My first ‘regular’ meal out after being hit with a stomach virus for a week was scary. I figured I needed to take it slow and ease myself back into my usual fare. What better way then to have some soup! Okay, so maybe pho and Vietnamese food wouldn’t be quite as bland as I needed, but I assumed that there had to be something on the menu that wasn’t too crazy.
So Spices Vietnamese Cuisine is where I went on Friday night with a few girlfriends before heading to the movies. A nice tame weekend night, prior to an upcoming stagette the following day that I still needed to get better and prepare myself for.
I’ve been to Spices quite a few times, as it opened a few years ago now, while I was still living in the South Cambie neighbourhood just a few blocks away. I’ve liked it each time I’ve been, but it was time for a revisit and a simple, low-key, inexpensive meal.
One of my girlfriends with me that evening (and the bride-to-be) is a vegetarian, and we were in luck that they had a whole section of about eight dishes in this category that would fit the bill for her. We ordered the Vegetarian Spring Rolls to share as a starter (although when we asked, they deep-fry them in the same fryer as other items containing meat), which us three non-vegetarians at the table ended up eating. These rolls were quite large and crispy, and were stuffed with all sorts of goodness. However, I am a carnivore at heart, and the one thing that would have made them even better would be, well, meat. They also have a regular option that some male patron was randomly raving about to us as we walked in, so I’m guessing they’re pretty darn good too!
I then went with the Vegetable Noodle Soup with Tofu (added-on for an extra $1.50), along with a couple of the other girls. There was the option for deep-fried or steamed tofu, and since I was already pushing it by having the spring rolls, I figured the latter option would be the way to go. This came with a whole plethora of veggies, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, and celery, with some cilantro on top (and of course the side plates of steamed bean sprouts and basil and lime). I did find the soup to be quite bland on the whole, but keep in mind that I didn’t want to add any spices or sauces to it in fear of causing more troubles later. It did have a lot of potential to be great though, and a decent option for those that are a little more health-conscious than me.
My other girlfriend went with the Rare Beef Pho. While I did not eat it at that sitting, I have had this on a few other occasions, and remember that the broth was aromatic and flavourful, and was quite tasty (but still doesn’t beat the pho at Cambie Vietnamese Restaurant). The beef itself was very good as well during my prior experiences there.
Again, a good place to get some pho comfort food on a cool day. The restaurant is small but clean, the service is friendly each time I go, and it’s always filled with diners happily eating the Vietnamese fare.
Spices Vietnamese Cuisine
3346 Cambie St
Vancouver, BC, V5Z 2W5