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Kol3 Restaurant - Calgary (Kensington)

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"Specializinging in Banh Xeo Vietnamese Crepes"
24 12th Street NW
403-263-3660
Current hours 11-9 They will extend their hours when they get their licensing amended.

The menu has Banh Xeo, Vietnamese subs, salad rolls plus other Vietnamese dishes (varying by the day).
I chose the Banh Xeo (of course) with chicken - $9.95.
Let me preface this by saying I have no idea what Banh Xeo should be like.
You get a thin rice crepe folded in half (about 8-10" in diameter) filled with bean sprouts, mung beans, shrimp and chicken and a small side salad (lettuce and mint).
It reminds me of Singapore noodles (without the noodles of course).
Verdict: I liked it - I was expecting a stronger curry/tumeric taste but it was a nice little meal. Worth going again to try this and the other items as well.

Interior is white with green and ? accents.
A couple of white tables with coloured plastic chairs.
Annie took my order - she was cheery and friendly.

Website: www.kol3restaurant.com
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  1. Banh Xeo is definitely not a sweet crepe but a savoury one. It's meant to be a light crepe, veggies like lettuce and mint or Thai basil to accompany the crepe. Usually they have shrimp in there as well, but it's nice that you have your option in meat. Also, it is meant to be yellow from tumeric powder. I always find it more like a snack.... not heavy enough to be a meal, but then again I probably eat more than the average person. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banh_xeo

    1 Reply
    1. re: pasaker

      Sorry I wasn't clear in my original post.
      They come with shrimp plus the choice of adding chicken/pork/beef.
      And you're right - they are not huge but they are enough to get me to my afternoon snack. :-)

    2. Being Vietnamese has given me the opportunity to eat tonnes of these over the last couple of years. I'd say that it would have to take me at least 3 or 4 of these to get my full. I've always had it home made though, except for when I went to Vietnam and had it there so I'm interested to see what someone else's take is on this. It does usually come with shrimp and I usually have it with pork or rather, my mom has always only made it with pork and shrimp and steamed bean sprouts in the middle. The crepe batter itself is usually made of a mung bean mixture with other flour ingredients. Pan fry for a few minutes and serve with lettuce and basil to wrap everything in and dip in fish sauce. Havn't had one of these in a while though. Maybe I'll try it one day...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Roarasaur

        I'm a girl, and weight about 107lbs. When my family makes banh xeo at home I need to eat about 3-5 (full sized ones) to get me full. I think the single serving of banh xeo constitutes more of a snack, not a full meal. Everyone in my family eats more than one if we're eating this for meal. Same with home made salad rolls they serve in restaurants, I eat about 6-10 for dinner (they're more fully loaded) but in restaurants they're more like appetizers or snacks.

        Not sure about the mung bean in the outside part but I know there is tumeric. At our house we have a whole spattering of different mint leaves; basil, spearmint, a mint that is purple on one side green on the other, the thin skinny one, and others that I don't even want to try to describe, along with lettuce. We put pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts in ours as well. Honestly though, a lot of vietnamese food in restaurants taste nowhere near as good as the stuff I get at home. And you get more of it at home for a much (much) less cost.

        As for Kol3, I really liked their remix on the vietnamese sub and I was pretty darn full after finishing the first half of the sandwich. It's too bad they don't make them anymore.

      2. It's worth mentioning that on top of the traditional banh xeo, they've thrown in some cheeky modern twists on it including bacon cheeseburger and Greek (feta, chicken) banh xeo. It was my first time so I only tried the shrimp/pork one, but definitely will be returning for the newer flavours.

        The $9 price point was a tad high I thought for the portion, BUT I kind of accept it because I can imagine that rent in the Kensington space is pricier than a hole in the wall in Chinatown.

        We also had a Vietnamese sub -- panko-breaded basa filet with mayo, wasabi, shredded carrots and cucumbers. I LOVED this. It was $9 I think but it was very big.

        They've done a really good job rearranging the space from the previous taco/pizza and Tandoori Knight businesses.

        1. I was just picking some wine at the Kensington wine market and happen to pass by kol3, and was feeling hungry! and found a little treasure, especially as a vegetarian i'm always looking for different and creative veggie meals! I tried the veggie salad roll and the crispy tofu sub, and was satisfied to say the least. The sub was $8, but it was a very big portion, that i actually saved half for dinner! just popped it into the toaster oven for a few minutes and was ready to eat again. A place i recommend for veggie food lovers alike who are adventurous and like to try different twists.

          p.s. the cucumber dry soda is amazing, never tried that before wonder where i can get more?

          1 Reply
          1. re: hungryveggiegirl

            Agreed on the Dry Soda! I had cucumber, partner had rhubarb- exquisite! Like nothing I've ever tasted, and the whole 12-oz bottle only has 46 calories. No artificial sweeteners, either.

            We had lunch here today- blown away by the quality, though things are indeed pricier here than your average banh mi or viet noodle joint but it's about time that a city with the massive viet food scene that Calgary has, has this sort of place. We split an order (which is just two) of chicken salad rolls; I had the basa filet banh mi and partner had the chicken banh xeo. Both were just amazing- in particular the basa banh mi is a fusion masterpiece, with a gorgeous crispy fillet, remoulade, and they your normal veggies (pickled carrot, onion, cuke, sliced jalapeno) on what might be the nicest baquette I've ever had for a banh mi. It was heaven. The banh xeo was gorgeous and custardy but we agree we'd need more if we'd both ordered it- figure a perfect order would be one banh xeo and a split banh mi.

            They're open seven days 11-9 until they get their liquor licence. They're also not yet licenced for eat-in so those nice tables and funky chairs are for people waiting for takeout (wink wink).

          2. Disappointing news -- my s.o. Was in kol3 last week for a tasty sub (we've tried the basa ones -- delish) and he was informed that they are no longer doing subs because they weren't selling enough and didn't have enough kitchen space....booo!

            We'll continue to get their salad rolls as they are one of the few places in the vicinity that actually puts fresh herbs in their rolls but are quite disappointed to hear about about the subs. Vietnam fortune doesn't cut it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dr. J

              I was there today and there were no subs on the menu.

              The basa Banh Xeo was good, though.