Sunday, April 22, 2012

Green Leaf Bistro

Tonight was the monthly (attempted) meeting of the Ladies' Dining Club I joined. The selected location was the Green Leaf Bistro by Centennial Square.

Th location is interesting. This was not an area you would want to be in after dark when I was in my teens, but it has improved and is not nearly as sketchy. There are a few restaurants now on this side of downtown, and up from Chinatown, and there are definitely perks, like being able to have our pick of parking spots at 6PM on a Saturday.

The decor of the "bistro" is very nice. I liked the green colour pallet, the tasteful Vietnamese decor, and spacing of the tables. However, it was FAR too hot, especially for the multiple members of our party who are expecting. My other complaint about the decor was barely noticeable, but whatever tile the have laid is really slippery, and I almost bailed twice (once going to the restroom and once leaving).

Now, on to the important part, the food!

We shared two appetizers. The first was the salad rolls. As far as salad rolls go, these were pretty standard. The cost was $5.95 for two rolls and a large bowl of peanut sauce. I wasn't really a fan of how they left a giant piece of lettuce sticking out of the ends, but I guess this is what makes them a "bistro"? The carrots inside the salad roll also were soaked in vinegar, which I really enjoyed, but they used that weird pressed pork deli-meat stuff instead of real pork (the only place I have had real is Pho Galaxy in Chilliwack). I would order these again.

The second appie we shared were the deep-fried spring rolls. These were fantastic. They were very crisp and not at all greasy. I am pretty sure we ordered meat filled ones, but other than that I have no insight into what was inside. The chilli-sauce it came with was also a little different it seemed. It did not seem like it was as sweet as the stuff that comes in the giant bottles (which I am not a fan of).

For our mains, the majority of our party went for the Bun.

Diner 1 had the Lemongrass Chicken. She spoke highly of this dish.

Diner 2 had some sort of Bun with vegetarian spring rolls.

Diner 3 had another Bun with prawns and chicken, I think. (Laura, you will have to correct me if I am wrong). The look of this one gave me food envy.

Diner 4, me, went for Pho. I figured that since I want to be able to compare this place to other Pho places, I need to stick to what I normally order: Pho with rare beef slices.

Now, my first step of comparison is price. This same dish (size regular) ranges from $6.95 to $7.95 else where, but here it was $8.95. Not that it was important, as it is always too much, but the portion was smaller. It was served with all the fixin's: lime, jalapenos, basil, sprouts, and a large serving for sure.

People on Urbanspoon are all on about how fantastic the broth is, but, honestly, I didn't really notice a difference. There was a decent sized serving of beef though. Really, I wouldn't put this bowl of pho above any other bowl of pho.

One thing I noticed on the menu were "family-style" meals. And the menu was huge. I'm not sure if I will be back, but our experience was definitely a good one.

Green Leaf Bistro on Urbanspoon

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