Last Minute - Asian in Victoria
I'm visiting my parents in Victoria and tonight it's just my dad and I for dinner. This usually means some kind of ethnic food, as nobody else in the family is even remotely close to being an adventurous eater. I think he wants to do something Asian, and if we go down that road I'd rather do Thai or Vietnamese rather than Chinese or Japanese. I am a vegetarian. Any recommendations?
As time is ticking and none of our board's Victoria experts appear to be around at the moment, here's a list I've compiled of places that have received a thumbs up from Eat mag, eGullet, Chowhound, VanMag or local blogs. No guarantees on any and be sure to call ahead as some of these might not be around anymore (!) but maybe better than nothing... I find both Vietnamese and Thai challenging for herbivores (my SIL is one) as the veg only options are either limited or a bit blah, so I threw in a Tibetan place just for the heck of it. Good luck and have fun with your dad!
Saigon Nights 915 Fort Street
Vietnamese spring rolls, also available in soft salad version
Kim's Vietnamese Restaurant 748 Johnson Street tel: 385-0455 Mon-Thu 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-8pm; Fri-Sat 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-8:30pm; Sun 5pm-8pm
family run, "rustic", licensed
Pho Vy for Vietnamese noodle soup
Siam 512 Fort Street (250) 383 9911 A solid Thai option, one of the first in Victoria and still going strong, good food at moderate prices
My Thai Café Try pad thai, roast duck breast in red curry, fish cakes, licensed 1020 Cook St., 250-472-7574. $-$$
Thai Bistro 615 Johnston between Government and Broad (250) 380-7878
authentic Prawn Panaeng, Pad Thai (tamarind not ketchup), Sweet Roasted Chili with Chicken, all around $10
The Mint 1414 Douglas (250) 386-3468
Tibetan/Nepalese, cool atmosphere, momos (panfried dumplings), curries
Sanuk, 625 Courtney St, Victoria (250) 920-4844 sanukinfusion.com
The most upscale of the bunch, at the base of downtown’s Magnolia Hotel, fusiony Thai food in a sleek and modern setting.
My cousins swear by Baan Thai but I have a friend who had a scarring service experience there (food is good though, I've been myself).
We wanted to go to Saigon Nights but it was closed because the owners were at a family wedding or something. We ended up at Le Petit Saigon on Langley Street, and it wasn't very good. I'll keep these suggestions in mind for my next dad-and-daughter dinner, which will probably be next year!
I maintain that there is no good Asian food in Victoria. People in Victoria do not even know what good Asian food is, unless they have spent time in Asia or explored the more authentic Vancouver-based Asian restaurants.
Having said that, if someone was craving Asian in Victoria, I'd send them to Sanuk, if only because the quality of ingredients is high and the flavours are interesting, if inauthentic (unfortunately the prices are accordingly high).
I'm looking forward to trying the "Peaceful Restaurant" in Vancouver next month, especially those heavily-praised beef rolls.
I don't know if I strictly agree with you. I think that there is certainly good Asian food to be found in Victoria. Whether that food is authentic is another story (Szechuan Restaurant - case in point).
I really like Sabhai Thai in Sidney. It's nice to go out and walk by the water, and then enjoy a lovely meal. I have never had authentic Thai, but it is delicious. Their garlic pork melts in your mouth.