Hai Phong Vietnamese Restaurant on Kingsway and Inverness, Vancouver

Every now and then we do get emails from our readers sharing with us a review of their favorite restaurants.  About two weeks ago, Julie sent us a longish email giving a description of what we should check out in her family’s favourite restaurant.  That restaurant name is Hai Phong.  I had heard of Hai Phong, reading it from Tiny Bite’s site and was actually on my list of restaurants to visit.

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The Tamarind Crab above was what made us decide make the visit.  We had enough of Pho, as you probably already know.  We want to discover more of Vietnamese cuisine.

For meals with crabs and such, we had to have more people.  We asked if Julie wanted to join us but by the time she got back to us, well, the dinner was already over.  However, we got Angie of Sea Salt With Food to come along for this meal.  Oh I want to mention this.  If you are not familiar with Angie’s site, her site exploded onto the blogosphere a couple of months ago — at the peak she had 40,000 pageviews in a day and that made her Alex ranking leaped to 60,000.  Gosh, her site was also featured on BBC two days ago.  She is like a superstar of recipe blogs now.  [Note to self: blog about recipes, not restaurants.  LOL!]

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Anyway, Hai Phong is located along Kingsway by Inverness.  With so many Vietnamese restaurants along this stretch of Kingsway, it is very easy to dismiss Hai Phong as just one of the many.

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The interior is bright because of the glass wall along the facade of the restaurant.  The place looks new and even have wide screen TVs mounted on the walls.  A very pleasant difference; its not only it looked clean but it is also spacious.

Service was great.  We like it when the waitress is genuinely helpful and takes the time to help us understand the menu.  Admittedly I do sometimes ask of the waitress questions like “So, what is YOUR favourite dish?” or “what is the dish you are most proud of here?”.  I find that this sort of questions do tell a lot depending on how they answer these type of questions.  Sometimes they would just sort of decline to answer by asking in return if you like beef!  Sometimes, they would point out their most expensive dish.  But sometimes I could see the genuineness in their answer and could sort of sense the recommended dish is what we should go for … we often use this way to validate our selection. Continue reading