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Jun 19, 2010 06:04 PM

Green Lemon Grass, Vancouver: something old, something new

I've now been to Green Lemon Grass (the newish one on Kingsway, not the Richmond one) three times: once for dinner and twice for their $5 breakfast. The something old is not a bad thing -- you can get all of the Vietnamese dishes you know and love here, well prepared and well priced, in a clean and relatively convivial environment. There are a few unusual specials as well, including a duck soup with gingko nuts that looks pretty good (did you like it, Ben?).

Service is quite efficient and staff are interested in your welfare. They have good strong Vietnamese coffee, and pots of free tea. This place is high on my list for when I am craving some tasty bun, or a bowl of pho. The first three pix are from our dinner there at the end of May. You can get some of the breakfast items at other times in a slightly larger size and for regular cost, as you will see.

The something new (to me at least) is the breakfast menu of Vietnamese snacks, including congee, all priced at $5 till about 11 am every day. I first tried this at an 8GTCC team meetup and was most pleased. Although one item I ordered did not thrill me (the meatballs were nothing special and the noodles a bit squishy -- no photo), the other dishes were topnotch. I took a friend who loves GLG but didn't know about the breakfast option and she was thrilled -- she loved the food and could eat it all as it is rice based; she is gluten intolerant. We tried some items I had not sampled previously and it was all good. We inquired about small bowls of consomme and beef that were being served and lo and behold, received a free one each. I cleverly took a snap of my bill so you can see the names of some of the things we had. I not so cleverly forgot to change the setting to daylight so everything looks a bit blue :-(.

For breakfast, lunch or dinner, GLG is starting to feel like my go-to for Vietnamese food in Vancouver. Check it out if you get a chance. See the Chowtimes post here for a photo of the full breakfast menu if you are interested.

Green Lemon Grass
1086 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5V, CA

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  1. Great pics! Chow really needs to implement capability to add captions to photos.

    2 Replies
    1. re: flowbee

      Thanks, flowbee -- I think I'm getting better, though I still often forget to ensure the light setting is correct, doh. Also working on taking pix of menus and bills...

      I'm just so thankful that you can post multiple photos now on one post, CH used to be so cumbersome that way.

      1. re: grayelf

        Your pix are awesome these days grayelf! Thank you!

    2. I want to try this restaurant ... but heck if I can't find it. I drove by and didn't see it (no biggie, I really should pay attention to the road hahaha) but then I googled it today and didn't even see it on the street view.

      Where is it in relation to "Ken's restaurant"?


      4 Replies
      1. re: bill_n_opus

        It's very nearby IIRC but the thing to do is look for Glen Drive, which is just east of the resto. GLG is in a tiny strip mall and it is easy to miss from Kingsway. If you can get onto Glen Drive going south, turn right (west) in the lane off Kingsway and you will see parking for GLG.

        1. re: grayelf

          Lol, the address is on the bill in your picture grayelf. It's 1086 Kingsway. :)

          1. re: bdachow

            True dat but it's not the address that's the problem. The strip mall its in is weirdly angled away from K'way and it's really hard to see for some reason, especially if you are coming eastish. I still have trouble remembering exactly where it is (but those of you who know me and my geographic handicap might not find that astonishing!).

            1. re: grayelf

              Does it show up on Google maps street view ok?

      2. Their Richmond location is my favourite place for vietnamese. Hopefully the Vancouver location is just as good.

        7 Replies
        1. re: jcolvin

          I might have to go to Richmond if I can't find the Vancouver one, lol!

          1. re: bill_n_opus

            The thing is, if you go to the Richmond one you will be so close to other Asian feasting you can't get in Van that you will never make it in the door :-). That is one reason why I've never been to the Rmd outpost of GLG. jcolvin is also the first person I recall giving it serious props, so I may have to try it, but dang, Richmond Public Market etc, so close by...

            1. re: grayelf

              Thanks for the info ... the main reason why i'm trying to get to the Van location is because my friend is hankering for something of this ilk ... and Van is better location-wise than Richmond at the moment.

              Methinks we're going to park in the neighborhood and just walk and play detective.

              1. re: bill_n_opus

                That sounds like a plan! There are a few Viet grocers nearish by that might be worth wandering into (maybe you need a refill on your Vietnamese coffee packs?). I do notice that parking on Kingsway right in front of GLG is often a bit difficult, which is why I tend to zip around the corner and park in their reserved spots.

                1. re: grayelf

                  Hit GLG last night for a quick dinner. It was later than we usually go for Vietnamese (8:45) but they were still open and people were still coming in when we left. No A/C but as last night was a bit cooler it was bearable especially when they brought us iced jasmine tea with a lime slice :-).

                  We had the bot chien of course (so good here, with creamy middle and crispy edges) and finally tried the bo luc lac. The meat was very tender (except for one gristly piece) and may actually have been tenderloin -- an adequate but not big portion. It comes with onion pieces and lovely whole roasted garlic, which is different and good. The "tomato rice" it is served with on the menu is a bit of a miss, with frozen veggies mixed in and being a bit dry. I'd sub regular rice next time, which the server offered. On the side, there is a wee dish of pepper and salt that you squeeze a lime into for dipping. The SO thought that it was a mix of black and white pepper and I agree. Very tasty and really makes the dish. The sauce the beef comes in was tasty though not quite as flavourful as my gold standard version from Bodega Bistro in SF. For $13, this is pretty good value. Our server was as usual delightful and joked with us about needing extra time to choose (that is quite the menu), plus made some suggestions as she often does. I need to try their turmeric crepe next time. We did take her up on the idea to share a deep fried banana and ice cream for dessert. At $5.50, this was an ideal shared sweet and hit the spot on a warm evening. The ice cream was surprisingly tasty and the bananas were excellent, sweet and creamy with a crunchy thin shell. I really do love this place.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Forgot to mention the delicious chili sauce we had -- it was in a small white ceramic container on the table. Not hot at all but addictive with strong lemongrass flavour. I wanted to put it on everything (so I did). Not sure if it is new but I hadn't noticed it before.

                    1. re: grayelf

                      We've been back at GLG several times and it remains very consistent. I thought I'd post a pic of something I hadn't tried before, the chicken salad. While I was not totally enamoured of the actual chicken, the other elements were spot on, and I particularly loved the large black sesame cracker that came with it (see second pic). I'd be tempted to order this again and (shades of Five Easy Pieces) ask them to hold the chicken for a really tasty veg salad :-).