started with the Crab Cakes – $12, Dungeness crab, coated in panko bread crumbs, with a lemon dijon yogurt lightly drizzled over top and a side of baby greens. Delicious, however everyone on our table and the next were disappointed by its size, comparable to a chocolate coin.
The subs are Vietnamese inspired. Started with the Rock Cod Sub – $12, Moroccan spice, with some greens, tomatoes, cucumber, preserved lemon and Japanese Mayo. The Duck & Soy Chicken Sub -$8, asian pear, cilantro, pickled carrot, rainsins, cucumber and mayo was delicious! It was a Vietnamese sub on speed.
Our bill came out to be $92 for 4 people which includes a dish and drink each. We were still starving by the end of our meal we had to go to Tropika for takeout!
I would however go back for the drinks and the entertaining atmosphere.