We all know that there are many Vietnamese restaurants strewn throughout the Lower Mainland, particularly in East Van. On the other hand, places like New West only have a handful. Big D, who happens to reside in New West, tipped me off about a new place called Saigon Ivy which offers up a fairly diverse menu. Well, we met up on a warm Summer day for some Vietnamese fare (because it's generally hot all the time in Vietnam, so we were getting in the spirit of things).
By the power of suggestion (as in the picture on the menu), we started with the Deep Fried Chicken Wings. These were fried golden brown and then tossed in peppers, garlic and chilis. Although not as memorable, these appeared to be a cross between the ones from Phnom Penh and Pok Pok. The wings were juicy and flavourful from the fish sauce marinade while lightly crispy from the deep fry. Although missing the lemon pepper dip, the wings were plenty tasty due to the wok toss. For my main, I went for the Hu Tieu Dac Biet in soup. Fairly light on the sodium, the soup was sweet with a mildly salty finish. The noodles were toothsome while the modest amount of meats were sliced thin and tender.
Big D ended up with the Pho Ga Vien which featured a decent amount of sliced chicken meatballs. I sampled the broth and it was clean and light while a touch sweet. The noodles were toothsome, but not particularly plentiful. Seeing how the portions were quite modest, we added a Grilled Pork Banh Mi for good measure. Although not exactly soft and airy, the bread was crusty. Inside, there was the usual ingredients highlighted by the sweet and somewhat smoky pork. It was a touch dry though. Ultimately, it was a decent attempt for a restaurant that doesn't specialize in banh mi.
On another visit, I went for the Pho Dac Biet which was not small, while not a large portion either. I found the broth to have an initial intense sweetness that gave way to rather mild flavours. It wasn't a clean broth, but then again, some of the murkiness added some depth. The meats were sliced thin and were okay if not a bit dry. Noodles were a bit clumpy and sparse, but were not overcooked. I also got a Lemongrass Beef with Vermicelli to go and it was a decent-sized dish. Although the beef was nicely caramelized with a strong sweet taste, it was rather dry. The noodles were a bit clumpy and soft, however, this was partially due to being in the Styrofoam box. After these 2 visits, Saigon Ivy presents itself decently as an option for Vietnamese eats in New West. Portions are generally modest while the service is quite good.
- Decent eats
- Nice people
- Extensive menu
- Modest portions
- Mild flavours