Riley Park–Little Mountain—From the ashes of Phở Hoàng, a fixture on Main Street since 1983, comes Anh + Chi, now a completely revamped, renovated, and rebranded Vietnamese eatery specializing in a hipper culinary experience and more affluent clientele while still aiming satisfy all our basic dining needs.
Anh + Chi offers good quality Vietnamese dishes with a more upscale atmosphere, decor, and a basic menu offering a safe variety of dishes. They also offer many family style plates of Vietnamese standards and staples served in a tapas style array and plating.
To start, my interest was piqued by the cánh tráng trộn (rice paper salad with mango, beef jerky, roasted peanuts, dried shrimp, quail eggs, fried shallots, chili, basil, and coriander tossed with citrus lime juice) and found it quite tasty, but ultimately, a pricey and fairly minimal meal starter.
The chả giò (crispy spring rolls with pork, prawns, carrots, taro, vermicelli, and black mushrooms) was serviceable but felt slightly lacking. It being served in an unusual hanging basket was a nice but wholly unnecessary touch. On the other hand, the bún thịt nướng chả giò yôm (vermicelli bowl with grilled pork, prawn, and spring rolls) felt like a substantial, appetizing meal prepared and presented in a pleasing manner. My cà phê đá (iced coffee) was decent but could have been stronger and more flavourful for my taste.
The aptly named Phở Hoàng (with sliced beef sirloin, brisket, tripe, tendon, and meatballs) was adequate with a smooth, tasty broth, but the noodles used and served are not fresh and the meat toppings needed to be a bit more substantial to be properly satisfying.
The trusty Number 37 (grilled lemongrass chicken and pork chop with steamed rice) was a perfectly suitable and satisfying meaty meal. This is already my go-to for a reliably solid meal anytime. The best value is to order a split serving of each chicken and pork to enjoy with your petite side of rice.
The full bar and cocktail program are also impressive even if the whole "pre" and "post-1975" cocktail designations seem a bit much. From food and drink, it's more or less the usual fare in a much nicer setting and presentation. Much like going to any other mid-level to upscale restaurant and bar, you pay for the full dining experience with good service and clean facilities.
FYI: One thing I must note as a Vietnamese person, the name "Anh and Chi" stands out to me. It's suppose to mean "brother and sister" to signify the new proprietors Amelie and Vincent Nguyen, the son and daughter siblings of the original Phở Hoàng owners. However, the words "anh" and "chi" translated literally actually mean "older male" and "older female" used here for "older brother" and "older sister". Presumably, only one of them can be the older one so that phrase doesn't quite add up. Depending on who's older or younger, it should be "anh and em" or "chi and em" ("em" means "younger person" or "sibling" in this case).
I can't imagine it was a translation error or rather maybe a purposeful, stylistic touch in keeping with the hipper branding. After all, they're slogan is "Authentic Vietnamese".
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