Real, raw, & relatable me. Enthusiastic food & lifestyle blogger living in Vancouver, BC!

Category: Marpole

Fighter Chicken

As we enter year two of the pandemic, we are seeing the world adjust. With the shuttering of many restaurants we are also witnessing the opening of new fast food places and more quick and easy takeout establishments. And here is another one to add to the list.

Not much is more comforting, and can satisfy the masses like fried chicken. It’s one of those foods that doesn’t discriminate between ages or ethnicities. If you like chicken, then chances are you like it fried. And at Fighter Chicken, they are setting themselves apart with their halal, free run, and antibiotic free fried chicken. And not just chicken, they also have a slew of sides and burgers to satisfy any fast food specific craving.

I visited with Joyce of @monkeyeatsworld fame, as we have made it a point to try all the fried chicken that the Lower Mainland has to offer. Plus, this way we were able to try so much more of their menu between us: 2 burgers, 2 fried items, and 2 sides.

You bee-line it right down to their counter at the far back, to order. And linger until it is packed up and ready to go.

I wasn’t immediately impressed by the pale colouring of the breading on the chicken, and even less so on the fish. Luckily it didn’t translate. The chicken was clean and crispy without that heavy oil taste. And it impressively stayed that way, well after our food cooled. And it was still good the next day when I reimagined them as leftovers. It just wasn’t as juicy as how I would have preferred it. And the seasoning felt flat.

Similarly the fish held up, but left me wanting more. The breading remained in tact, hiding chunks of quality, flakey white fish under its thick layering. But as fresh tasting as both the chicken and fish were, I couldn’t help but feel they were missing a sauce or dip. We received a small container of sweet chilli sauce and a brown hoisin-like sauce, but they didn’t really suite. I had hoped for gravy with the chicken and a tartar for the fish. Something to add another layer to either, when you are on piece 2 and ketchup just doesn’t cut it. Especially as you have already squeezed as much as you can out from the packets and smothered it on the yam fries.

The yam fries were really great for fast food quality. Another clean deep fry that was more firm yam than crispy breading, which happens to be how I like it. But a mayonnaise based aioli or better yet, your choice of dips would have been ideal. Not only would it be a draw, but it would have me leaning towards ordering it again.

The popcorn chicken was a better side, although it tasted like all the other chicken items we had. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they could have added a zesty or spicy seasoning over this, thus making it completely new and different.

I liked the buttery buns used on their burgers, they added a nice contrast with their slightly sweetened taste. Other than that it was your standard lettuce, tomato, and onion assembly with a handsome amount of mayo. All of which was necessary to add freshness to an otherwise heavy handheld. Pickles and a slaw would have helped here. Or even some tangy mustard.

Similarly, the fish burger echoed the same sentiment. Heavy with a peppery mayonnaise. This was not what I was expecting, as I don’t think I ever had a fish burger without the tangy pickling of a tartar sauce, which I kept craving here.

In short, this isn’t your typical North American style fried chicken place. It has Chinese influences and nuances, and if you can keep that in mind, it is nice to have what feels like a healthier fried chicken option, amongst all the giant chains.

Fighter Chicken
8631 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6P 5A2
(604) 225-9518


I have been meaning to check out this Chinese style dessert cafe. Though I am less likely to drive all the way out to the Marpole area just to do so, or for many restaurants in general. So when the timing was right and I found my way out there, I made sure to stop in for a snack.

Here, we were treated with some of the best customer service from any cafe, let alone one where language may be a barrier. Our server seemed aware that this our first time visiting, (it might have been all the photos I was taking). He was patience with us, as we asked all our questions and expressed all our dietary restrictions. There were suggestion and check ins, plus the invitation to return and try a few that he thought we should have had this round.

The interior was just as inviting as he was. It was so much fun. Bold lines and strong colours transformed this open space dining area into a cartoonish cityscape with skyscrapers, Chinese characters in neon, and tiny people in paint. And to bring it all to life, a red paper dragon snaking along the ceiling. It felt like a celebration eating with it as our backdrop.

