by Ken Tsui | Unassuming little Hoi An Cafe is one of the many delicious reasons why Victoria Drive has a well earned reputation for having some of the best Vietnamese and Cambodian restaurants in town.
Named after an historic port town in central Vietnam, the always buzzing eatery serves reflections of its namesake’s signature dishes, most notably mi quang and cao lau. Both start with the rehydration of rice noodles in tamarind and tumeric water, which gives them their vibrant, yellowish hue. The chewy noodles are then topped with a variation of the same ingredients; we’re talking char siu pork, shrimp, crushed peanuts, fresh herbs and some bang tranh me (sesame crackers). Both are served with fresh sides of banana blossoms and greens.
The only real difference between cao lau and mi quang is that the latter has some restorative broth at the bottom of the bowl. This gives the noodles an ever richer flavour, and adds a silky viscosity to the whole. To get the full effect of both, swirl all the ingredients together before the first slurp.
5002 Victoria Dr. | Vancouver, BC | 604-566-9283 | No Website | Cash Only