OK. I admit. I get excited very easily.
The new Green Lemongrass on Kingsway is something you want to take note off. They offer something different. They are not like many of the Pho restaurants out there. I am so bored with most Vietnamese restaurants because they have unexciting menus.
Vietnamese cuisine has a lot more to offer, I am sure. Some of the more interesting Vietnamese food I had tried are as follows:
- At Song Huong, where we had 7-courses of beef
- At Thiem Kim, where we had four types of noodle soups, none of which is Pho.
The Green Lemongrass falls into this special category of specialty Vietnamese restaurants in my books.
Suanne and I was there at Green Lemongrass just last weekend. We were there for a team meeting for the 8GTCC project. Even though I had never been to Green Lemongrass Kingsway before, I was told it was better than the existing Green Lemongrass in Richmond. It turned out to be an excellent choice because the food was unique and we had a big round table to ourselves.
Before I walked into the restaurant I already decided what I wanted. The sandwich board outside has the Duck Soup on it. If they choose to put that one item on the sandwich board, they must be proud of that dish. You can’t go wrong.
The interior is nothing fancy. I think they try to make it as traditional as they can by placing those plants you see above atop low partitions that sectionalize the seatings into three sections. Those low partitions does not appear to me to be particularly efficient way to layout the dining area if you ask me. But I guess it is there for some reason.
There were some old traditional display cupboards too which I find it kind of interesting. They are so ornate. They don’t seems like it is something you could buy anywhere in Vancouver and has to be imported from Vietnam.
Even the teapot too seems like they were imported from Vietnam. Well, at least they don’t look like ones that they buy from the local restaurant supply stores.
It is this kind of attention to details that I get a kick out of seeing. It shows me that the people behind the restaurant cares about being different, unique and exclusive. It is a value I admire.
The menu above is what makes me excited. Go ahead and click on it for a larger image. For the first time, I see a Vietnamese Breakfast menu!
There are twenty items in the breakfast menu and each one of them is $5.
What do you think? Does that make you want to go to Green Lemongrass the next time you had to decide where to go for breakfast?
The Green Lemongrass on Kingsway opens very early, at 8AM. I am not sure if the one in Richmond opens that early though.
On the flip side of the Breakfast Menu is the Dinner Menu. They said it is served family style which I guess that means communal style. This is a departure from many Vietnamese restaurants who tend to serve individual servings.
Communal style eating is something I enjoy more because I get to taste greater variety.
The menu at Green Lemongrass Kingsway looks bigger than the one in Richmond too. I think everyone had a tough time deciding what to get given the vast menu here.
Me? I stayed the course … Duck Soup! I know I should have ordered breakfast items but I remained true to the cause of only ordering their special of special.
My eyes popped when they brought the bowl to me. For a moment, I thought … wait a minute, do they have noodles in this or is this just duck and soup?
This, my friends, is called the … Mi Vit Tiem which is braised duck, mushroom and egg noodles in soup … and $8.50 only.
There is a whole duck leg in the bowl — really nice chunk of meat. It is the kind that you want to grab it with your hands and start tearing into it — like a barbarian — like a caveman. You know what I mean.
It was so big that the moment I lifted it up from the bowl, the soup sinks an inch. It is all meat, baby.
They gave ME a small dish of carrot and daikon pickles. They were very good. Not too sourish, just nice. I was not looking and Suanne finished it without me knowing. It was MY pickles. Next time you eat with Suanne, you better put your pickles on your other side where she can’t get to it without you knowing.
In the bowl is also some ginko and fat mushrooms. So yeah … it is not just soup, duck and noodles. It is a good package — no details is spared. That is how I interpret it.
The noodles are the thin egg-y type. My mind was just focused on attacking the duck leg really. The hero of this is the duck leg. The noodles is just the keh-leh-fehs (extras in Cantonese).
Oh wow, classy.
