Sherman's Food Adventures: Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen

Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen

Suddenly out of the blue, Miss Y texted indicating she wanted to go out for eats.  I pondered for a few seconds...  Okay!  I'm not even sure why I spent any time thinking about it. Pretty lady and potentially good food - how can I say no?  So interestingly, we didn't have a destination in mind and we literally drove down Kingsway from Edmonds all the way to Fraser Street.  Nope, nothing interested us until we found Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen.

Naturally, we started with the Cha Ca which was accompanied by rice noodles, veggies and pickled daikon/carrots.  I liked the texture of the fish cakes as they were soft while exhibiting a bouncy chew.  Loved the flavours too as I could really taste the herbs.  Arriving in a broth that could be only described as muddy or rustic, the Pho Dac Biet tasted better than it looked.  There was a meatiness to it where the MSG was not the most prominent flavour (but it was there though).  I wasn't able to pick out any of the usual flavours such as anise, charred onion and ginger.  The noodles were al dente and the meats were plentiful and really tender.

Being ambitious, we also had the Lemongrass Chicken and Fried Egg with Rice.  The thick deboned thigh was super juicy with big hits of lemongrass.  There was a good char, yet the skin was not rendered enough being quite fatty.  Although we had enough food already, I couldn't help ordering the Grilled Black Cod.  I had to do a double-take when I noticed it was only $9.95.  For the price, we got a big black cod steak that was fried beautifully.  It was fatty, moist and flaky.  The skin was crispy and a textural delight.  Overall, we enjoyed our meal except for the lackluster pho broth.  Good eats at the always reasonable pricing of this type of Vietnamese restaurant.

The Good:
- Well made eats
- Common to this type of restaurant, reasonably-priced

The Bad:
- Pho broth a bit murky and one-dimensional in flavour

Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen on Urbanspoon


LotusRapper said...

How did you wander off Kingsway and came upon this place ? Just wonderin'

cathycc said...

You might want to go back and try their number 23 (the bun rieu)if you like crab tomalley!

appreciation said...

Thanks for the article Sherman. You are very right, we followed your lead and tried the food at this restaurant. Went home and still thinking about it. The Bun Rieu and Cha Ca dishes were really different and the broth did not make you very thirsty even though there is a taste of MSG. Since there are many experienced diners who have tried the Bun Cha Ca, does anyone know if "Cha Ca" is made of Cod, Haddock or Halibut?

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