Once again, the dreaded "I forgot I bought a Groupon" phenomenon hit us. For some reason or another, I didn't remember buying one for Castle Fun Park which was going to expire at the end of the month. Great. I had to shoehorn a visit to Abbotsford into our busy schedule. It's like Lindsay Lohan trying to schedule some sobriety into her life... Don't get me wrong. I love Castle Fun Park. In fact, we used to go there for some late night fun back in the day. However, Abby is just a bit far for some mini-golf and batting cages. But my son absolutely adores the place, so off we went to redeem the Groupon. Once we were finished, we briefly entertained the idea of eating locally, but Viv suggested we head closer into town for food. Hence, we stopped at Mai's Vietnamese just off Hwy 1 near 200th.
Much like many of the newer Pho joints in the GVRD (in particular, the burbs), Mai's is an original restaurant from the ground up. What I mean is it isn't a former Italian or Greek restaurant (or even a former 7-11). We started with the Fried Chicken Wings which were dark and really crunchy (a touch too much batter). The meat underneath was not a moist as I would've liked, but the sweet and tangy sauce partially made it up for. Predictably, we had a bowl of Pho as a baseline of sorts. As the hot broth met my lips, the burst of sweetness was very strong. Not much in the way of meatiness, but there was the usual Pho flavouring agents. This was a decent broth. In terms of the noodles, they were plentiful and al dente. The meats were generally thin and tender, but the flank was somewhat dry and crumbly.
I had the Bun Bo Hue and it was not as fragrant as I would've hoped. Moreover, it was actually quite mild altogether with very little spice, yet at the same time, I did get a hit of shrimp paste. The noodles were a touch softer than I would've liked. There was plenty of meat though, but missing the pork knuckle and blood. The kids shared the Lemongrass Chicken with Rice. It came neatly plated with 2 well-charred pieces of white meat on top of chewy rice. I could understand the use of breast meat, especially since they are trying to appeal to the local clientele, yet personally, I found it dry and lacking in flavour. Ultimately, we were pleased with our meal despite the fact, we could get cheaper and better in Surrey. But we were not in Surrey, so Mai's did the job in a clean environment complete with great service.
- Very good service
- Okay eats
- A touch pricey
- There is better in Surrey, but we were not in Surrey