We grabbed one of their black painted tables, each one is decorated with quotes or frames written/drawn in white chalk paint. When seated we took to reading their novel of a menu. It is lengthy, but informative, helpful for those who aren’t entirely familiar with all the items they are reading. It was nice to know what things were in any given dish, and when you have the option to enjoy it hot or cold. Drinks and desserts are arranged in groupings for easy reading, along with photos that help in the ordering process.

When they first opened they garnered a lot of attention from their spin on the bulldog. This isn’t a margarita and there isn’t a beer waiting for you in it, but this non alcoholic beverage features the bringing together of one drink into another like Ribena into Sprite or ginger ale into fruit punch. We got their most popular, the “Vitasoy milk with red bean bulldog”. When the milk hits the bean you get a milky drink that reminded me of cookies and cream in its colour and taste, more so the “cream” part, but not too sweet. There was very little whole red beans, which I was happy for, so that the drink wouldn’t be too grainy with it mashed up.

And just looking at a photo of their latest dessert special, I had to have it. For novelty alone this one is fun. “Handmade red bean coconut pudding mahjong tiles”, served with a red bean paste dip and rice paper bills in USD and HKD. An interactive dessert with 13 pieces to snack on for $19.88. I was very impressed by the idea and its execution. The details stamped on to each tile was perfect. Together the set looked real enough to play with, but squisher. Even the platter it is served on was well thought out, a mini mimic of a mahjong table with green velvet table topper.

As for its flavour it was a mild dessert, the dip was great at allowing you to decide what you wanted to taste more of: the coconut milk in the tile or the sweetened red bean in the sauce. Though if it were me, I would order it more for its texture than taste. You want it for its jello-meets pudding texture, a fun gelatin to bite into and suck up between clenched top and bottom row of teeth. It was as fun to play with as it was the eat.


Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
This is definitely one of those places worth travelling to. A unique spot for some pretty creative desserts, the kind you see online and when you click on the photo to learn more about it, are disappointed that it is only offered at a restaurant in Asia. Cute wooden buckets of tofu, a snack set with 9 different samples of their hot and cold sweet soups, and smoothies. They even have savoury street snacks for those who want a little salt with their sugar. But be warned payment is only possible as cash or Canadian debt, a note that I appreciate being posted on their front door. Don’t deny your cravings.


7980 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, V6P 4Z2
Snackshot  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

ZenQ, Marpole

If you haven’t noticed, Taiwanese tea house brand “Chatime” has open dozens of new franchise locations all across the Lower Mainland over the last couple of years. In almost every area, you can expect one of its purple awnings. So it is no surprise to learn that their sister dessert shop, “ZenQ” is right behind them with two locations in Richmond and Coquitlam, and a third on its way in the next couple of months, at Hastings and Willingdon.

During the time of this visit, the location I visited at Marine Gateway has only been open for a week. This was their soft launch and they were still working out their day to day operations, before advertising a grand opening.

“ZenQ” supplements desserts to “Chatime’s” extensive drink menu. A few locations of the former has been known to open up within the latter. Having “ZenQ” locations in Vancouver means there is a platform and a place to go for more traditional Chinese style sweet soups and jellies. Something that should be consistent with their offerings in Asia. Especially considering that when new franchise owners purchase their businesses, they get flown to Taiwan to see the brand in its popularity high, running optimally. This is before they head back home to replicate this phenomenon for themselves. But as they do, they have help. “ZenQ” also sends new franchise owners their own trainer. The trainer’s goal is to walk new owners through each process and to be their coach in driving a successful venture.

Here, I learned that “QQ” means chewy. And that the single “Q” in their name, their slogan “wow so Q!”, and the name of their popular rice balls is a reflection of that chewiness. The “Q” reminds you of their chewy claim to fame. And given how much I liked them, I can see why they have grown internationally. I would easily come back for more and recommend them just for their rice balls with no issue.

