May Vietnamese Cuisine in Richmond


Update 21-Mar-2009: This restaurant had since been closed.

There’s a new Pho restaurant in town and it has an “unconventional Vietnamese” name — May Vietnamese Cuisine. The reason I said that is because it’s not called Pho-something or Pho-some-number. It does conjure an image of an upscale Vietnamese eatery because of the word Cuisine they tag on to the name.

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May Vietnamese Cuisine is located on the wrong side of No 3 Road. Most of the food actions along No 3 is located on the eastern side of the road. The western side is pretty dead as far as food is concerned and is dominated (or rather used to be dominated) by car showrooms. I can only name Sea Harbour, Tim Hortons and Golden Szechuan on this side of the road but can name three dozen other eateries just across the street.

It is located on 3451 No 3 Road.

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We would not have noticed it if not for the specials that they advertised on the local city papers.

Dinner for Four for $55 (limited period special price for $39.95) seems to be expensive for Vietnamese food, the word “cuisine” notwithstanding. On paper, there seems to be a lot of varieties for sure but we had never quite spent $55 for Vietnamese food as long as I can remember. Now … for $39.95, it sure was worth trying.

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What really drew our attention was the “No MSG” claim which I thought was quite bold for Pho. Maybe there are no MSG added but I swear I felt kind of thirsty after the meal there. I checked with Suanne too and she felt like there are MSG. I could be wrong.

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Decor was bright … and “unvietnamese”. It’s too modern. Not sure why but am just comparing with the Pho places we normally go to. When we were there, the air conditioning broke down. They apologize for it but we chose a hot day to eat there.

If it matters, the folks here speaks Cantonese. Maybe they are Chinese-Vietnamese. ** shrugs **

Almost every customer that day came with the newspaper clipping for the Dinner-for-4 $39.95 special. Oh … there are rules … quite a number of it. On seeing that we have the newspaper clipping in our hands, we were promptly told that we cannot order the $19.95 Dinner-For-Two special … not even if we order that with additional other dishes. Weird. I thought that it will not do them any favour by imposing this rule at all. ** shrugs**

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I must say they have fancy plates, cups and cutleries. The tea cup is one of a kind … cute but only for the right handers. Because of the shape of the cups, I get kind of a vertigo using them (just kidding). We get a choice of tea and opted for Jasmine. Someday, I will learn the differences between all the types of tea. For now, I can’t tell one tea from another … Suanne can but not me.

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I told you there are rules … and here is another one. We can choose either the Salad Roll or the spring roll. Oh, we can’t have two spring rolls and two Salad Rolls … we can have either have four salad rolls or four spring rolls. Weird. ** shrugs **.

Anyway, we opted for the Salad Roll. The big, fat, prawn laden salad roll came with some peanut sauce for dipping. It was awesome, superb, great. The peanut sauce made a huge difference to the plain tasting salad roll.

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Course two was the pho. They gave us two large bowls to share between the four of us. It was kinda disappointing. Firstly, there are only beef flank … sans my favourite tendon. The soup tasted plain, almost tasteless and the rice noodle hard and uncooked. It was not too great — we had better ones before.

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Course three. The Seafood Crepe smell so nice when it was brought to our table. It’s egg crepe with beansprout, imitation crab meat, prawns, scallop and squid. Nice and moist … and very, very, very good. Love it!

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There are more! Course four was the Pork Chop Rice. We can have the option between Pork or Chicken with either Broken Rice or Vermicelli. Oh, we cannot mix and match … I repeat … we must choose either Pork/Chicken with Rice/Vermicelli. We can’t have one Pork with Rice and another Chicken with Vermicelli. There are rules you see. ** shrugs **

Despite the rules and our grudging acceptance of it, we should just be honest and give them a double thumbs up for this. We love this but by then we were so full already. We took a few bites for taste and then took the rest home.

Hey, you guys tell me … what is the big deal with BROKEN rice? They were actually good. If I did not know any better, I would have thought that broken rice is cheap, discarded rice … i.e. rice that is not perfect and discarded during processing. If long grain rice is expensive, then surely broken rice is cheap. Educate me now … tell me everything you know about broken rice.

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What do you call the above? Brochette? Nicely done, nicely presented .., and very delicious. That above makes course number five.

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Not in the correct order and if you count the beansprout as a course, that makes it course number six.

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And finally … the perfect number seventh course … dessert which is sago banana sweet soup. Kind of unique but I can’t get my head around having soup with banana. At least the spoon is cute.

There you have it … our $39.95 special meal. That’s $55 bucks for you guys now if you go there now as the specials is only for July. Overall, the rules sucks, the pho was disappointing, the air cond need to be fixed … otherwise, their other food are winners. I recommend the crepe.

BTW, they only accept cash.

May Vietnamese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “May Vietnamese Cuisine in Richmond

  1. A long time ago, we went to a Vietnamese restaurant on Kingsway at around 16th. It had a terrific dish called “Drunken Crab”. It was a whole crab cooked in a white wine with huge amounts of butter. It was the best sauce to go with rice! I haven’t been able to find it anywhere! Does anyone know the dish I’m remembering so fondly? Does anyone know where I can get that dish nowadays?

    Thanks,
    Willie

    Ps. Love the new layout of your site.

  2. We have a term in Chinese called ‘Lahn fahn,’ which directly translates to ‘broken rice’. It describes rice that has been cooked with some extra water so it is really, really soft and moist.

  3. The price is kind of expensive for vietnamese food because vietnamese food can be made quickly with inexpensive ingredients. Vietnamese food tastes good just shouldn’t be expensive.

    I guess you pay for the new and clean decor. But no air cond…

  4. I like broken rice myself and I only seem to have it with Vietnamese food. If someone could educate me on the origins and how to get broken rice that would be great as well.

  5. I learned from Vietnamese friends that they eat Che (sago sweet dessert soup) with all kinds of fruit flavours. 🙂 I didn’t know that.. thought that was a funny one too.. banana..

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