Sexy, Forbidding Bowls Of Awesome At Tiny Cafe Xu Hue On Kingsway

32730133916_97d82fb93d_o

Never Heard Of It is a series of stories exploring Vancouver’s many informal hole-in-the-wall eateries. These are the places that don’t get much in the way of traditional media play as they tend to avoid the typical paths of PR, seldom fiddling over tweets, posting imagery to Instagram, or playing the Facebook game. Browse the Never Heard Of It archive here.

——————————————————

The first thing you’ll catch when sitting down at Cafe Xu Hue is the cup of cold tea being poured for you. The second thing you’ll notice – as you wonder why your tea is chilled – is that you aren’t reading a typical Vietnamese restaurant menu — that heavy, often baffling tome of far too many options. At Cafe Xu Hue, the menu is a tidy one pager, sensibly laminated (it has met more spilled tea than I could possibly imagine). In dishing out a pared down menu, this place exudes a confidence and faith that it can thrive on just a handful of dishes, most markedly, their bún bò hu? dac biet — fully loaded, fire-red Cadillac bowls of Vietnamese soup noodles.

Here, bowls of bún – chewy, flavour-soaked rice noodles acting like the string section of an orchestra that only ever plays one enchanting song – are loaded with slices of beef shank, pork hock, Vietnamese ham and cubes of pork blood. All of it swims in a fish sauce-amped, umami-loaded, spice-speckled, lime-licked soup that glows in a forbidding, sexy way. It both beckons and warns, radiating heat in such as way to reveal – after the first few bites – why the tea is served cold! Originating as the pride and joy of Hu, an ancient city in central Vietnam, bún bò hu isn’t uncommon in Vancouver, but at Cafe Xu Hue it’s just a little more special. With so few distractions on the menu, the clarity of the kitchen’s narrow focus is so sharp you can taste it.

Cafe Xu Hue | 2226 Kingsway | Open daily from 10AM to 7PM | Cash Only

Cafe-Xu-Hue The-menu Fresh-herbs-and-greens Bun-Bo-Hue Squirt-of-lime A-slice-of-pork-hock A-trio-of-meat Cold-tea

  • Cafe Xu Hue
    Cafe Xu Hue
  • Fresh herbs and greens
    Fresh herbs and greens
  • Cold tea
    Cold tea
  • A trio of meat
    A trio of meat
  • Squirt of lime
    Squirt of lime
  • The menu
    The menu
  • Bun Bo Hue
    Bun Bo Hue
  • A slice of pork hock
    A slice of pork hock
  • Digging in
    Digging in

EXPLORE THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD

There are 0 comments

Feasting on Ghanian Delights at Whalley’s ‘Taste of Africa’

The tiny strip mall eatery packs a big flavour punch, offering a variety of authentic, delicious West African dishes at affordable prices.

Feasting on pre-Hong Kong Handover Chinese Food on Fraser Street

Eating the same dishes Chinese-Canadians commonly enjoyed in Vancouver long before the British relinquished sovereignty of Hong Kong.

The Old School European Restaurant That Will Hopefully Never Change

The service here is old-school: attentive, unobtrusive and professional, and no one gives a shit about how your first few bites taste.

Never Heard Of It

In a Richmond Strip Mall, Seeking Out “Explosion Pulp Chicken”

Fernando Medrano takes the "Never Heard of It" column on a mission to satisfy some genuine curiosity.