The best Pho in Lower Lonsdale can be found on the corner of 3rd and St. Georges, beneath the Twin Towers apartment buildings and next door to the Turntable Shop. You can’t miss the bright yellow awning and the even brighter smile of owner and operator Lani Nguyen.
Who: Owner and Operator, Lani Nguyen
Where: The corner of 3rd and St. Georges
Why do we love them?
Vietnamese cuisine has become much more popular in Vancouver over the past few years. Like sushi, there are many restaurants to choose from in Lower Lonsdale, but none offer the level of authenticity, sincerity and service that you get during an experience at V-Nam restaurant.
One of my close friends introduced me to the wonders of Pho a few years back and I’ve been hooked ever since. The hot spiced beef (or chicken, but beef is better) broth noodle soup is the perfect meal on a stormy day, after a big night, while studying, before the gym, after the gym. Okay, maybe it’s great for any occasion and yes I eat A LOT of it. Having said that, the pho at V-Nam Restaurant–the beautiful soup and staple of the menu–is by far the best I’ve ever put into my mouth. Owner, Lani, says she learned all of her recipes from her mother.
One of the more fun aspects of Pho is building your own flavour profile using the sauces, oils and peppers provided. It can be a trial and error process, finding the ratio of sauces to obtain the level of spiciness and flavour you prefer, but the discovery and journey is a very beautiful experience in itself.
Then there’s the spring rolls: pork and vegetables rolled into a deep-fried tube of crunchy ecstasy. Words cannot articulate the deliciousness of these traditional Vietnamese favourites. Dip them in the sweet chilli dip provided, or your Pho soup!
The menu at V-Nam Restaurant has something for every pallette. They have sushi, stews, sandwiches, meat dishes, vegetable dishes; something to please everyone. Some of the highlights are the shrimp salad rolls and chicken submarine sandwiches made on a fresh baguette.
The food at V-Nam is comforting and delicious, but my very favourite part is the warm welcome you get from owner and operator, Lani. I sat down with Lani to find out a little more about what makes her bustling Lower Lonsdale pho factory tick.
Why Lower Lonsdale?
Lani Nguyen’s brother started V-Nam restaurant 8 years ago. At the time it was a good opportunity because there weren’t very many vietnamese restaurants in the neighbourhood. About 2 years ago Lani purchased the business from her brother and has since taken full ownership and control of the operations. When she became owner she expanded the menu to offer sushi and a wider array of options. Lani says she has many loyal and local customers who she enjoys seeing regularly.
What drives your small business?
Every morning Lani goes shopping to top up on fresh essentials for the day. Most of the food gets delivered, but she likes making sure that absolutely everything is stocked and into place before opening. Her favourite part of running the restaurant is being friendly with her customers, feeding people and making them happy. She says that she couldn’t do it without her highly experienced kitchen staff that have been working at V-Nam since before she became the owner. Lani also takes pride in the fact that the sizes are larger for lower prices at her restaurant so the customer gets great value.
V-Nam Restaurant is open from 11am to 10pm 7 days a week and offers free delivery. Contact them at 604-985-5477.
A North Van local with a fetish for cheap wine and words. As editor, his job is to make sure that everything posted is useful, entertaining or awesome.
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