Friday, March 6, 2015

Vietnamese To-Go

Restaurant 'take-out' has taken on a whole new perspective since moving to Denman Island! We don't rely on it often, but it is a treat after spending a long day off Island to come home and not have to make supper. Although no longer as simple as picking up the phone for delivery or pick-up.... the process now involves impeccable timing to; order, pick-up and get to the ferry in time for the sailing with an arrival time suitable for dinner. And of course, a second cooler with ice packs in the car ...can't put the raw and fresh groceries in the same cooler as steaming hot take-out!! Ah, life on the rock!
Prior to my recent trip 'south', I researched for the 'Best Vietnamese in Nanaimo' and was surprised to find a top rated restaurant in the vicinity of my normal shopping haunts. 
#6-Hoanh thanh sup - Wonton Soup
'Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant' boasts the 'Best Vietnamese Noodle Soup on Vancouver Island'. You will find them located in the Bowen Centre, 1925 Bowen Road, Nanaimo, BC. Open 7 days a week 11am-9pm and Holidays 11am-8pm. 
#3-Cha gio (2 cuon) - 2 Spring Rolls with Fish Sauce 
#37-Com ga uop xa nuong - Lemongrass Chicken/Rice

My order consisted of a #6 large-Wonton Soup, #3 -2 Deep Fried Spring Rolls, #37-Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Rice and #80-Mango Bubble Tea with Coconut Jelly instead of pearls (for the hour drive to the ferry). The Bubble Tea was very creamy, yet chewy with the 'jelly'... a great substitute!

The 'Wonton Soup' had 2 components... I was pleasantly surprised to find a zip type baggie with fresh beansprouts, a whole fresh chili and a wedge of fresh lime, packaged separately. The 12 wontons were plump and the broth had good flavor. There was plenty for two of us. The 'Spring Rolls' were very crispy and the fish sauce dip was a flavorful addition. The rice did not fare well through the travel delay. The 'Lemongrass Chicken' had good flavor, although I would have preferred it to be pounded thinner and more caramelized, almost charred on the edges. I search for a very high standard when it comes to Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken. My next planned trip to Nanaimo, will allow scheduled time to 'eat in' and enjoy a fresh, hot meal at Huong Lan. I am already looking forward to the experience.
Till next week, Bon Appetit!

Photos by Sally Rae 
Food from Huong Lan Restaurant~Nanaimo, BC

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