All said balls are made by hand and from scratch ingredients. Available in either mango, matcha, or sweet potato flavours with their accompanying colours. The process is as follows. The flavouring ingredients are steamed and mixed into a dough. The dough is hand rolled and cut into pieces, then stored in the freezer for some cold treatment, before you boil them to the perfect tenderness. This is to keep each doughy ball’s intended shape and texture. And it works. The balls make a strong appearance in their tofu pudding and grass jelly series.

Their menu is easy to navigate with all their available drinks and desserts being sectioned off into their own “series” and corresponding categories. During this media event we were able to try an item out if each series.

When it comes to a media tasting: plating and portion size may be gussied up and/or paired down, and the service will usually be top notch. Though I can at least paint you the most accurate image when it comes to the food and the setting, as how I interpret it. But as always, these are my opinions and you need not take them as fact. Unless you have my exact background, have lived my exact experiences, and we possess the same tongue; no one can truly taste and appreciate as you do.

This is their “Tofu pudding no.3” with sweet potato, peanuts, Q balls, and pearls. Each serving in the series differs by ingredients, with each assembly being assigned a different number. Chinese desserts aren’t typically not too sweet, they are flavourful with a large emphasis on texture, and this was a great example of such within this bowl. A variety of textures in this sugar sweeten soup-syrup. It was a nice slurp with jiggly pudding chunks, chewy Q rice balls, squishy tapioca pearls, melty boiled sweet potato, and peanuts for a soggy yet firm texture. I have never been a fan of cooked peanuts because I think their natural crunch is already so great, and that you lose that by cooking it. None-the-less they are easy enough to eat around.

As I mentioned earlier, their Q balls also make a popular appearance within their grass jelly series. This is their “Hot grass jelly no.2”, and like the bowl above, the number differentiates the serving by its additional toppings. No.2 comes with taro, pearls, various Q balls, and a scoop of brown sugar ice. Its hard to describe grass jelly to someone who has never had it. I can best liken it to black jello flavoured with sugar cane syrup. With the addition of the brown sugar, it had a certain molasses sweetness to it, helpful in tying everything else together in a complimentary tone.

From the “Royal sweet soup series”. We had their “Red bean soup no.3” with sweet potato. Now, other than from here, I don’t know where else you can get red bean soup that isn’t in a sit down Chinese restaurant. Although it’s just as well, given that I am not a fan of the graininess that accompanies red bean. I can see those more unfamiliar, being scared off by the look of it. With its murky water and mud like texture it doesn’t look like any traditional North American style dessert. More like sweet soup with an orange zesty after taste.

The “Longan black glutinous rice no.3” came with boiled tender sweet potato chunks. I wasn’t a big fan of this one either. It had a smiliar granulated texture like the soup above. Although with the glutinous rice it at least had a nicer chew to it. However this just left me even more dissatisfied as I wanted even more chewiness from it. I bit into a boiled Logan fruit thinking it was a Q ball. It wasn’t sweet, but more medical with a rich herbal after note, thanks to the brewing of it within this bowl of water and rice.

This wasn’t what I was expecting when I learned read “Creamy frappes” as a subsection on the menu. I was imagining a Starbucks popularized frappuccino. Whereas this was more than that, and more like shaved ice. A mound of sheared mango flavoured fluffy ice, served with a side of mango jelly cubes, fresh mango chunks, a healthy drizzle of condense milk, and rainbow cereal. The fruit loops not only gave the dessert some visual interest, but it also added crunch and a new flavour profile when you bite into a neon loop.

They also make homemade waffles pressed to order. I found these tasted a lot like bubble waffles with their light eggy-‘ness. This was their “Fresh fruit waffle” with mango, strawberry, honey dew, and banana slices. Finished off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. I suggest eating this as soon as you get it for a cakey waffle that resembles angel food cake. Otherwise you are facing a hard lump of dough. There was a lot more fruit than waffle. Whereas I wanted more substance and the ability the pair the right amount of fresh cut up fruit to toasted waffle pieces, and maybe some sauce to bind it all together.

