There are two schools of thought when it comes to enjoying Asian food – you either love your hole-in-the-walls at dirt cheap pricing or you’ll go to the higher end, fancy places to enjoy your Asian food experience. And personally, I think this is wrong. I think you can enjoy both for what they are. I know I do. I know that yes, I can go to a Vietnamese restaurant and get a vermicelli bowl for $8. I also know that I can get an upscale version made with good ingredients when I dine at a more higher end place. I respect both businesses for what they are and will support both.
That being said, Anh and Chi falls on the higher end spectrum, and it is a lovely delight. I love my dingy 70s-decorated Vietnamese restaurants, but I very much respect the beauty and design that goes into a spot like Anh and Chi. It’s the understated tiling and wood aspects, the earthenware they serve their dishes in that make them one of Vancouver’s most beautiful spots to eat at. Clearly, I’m not the only person to think so as they are always busy whenever I pass by.
Who should dine at Anh and Chi? Everyone. Bring a date here, bring a first date here. Bring your girlfriends and have a couple cocktails. Your friends who are interested in Vietnamese food but have not yet tried it yet.
I ordered the Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò Tôm (Vermicelli Rice Bowl) – $15. It’s served with grilled chicken (although you can choose from pork and beef as well), a grilled prawn, and spring rolls. This dish was larger than I expected it to be and quite filling. I’d have to say it’s the best vermicelli I’ve had. The prawn and chicken were grilled perfectly, the spring rolls were nice and crispy on the exterior but flavourful in the middle. The pickled daikon and carrots were the perfect crunchy and cool addition to the bowl. The textures in the bowl made for a wonderfully flavourful meal.
I do love a great story and Anh and Chi came from generations of self-trained chefs. Prior to the sibling duo that run the restaurant, their parents owned and operated the Pho Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant for over 33 years – the first and longest standing Pho speciality house in Vancouver. It’s great to see them flourishing! I will definitely be back.
For more information on Anh and Chi, check out their website here: http://anhandchi.com/