Recently, one of my colleagues recommended a restaurant in the Kensington area (right next to Sushi by Yuji) and said it’s the best place to get Bun Bo Hue. Bun Bo Hue is a popular Vietnamese soup usually containing rice vermicelli, beef broth, fermented shrimp sauce, sugar, pork meat, pork blood, and a whole bunch of spicy chili oil.
As you can see, their menu is short and sweet, offering only a few select items. I actually like that. A restaurant offering only a few items like this means they do them well and they do them right.
The typical Vietnamese basil, bean sprouts, lime, and red chili pepper.
I don’t know why they call them Vietnamese Siu Mai Dumplings ($6.50) but they’re really nothing like the siu mai you get from dim sum. Instead, they’re more like har gow (shrimp dumplings) and they’re made of tapioca flour which gives them a clear and super sticky mochi-like consistency. It’s stuffed with dried shrimp and pork, and topped with green onions, fried shallots, and fish sauce. These are one of my favourite dumplings to eat as I love anything with a lot of chew and bite to them.
The famous Bun Bo Hue ($10.25)!!! It comes with sliced pork, pork blood, onions, rice vermicelli, tripe, and a generous portion of pork shank.
Queen B got a slightly hotter one than mine so you can see the greater presence of chili oil. The broth was very flavourful and aromatic in all the right ways with only a little trace of MSG. It’s served piping hot so together with the chili oil it’s best to eat this slowly to avoid burning your tongue.
I have never tried Bun Bo Hue anywhere else so I cannot judge and say this is the best in Vancouver. However, Cafe Xu Hue’s version of it was solid enough that I will really only be coming back here for Bun Bo Hue in the future. Plus, no one I know has ever said another restaurant offers better Bun Bo Hue anyways.
Service Rating: 2/5 (they just leave you with the food and go type of environment)
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $- $$
Overall Rating: 3/5