I much preferred the Banana chocolate waffle with fresh banana, chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream. The flavour of the chocolate spread was the highlight, and banana is a standard pairing with it. There was no complaints with this one. I got exactly what I expected.

From here we transitioned into drinks. From the “ZenQ tea time series” I really enjoyed their handmade taro milk tea. This one has to be served hot given its texture and the need to mash up and stir-in the grittiness of the real taro root with heated milk.

The rest of our drinks were served cold in plastic cups. Up first was their “ZenQ grass jelly” drink. A very tea-heavy milk tea with whole chunks of grass jelly.

From their “Handmade tea series” we had their “Mango blue mountain green tea”. The mango has the drink starting out sweet, and then ending bitter with the tea.

From the same series is their “Strawberry black tea”. It was a little too sweet with too much strawberry flavour for my taste.

The “Oreo cocoa ice diamond” was part of their “Special drinks series”. The “Ice Diamond” refers to its cold and crystallized texture. This one more closely resembled a frappe with its blended up dessert like-flavour.

The “Winter melon black tea” of the same series wasn’t as expected. I have tried winter melon syrup before and its sweet and sugary notes didn’t transition into this cup. With the use of almond milk for creaminess, this drink was more nutty, hiding all the flavour of the mild winter melon.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I wouldn’t be apposed to a return visit, but it is a little far for me to drive to just for a casual drink and dessert spot. A solid representation of Taiwanese style drinks and dessert for those in the area though. Don’t deny your cravings.


495 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver BC
ZenQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mr. Mustache Bubble Tea House


I am no longer as enthusiastic over bubble tea, as I was in my youth; when I found the drink that you eat most appealing. Blame it on my widening food repertoire, my aging, or my inability to retain liquids without multiple trips to the washroom; but sitting and sipping on a cup of cold tea and gnawing at its chewy bits just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I don’t think I even really like just drinking it without the tapioca. But it is just one of those things you end up doing cause others want to, and sometimes you just need a cheap place to hang out at. Today it was out of the need to change the taste in my mouth. They make a decent option if you are on the look out for something quick and easy, and better than any fountain drink. Also, they may be more convenient, as they are just as many bubble tea places popping up across the lower mainland, and most are open later at night.


So given the saturated landscape for this Taiwanese classic, most cafes need a defining signature to standout, and here it is a certain facial feature. Their moustache theme went as far as branding. Its name to match its logo: a top hat paired with glasses and a moustache. The same logo finding its way on everything. The awning, the sandwich board, on the backdrop to their menus, and even the stamp that was used to collect tokens to get your 10th drink for free. The latter was a nice way to create customer loyalty to their shop.


The narrow room, had their tea counter on the left and a lengthy chalkboard menu to the immediate right. A slim walkway led to a back room and more seats. The former didn’t look like a very comfortable arrangement. Although, neither was the cluster of tightly packed chairs under the small flat screen. Or the tall stools looking out into the bright lights of the cars driving through the wet of the city. All fairly disappointing, considering the feature of such places is to sit and chat for an extended period of time.


As for decoration, it was basically a practical photo parade of their drinks. The same hand with a sparrow tattoo on its wrist, holding all different cups of their bubble tea. Under the black frame, a moustache shaped label spelled out what could be had above.


Without the experience and the need to sift through so many options I simply ordered the first thing on their menu. Their regular milk tea off their “fresh” menu. It was bitter and bland. But the pearls were at least really fresh, although they didn’t really offer anything to the drink. No flavour, just something to chew on.


My guest got the the taro ice cream slush. It was essentially a vanilla milkshake, dyed purple. Tasty enough, but not as intended nor was it anything new.


Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I didn’t find this bubble tea incarnation any different from any of the other places offering like things. I wouldn’t think to drive all the way out here for it, but if in the area and hankering for a palette cleanser this was a nice enough of a place to grab a drink at. Don’t deny your cravings.


