After my foodie friend Grayelf told me that Hai Phong has become her new favourite place for chicken wings and that she thought the wings were even better than those from Phnom Penh, I was immediately intrigued since I’m a huge fan of the wings from Phnom Penh. When I was visiting Vancouver back in June, I made sure I slotted Hai Phong into my eating schedule as I really want to try their wings.
We started off with a half order of the Vietnamese Style Beef Sashimi/Bo Tai Chanh ($8.95 for half; $15.00 for full order). The beef was very tender and I enjoyed the tangy dipping sauce that accompanied the dish.
Next up was a full order of the Garlic Butter Chicken Wings/Canh Ga Chien ($6.50 for half; $9.95 for full order). In all honesty, I was initially a little disappointed by these wings because in my mind I was expecting them to be similar to the ones from Phnom Penh. This version from Hai Phong is not quite like the version from Phnom Penh as there is less batter on them. As well, the batter didn’t have the salty-sweet flavouring to it. On their on merit, these wings were quite tasty. They reminded me of the Chinese “Wind Sand” Chicken Wings, which are basically deep-fried wings. I enjoyed them enough that I would order them again but I still don’t think they have the wow factor for me like the ones from Phnom Penh.
For our main, we shared the Vietnamese Braised Pork/Thịt Kho Tộ ($11.95). We had just ordered the braised pork but our server had gotten mixed up because we had inquired about the braised fish earlier on so she thought we had wanted a mixture of both and we ended up with a combination of the Vietnamese Braised Pork and the Vietnamese Braised Fish. Our server was really good about it when we pointed out the error to her and she brought us more of the Vietnamese Braised Pork. At Hai Phong, there are actually three variations on this dish – the Vietnamese Braised Fish (Cá Kho Tộ), the Vietnamese Braised Pork (Thịt Kho Tộ), and the Vietnamese Braised Pork Chop (Thịt Sườn Kho Tộ). One can order each of these dishes individually or mix and match any two of them. It was good that we had the opportunity to try the Vietnamese Braised Fish but it’s not something I would care to order again as I didn’t like the muddy taste of the fish and also because the fish had a lot of bones. The Vietnamese Braised Pork on the other hand was a winner. This dish is sometimes known as porc au caramel. I really enjoyed the complexity of flavours in the dish as it had hints of caramel, fish sauce, and ginger.
We also shared an Avocado Shake ($4.00). Our server was nice enough to split it up into three glasses. I loved the Avocado Shake as it was really creamy and rich. I could really taste the avocado flavour. As much as I love the shake, I’m really glad we shared it as it is a meal in itself. If I had a shake all the myself, I probably wouldn’t be able to eat anything else.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the food at Hai Phong. I’d definitely want to go back to try some of their other signature dishes like the Tamarind Crab and the Vietnamese Crepe. It’s nice to have the opportunity to sample some other authentic Vietnamese dishes besides pho.
Hai Phong Vietnamese Restaurant