Broken Rice – Garlic Butter Chicken Wings

The 4000 block of E. Hastings is a place you have to visit if you’re in North Burnaby.  Everything from Chez Meme to Valley Bakery and Turkish Donair can be found along this little stretch… including Broken Rice.

The first thing you should know is that, although this is a Vietnamese restaurant, it’s not like your typical sketchy, hole-in-the-wall pho joint that are scattered all over the Lower Mainland.  The interior is filled with rich, dark wooden furniture with carved designs (the chairs are actually quite heavy).  The utensils are neaty stored in a large wooden cabinet and brought to the tables as needed.

The painted ceramic teapot, while pretty, was probably designed more for looks than function as it was difficult to pour from without dripping on the table.  I thought the rounded teacups were perfectly formed to be held naturally in the hand.

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Uncle Hing’s Chicken Wings – Cánh Gà Chien cua Chu Hing ($6) are prepared with your choice of either Uncle Hing’s hot sauce, garlic butter, siracha basil, or tamarind.  We decided to pick the most popular variety… the Garlic Butter.  These wings were super crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  They’re not spicy like the kind you get at Phnom Penh but I thought they were very good and had some good hits of garlic in the sauce.

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Apparently, there have been some changes to their menu since they opened up in August last year.  For example, I saw that they had Luc Lac Beef on their online menu but it was not to be found on their dine-in menu when we visited.  Instead, I went with the Pho Nam – Rare Round Steak and Brisket ($8) which is accompanied by fresh sawtooth herbs, basil, bean sprouts, jalepeños, fresh lime, sriracha and hoisin sauces.  Considering the regular size is $7, it only makes sense to go for the large for the extra buck.  There was plenty of thinly sliced steak and brisket (you have to eat it quickly before the hot soup cooks the beef too much) but the broth seemed to lack a lot of depth.  Squeezing the lime juice into the broth seemed to help however.

The Bún Gà Cha Giò – Chicken & Spring Rolls ($8) is served over vermicelli noodles with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, cucumber, pickled julienned carrots, roasted crushed peanuts and the option to add various sides on top… like the fried egg for an extra buck.  If anyone ever asks if you want to add a fried egg on top… just go with it.  The spring roll had a good meaty pork filling surrounded by a rice paper wrapper that was fried up to a perfect crisp and the chicken wasn’t dry like it is at some restaurants.

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The refined decor here will have you re-thinking those hole-in-the-wall joints but I’m sure some people may find the prices to be a bit on the expensive side.  The service was also better than what you would find at a cheaper Vietnamese place.  On the weekend that we visited, it got fairly busy around noon (they open at 11am daily) and service does drop off when more diners are present.

Definitely worth a revisit for those delicious wings.

4088 E Hastings Street
Burnaby, BC

www.brokenrice.ca

Broken Rice on Urbanspoon

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Posted on April 4, 2013, in Restaurant Review, Vietnamese and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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