8079 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, V6P 4Z5
Mr. Mustache Bubble Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


IMG_7595 IMG_7539

With all the photos popping on to my online feed, this one has long been on my list. I read foodies and food bloggers alike declaring that their sago and mango ice the best to hit the block. Ironically we tried neither. Instead, we were craving durian and knew they offered it here, so that was reason enough for us to go.

Late on a Friday night we drove up to a line. A wait list hung by the door, 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes was a decent amount of time to wait, however, we already drove across town for this, we weren’t turning back now.

You must love the smell of durian, it engulfs you upon entry. It was the reason why we were here in the first place, so we were thrilled. But for those unfamiliar with the pungent fruit, I can only imagine their reaction and repulsion, having to turn around 360.


There wasn’t many tables so I understand the wait. Several two tops with the ability to push them together to seat more. Waxy white tables with white scoop-back chairs. We were eventually given a seat on the cushioned bench by the wall. With a backdrop of red behind us and a lengthy cubby hole still decorated for Christmas. Red and green tinsel, hanging red baubles, miniature frosted trees, and snowmen bundled up for the winter. There was a similar theme decorating the washroom, with garland strung up over the mirror.

Across us, on the other wall was a series of mirrors. They created the illusion of depth in the narrow space, reflecting the light from the unwatched flatscreen and the drops of bulbs hanging from the ceiling.


On their working counter, towards the back of the restaurant was a machine that enabled you to print out photos of yourself, if you have WeChat. I attempted to download the app using their wifi, but no luck. Those who succeeded had the option to add their photos on to “Doolami’s” real world social media gallery.

The wait we had allowed us to go through their entire menu in complete thoroughness. For both of us, we were visualizing the tastes of our childhood desserts. With each page we flipped, we reminisced.

They had tropical and classic homemade ice creams server in waffle bowls or take home pints. Each flavour is made with all natural ingredients, no preservatives, sweeteners, additives, or colouring. I regretted not taking a pint home of durian. They also had mango, matcha, blueberry lavender, vanilla earl grey, or Godiva chocolate available. We passed on two scoops of ice cream in the waffle bowl for something we couldn’t prepare ourselves.

Their most popular item was their “Snow ice”. A pile of ice shaved as fluffy as snow, topped with tropical fruit. It is essentially is the Asian version of a snow cone flavoured with fruit and sweetened with condense milk. The prices were reflected of the fruit they imported to use in each. They stressed that you were definitely getting what you pay for, by listing where they fly the fruit in from. Mangoes flown in, by air from the Philippines and/or Australia caused the price to fluctuate. Market price has their “Mango snow ice” and “Lychee snow ice” at $15.99, pretty steep for fruit and frozen water. Though it was the “Golden dragon fruit snow ice” that cost the most. $20.99, as they used jumbo, super sweet dragon fruit from Ecuador. In comparison, the papaya version was decently priced at $10.99. Jet fresh, tree ripened papaya from Hawaii. We passed on these for their price, deciding to get more bang for our buck on other items.

Like their sago, the reason why we came in the first place. “Sago” is a starch extracted from various tropical palm stems. It is often made into flour and in this case, then produced commercially in to tiny pearl-like spheres. It is similar to tapioca pudding in its texture and common preparation.

Their mango was the one everyone online was raving about, and the one that won all the awards. But we were here for durian and since we didn’t get it in the ice cream, this was our own choice left.


The “Durian sago” tasted true to our memory of durian. Sweet and creamy, with its unique after note. It really is an acquired taste and those who love it, get cravings for it, like we did. And those who hate it, can’t even stand being in the same room with any of it. They often describe the stench of durian comparable to dirty socks. We however loved the fruit and its role in the pudding-like dessert. We even concluded that they must have used “D24” durian. “D24” is the designation of a premium species of durian, it is often the most fragrant and the most flavourful. Together with the sago, this was a fresh and foamy dessert, like an airy moussed mixed with a milky cream. The sago pearls offering a fun texture to chew through. As good as it was, we felt like it was missing an element to being a full dessert. Something crunchy or starchy like a side of sweet bread or a slice of plain cake. Overall, the flavour was so strong and so unique, that I suggest saving it for last, like we did.

