Vincent and Amelie Nguyen, the second generation of the Nguyen family, have affectionately ushered their parents’ lovable, modest noodle house into Vancouver’s modern culinary world. The Vietnamese restaurant on Main and 18th served the community as Pho Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant for 33 years. It continues to serve the community, but is now known as Anh and Chi. The new restaurant name translates to “elder brother and sister from same family.”
The Nguyen siblings created a space where people would want to stay, share, and experience delicious food. Maintaining a balance between old and new, the restaurant’s interior is reminiscent of a French-influenced Vietnam, accented with trendy mid-century furniture that encourages cozy conversations.
The dishes are beautifully plated Vietnamese staples made for sharing. Instead of being broken down into courses, the menu is divided into “hands,” “chopsticks,” “fork and knife,” “bucket list,” and “family style.” A standout from the “hands” section was the Chả Giò (crispy spring rolls), filled with black mushrooms, jicama, carrot, taro, and bean thread vermicelli. Served on wicker baskets, the spring rolls come with lettuce and Thai basil leaves to wrap around their crispy exterior, and a light soy sauce to enhance the earthy mushroom filling and sweetness of the basil.
Anh and Chi offers several different bowls of phở, a traditional rice noodle soup. While they offer beef and chicken phở, the Phở Chay will leave vegetarians smiling. The hot vegetarian broth is filled with organic tofu, daikon, carrot, leafy greens, and topped with bean sprouts, lime, and chili. The soup is tangy, salty, sweet, and most of all comforting.
Anh and Chi’s bright and fresh flavours are perfectly accompanied by a fun and thoughtful cocktail list. The Blueberry King earns its spot at the top of the drink menu. The refreshing pisco sour balances the sweetness of blueberries with a splash of smokey mezcal. The Old Asian Lady is another playful option, taking a classic old-fashioned and adding date and cinnamon syrup for sweetness and spice. The remaining cocktails also balance classic recipes with new twists.
While the overall experience might lead you to expect a hefty price tag, Anh and Chi stays true to its roots by offering affordable prices. It would be easy to leave happy and full for under $20.
Anh and Chi
3388 Main Street