Phở 24 Express is Burnaby’s newest Vietnamese restaurant. It took a long while. Last June, this spot was Numero Uno Pizza. The new façade went up quite quickly when Numero Uno vacated. For a couple of months I waited and waited with baited breath for more phở in Burnaby. They teased me by wallpapering the windows with their menu. How cruel is that??! I’d drop by occasionally to check on the progress only to be teased yet again. Finally, around New Year’s, they opened their doors.
Phở 24 Express is a reincarnation of Gold Train Express II out on West 10th in Point Grey. Years ago it was my go-to spot before work at Provence. They made a killer bò kho as well as some great phở. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re still as a good as I remember.
I gotta say, this was a fantastic bowl. A solid curried broth jacked with lots of black pepper. Several big hunks of dark-meat chicken…nary a bit of gristle or bone. Plenty of roasted peanuts and chips of roasted garlic…great textures and an abundance of flavor. My only quibble was with the vermicelli. A bit too thin…verging on angel-hair…next time I’ll ask for the egg noodles. Can’t say enough about the broth, though. Great stuff…bowl drained.
Way back in September 2009, I wrote a post on Green Bamboo Vietnamese Cuisine. Since then the owner/chef has been continually tweaking his menu with new and delicious items. As Green Bamboo has become my favorite local, I thought it deserved an updated post.
Green Bamboo is located on Willingdon Avenue, just south of Kingsway in Burnaby. They are street-level next to the ever popular Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot. The room is quite small, usually steamy and plastered with droolworthy photos of their dishes. Last summer while I was outside checking out the pics, the owner came out and promptly recommended the Grilled Pork Vermicelli Rice Bowl. Turned out to be a fantastic dish. For the last year or so I’ve slowly been making my way through the quite large and varied menu. I have my standbys, but there’s so much more…
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Bảo Châu, a Vietnamese restaurant and self-described “Spring Roll Specialty House” on East Hastings. It quickly became my “go-to” place on Saturday afternoons before going to work. Recently, in the interest of a head-to-head comparison, I made a couple of visits to a neighboring restaurant, Le Petit Saigon.
After perusing their quite extensive menu, I decided to see how their Bún bò Huế stacked up to Bảo Châu’s.
Ah, the Vietnamese phở joint…my favourite type of restaurant. In Greater Vancouver there’s an abundance of really good ones. Many folk mainly stick to the phở. Can’t blame them one bit…there’s some great bowls to be had. Bảo Châu is a perfect example of a restaurant that caters to phở lovers but also puts out a range of other, great Vietnamese fare.
Don’t get me wrong….I love phở. I get giddy at the mention of it. It’s the one dish I crave above all others. But there’s another Vietnamese soup I have a major affinity for. Bún bò Huế.
A couple of years ago, there was a restaurant in North Burnaby called China Express. When the food fair at Brentwood Mall was being renovated, they relocated their stall to an actual restaurant on Hastings. Along with table service, they had three large steam tables brimming with almost mediocre Chinese food. You could get a huge, three item take-out serving for about five bucks. The only problem was, you got what you paid for…about two pounds of Chinese mall food. Then one day, when I was about to get a panino from Cioffi’s, I noticed a bright yellow awning just down the street. China Express had turned into the brand new and uniquely named Triple Coconut Tree Vietnamese Restaurant! Oh, joy!!
Not having much time left on my lunch break, I grabbed a Grilled Lemongrass Beef Bánh Mì to go. It was OK…a bit lacking in beef but full of flavour. I also grabbed a take-out menu and saw there was a whole lot of other great Vietnamese fare to check out. Here’s the dine-in menu:
Between that first visit and the ones for this post, I must of had thirty or forty meals here. Most of them varieties of Phở as well as some darn good Bò Kho. For my last few visits I’ve tried to check out the other parts of the menu. One item that stood out was Bún Nem Nướng, Chạo Tôm, Chả Giò (Grilled Minced Pork on vermicelli, Prawn Supreme and a spring roll).