Their house special grass jelly and red bean soup is available both hot and cold. I veto-ed the more common red bean soup and we asked the server if the grass jelly was better hot or cold. He suggested cold, and in hind sight I wish we went hot for more of a soupy dessert.


The “House special grass jelly” came with handmade taro balls, matcha balls, red beans, lotus seeds, and peanuts. The dish was literally the assembly of all the above bland ingredients on a plate, like a salad. And like a salad, in needed dressing for flavour. We asked for some condense milk, to help transition it better into the realm of desserts. The only server, was kind enough to give us free reign over one of their condense milk squeeze bottles. I went crazy with my squeezing and still felt like I was missing some sweetness in this. The balls were similar to Mocchi but harder, chalkier, and not as enjoyable. If you didn’t first see their colour, you couldn’t tell one ball and its flavour from the other. The peanuts and red bean were worst. Both were sandy and the peanuts soggy. I have never had cooked peanuts like this before and I wouldn’t want to again. It just breaks apart in residual pieces in your mouth. It was best taking a bite of everything at once, as it brought things together. I couldn’t imagine this dessert hot, but probably better than cold cooked peanuts with condense milk.

The most interesting dessert was their black sesame and purple taro paste. It was liquified colour, similar to a pudding, but you sipped like soup. Though neither of us grew up with this so we passed on it for some rice balls instead.


The “Glutinous rice balls with peanuts and sesame” was our favourite. It hit the childhood nail on the head with its gummy centre covered in a gritty enjoyable shell of sugar and ground up peanut and sesame sand. It got caught in between your teeth, but the hassle of eating it, was worth it. Six balls in one order was not enough.


The last item we got was not on the menu. My super sleuthing online showed us that it was not listed, but something you could request for. I did this by showing our server the photo on my phone. It was creamy milky jello solidified in a cored papaya, then cut down to bite size pieces. It looked better than it tasted. I expected more flavour and more sweetness from the tofu-like jello, to offset the mild start of the papaya.

Often, all my photo taking for this blog leads to stares. Looks as I strive to get the best photo I can with my iPhone 6. I am willing to stand above my table and make my guests shine their phone’s flashlight over my plates. All my invitees know to not touch their food until I have had my way with it first, and that is often plenty of photos in different angles. Often dozens of shots snapped of just one dish, which I later go home to dwindle down to the perfect one for this post. And today I was going over and beyond to capture the perfect shot to win “Doolami’s” photo contest, which I did not. The rules were to take a photo and post it on Instagram tagging them. If they repost it you win a free serving of what was depicted in your winning photo. Guess I was ambitious when I tagged them in a photo with all four of the dishes we ordered.

Either way all this snapping caught the attention of our neighbour. A young man, dining by himself, who taught himself clever to sneak a photo of me taking my photos. He did this with his phone at his side, barely tilting his body towards me. From the corner of my eye I called him out on it. I started out friendly, though not letting him get much of a word in.

I asked him if he took a photo of me, he was truthful. I asked him why and what was he going to use it for. He couldn’t reply. So I filled it in for him. I stated had he simply asked for a photo, I would have posed for him. Even in my awkward bent knee, head bowed, and shoulder slumped unflattering profile. But to take a photo with the purpose of making fun of me publicly, I told him it wasn’t very nice. I explained that I take photos for my food blog and that I take my writing seriously. So for him to do what he plans on to mock me, would be very disrespectful. I asked him to delete the photo and watched him do it. I even went so far to ask that he scroll through his album so that I could confirm the image of me was indeed gone. Later I would realize it would still be in his “deleted” folder. I can only hope my words struck something in him and that he is a respectful young man.

After this interaction, we went about finishing our desserts without any further contact or acknowledgement of what hadtranspired. Though before he left, I did give him my blog card to visit my site. Once again I hope he heard my words, as what I shared meant something to me.


Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
We were able to narrow down what we wanted to try to five items, which still left us wanting many more. These were sweets made with ingredients I have yet to find in abundance anywhere else in Vancouver. Unique flavours worthy of trying once. Though given its location and that it is not the most convenient of drives, I do not see myself returning often for that very reason. Don’t deny your cravings.


8030 Granville Street, Vancouver BC
Doolami Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thai Son


After all my rich Chinese dinners as of late, I was in search of a different taste, something more light, something healthier? So I gravitated towards the refreshing flavours of Vietnamese food, often prepared with with basil and lemon.

The destination we choose was one link in a chain of five. Given its location along a busy road, just before the bridge, on route to Richmond; this is one of those places you come to specifically. With residential homes surrounding the area, it isn’t really on the way to anything.


It was brightly lit with its windows attracting just as much attention as its signed name. Given the fluorescent hum of the place it felt like a fast food restaurant. It was minimalistic with simple chairs and tables over a tiled floor. A caddy of utensils at each table offered less human interaction with the staff. Chopsticks, spoons, napkins, and sauces at your disposal. They did brighten up the place with a flower at each place setting and a vase full by the counter. All in all it felt like a place for a quick meal, especially given the speed of food delivery.

The menu was a list with photos spelled out in traditional Vietnamese phonetic and English description with ingredients list. It was easy enough to order off of.

Watching a glass of their “Special rainbow jello drink” with red bean and coconut milk” pass by our table, I found myself exploring the drinks menu for the same. However resisted the pull of familiarity for something more unique on paper.


The “Egg yolk and condensed milk with soda in ice” was a practical title. I was curious how the egg yolk would fair in such a beverage; completely forgetting that various cocktails enlist the practice of blending a raw egg until foamy, then adding it to a drink. It appeared like a tall glass of milk. White and creamy, but with a refreshing and fizzy quality to it. Definitely more of a dessert drink, like a Vietnamese egg cream.


When having Vietnamese food, it is almost obligatory to order pho. We went for the one that sounded the most exotic, with the most ingredients. A dish of raw bean sprouts, fresh basil, and lime wedges proceeded it, to add as we saw fit. “Rare beef, well done beef brisket, and tripe with rice noodles in soup”. We ordered a large serving to share. There was an equal ratio of meat to noodle. With large chunks of beef and tendon and not enough tripe.


I typically eat half my portion of pho, before needing to add in any of the table side brown sauce to rejuvenate its flavour. However this was on the blander side, and several squeezes of the bottle was necessary even before I started eating. All an all I pretty average bowl, not bad, but nothing worth remembering.


Similarly were the “Deep fried spring rolls” filed with ground pork, shrimp, and assorted vegetable. Crispy rolls, best dipped into the side servings fish sauce. This was a clear and soup-like, tangy and sour, vinegar based sauce.


The presentation alone for this one set it apart, as the most impressive. Though I wished there was a version that included more items and various meats, like a sampler platter. Though this did leave me wanting to try the others. “Special steamed vermicelli, grilled skewered pork, and minced shrimp wrapped in sugar cane”. I was drawn in by the creativity of noodles. They were squares with each individual strand still visible, adhered together as a sheet. This construction made them easy to pick up and dip into the fish sauce. They also made a great base for the perfectly grilled pieces of pork. I liked the meat a little burnt on the edges, giving it a great char. The shrimp was spongy like fish balls, they didn’t gather much sweetness from the stick of sugar cane. However the sugar cane tasted like shrimp. You don’t swallow the fibrous bark of the sugar cane, but instead gnaw on it, drawing out all its sweeter juices. Or in this case savoury fishiness.


Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
The restaurant was pretty basic. Fair prices, fast food, and a good meal. I wouldn’t drive all the way out for it, but wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid it either. But be warned, unlike most fast food chain, this one only accepts cash. Don’t deny your cravings.


1450 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC
Thai Son Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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