Here they even served lemon water. Hah! I know what they are for already and am not going to make the same mistake over and over again. I know now (thanks to all my faithful readers) that this is NOT for drinking but for washing fingers.
You know, I am not the only one who makes this kind of mistake. As experienced as you might think the 8GTCC members are, one of them actually DRANK IT!
LOL! You guys got to help me tell the 8GTCC folks this is for washing fingers.
One good litmus test for a good Vietnamese restaurant is to see how fresh the bean sprouts are. They pass in my books.
Keev, our 8GTCC Shangdong specialist, had the House Special Noodle. It came with glass noodles, quail egg and dried lily flower bud. He said it was light and flavourful.
It does look good, doesn’t it?
One thing I resigned myself to is to the fact that when I eat out with these guys, I must expect lots of food.
Grayelf shocked me when she ordered a FEW breakfast items. One of which is the one above. I don’t even know what it is called.
BTW, Grayelf is now known as the 8GTCC Fujian specialist.
Suanne said it is little creamy savory eggy tart. It is pretty good.
This is the kind of things that I get a kick out of trying. Something I had never quite seen before.
Grayelf also ordered this. I think we had at least a couple of orders of this.
Oh yeah, that’s right. We had a few orders of this. This is called Bot Chien which is pan fried rice cake. If you paid attention to what I was saying earlier, you will know this is $5. All breakfast items are $5.
Do you all really pay attention to what I am writing or do you just skim through the post gawking at the pictures? Tell me you read what I wrote or it will break my heart.
Joe is our 8GTCC Cantonese specialist. He ordered the Phnom Penh Roll from the breakfast menu. $5 also.
Nice tightly bound package, right? Bet it tasted great too.
I think our table exude an aura of being professional foodies. It is from the manner we conducted ourselves, the pictures we were taking and the fact we were documenting (taking notes) the whole time.
So the waitress came by to show us their photo album. Oh nice! Now, this is how a menu should be like for serious foodies. No names of dishes required, no price is necessary … just tell me what you got. Huh? Right?
The waitress made a mistake of showing us the album. We told her we want to hold on to that so that we can dissect it thoroughly. I could see she was hesitant because it’s their only one precious copy. She said something like “be careful” and let us have it.
JS and TS is gonna be our 8GTCC recipe specialist. He he he … the 8GTCC team is thinking big. We want to include recipes as we explore each of the 8GTCC cuisines. If our head becomes big enough, we might even write a book … or create a 8GTCC website … or organize a culinary tour to China … or create a 8GTCC center of excellence … or …
KABOOM! Head got too big it exploded. LOL! The 8GTCC team is such a great team that I brought up for discussion on how far we can take 8GTCC. The good thing is that everyone said that we are doing it for fun and nothing else. I think that is very important to establish after a very successful 8GTCC Hunan event. We want to make it better in future explorations but most important of all, we want to do it because we enjoy doing it.
JS had fish congee. I think she is a small eater … that’s why she chose such a light breakfast. It came came with halibut. She said the congee is different because it has a tinge of sourness in it. Chinese style congee are either bland or salty.
Dylan is our man for the next 8GTCC event. He is our 8GTCC Jiangsu specialist and he has a lot up his sleeve. If you think that the 8GTCC Hunan was great, I can tell you that 8GTCC Jiangsu will be an exciting one. I bet not many of you even know where Jiangsu is let alone know the name. So, yeah … Dylan is working hard as I write this post, crafting a menu you will be delighted over. It is gonna be very different from the fiery Hunan cuisine.
Anyway, Dylan had the chicken porridge. You know what it looks like but I want you to know that the above came with his porridge. Nice salad, don’t you agree?
The meal is cheap. The meal is unique. There are lots of dishes on the menu you will want to try, I am sure.
Just ask the waitress to show you her photo album before you order.
You know now why I am so excited to write about the Green Lemongrass on Kingsway. Go try and let me know what you think.