With the trend towards eating more plant-based comes a new vegetarian restaurant onto Vancouver’s dining scene. Do Chay Saigon Vegetarian opened their doors just a few weeks ago at 1392 Kingsway and is owned and operated by the Do family who also run House Special in Yaletown and Green Lemongrass (one on Kingsway, another in Richmond).
I was recently invited to a media tasting at Do Chay. Here’s a look at what you can expect.
Do Chay Menu
“Do Chay” is a Vietnamese colloquial phrase which roughly translates to “vegetarian stuff.” The menu at Do Chay is vegetarian and almost entirely vegan and features a contemporary take on Vietnamese street food ($5 – $14), rice bowls ($13 – $15) and noodle bowls ($13) with exquisite presentation.
Warm and Inviting Interior
The warm and inviting interior features wood tones, pendant lighting and an exposed brick wall. There is a mix of dining tables and seating at the bar.
What We Tried
We started with the Monsoon Rolls which were delicate rice paper salad rolls with tofu, jicama, and fresh herbs. These were served with a chili pineapple sauce which offered a sweet and spicy kick to the nutty flavours of the salad roll.
Not on the menu yet are the Sticky Rice Squash Blossoms but hopefully, they make it a permanent item because they were amazing! Sticky rice with mushroom and carrots were served inside a squash blossom and lightly deep-fried. Accompanied by house (sweet) soya sauce, these deep-fried delights were a winner in my books.
We also had the Banana Leaf-Wrapped Glass Dumplings which were steamed, rice flour dumplings stuffed with mushrooms. Moist, lightly chewy and nutty in taste.
The Coconut Rice Cakes were too beautiful to eat! These mini coconut milk rice cakes were cast iron seared and topped with cabbage, green onions, carrots and house vegan nuoc cham (fish sauce) drizzle.
I recommend eating the rice cakes in one bite because they have a creamy, coconut milk filling which bursts in your mouth! The sour, sweet, salty, savory and spicy nuoc cham drizzle contrasted the lightly sweet coconut milk rice cakes. I also enjoyed the smooth and silky texture of the rice cakes.
I love eggplant dishes so the Black Garlic Eggplant Rice Bowl was right up my alley. This claypot rice dish was rich in flavour and had braised eggplant, tofu, black garlic and greens.
The Vegan Pho was not your typical pho offering and had broccoli tempura, avocado, yuba, yo choy, daikon, lotus root, and rice noodles in a vegan pho broth. It was a comforting dish that felt light and healthy.
The Pan-Fried Daikon Cakes were a tasty street food item on the menu. These were made with rice flour, daikon, egg, salted radish, green onion, papaya slaw and accompanied by soya sauce.
The Do Chay Dumplings were also tasty house-made bites with snow pea and jicama fillings and placed on a bed of coconut milk with nuoc cham drizzle. The filling was nutty and crunch which contrasted to the smooth and sweet coconut milk.
And to wash it all down, we enjoyed an iced Vietnamese coffee.
Here are some behind the scene photos of Chef Yen Do (Head Chef and matriarch of the Do Family) making the wrappers for the Do Chay Dumplings.
Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan or meat-lover, I think you’ll enjoy the Vietnamese fare at Do Chay with their light, bright and fresh flavours. My favourites were the Sticky Rice Squash Blossoms, Coconut Rice Cakes, Do Chay Dumplings, Vegan Pho and Black Garlic Eggplant.
I was amazed by the attention to detail showcased in the intricate presentation of some of their dishes. I would definitely recommend others to check them out for a unique, modern take on Vietnamese cuisine.
Do Chay Saigon Vegetarian
1392 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC