Resto roundup: Anh + Chi, Yaletown's Kuma Izakaya, Kitsilano's Kitchen Table, and more

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      Vancouver's food industry is the scene that never sleeps as more restaurants continue to open up.

      Here's our latest roundup of new places that have opened or are about to open, and two that have closed in the past few months.

      More Vietnamese to please

      While the brother-sister team of Patrick and Victoria Do opened House Special Modern Vietnamese to become the next generation of their family's restaurant legacy, another new Vietnamese eatery is also run by brother and sister restaurateurs with a strong family culinary lineage.   

      Siblings Vincent and Amelie Nguyen opened the appropriately named and stylish Anh + Chi at 3388 Main Street in April. In Vietnamese, anh means big brother while chi means big sister.

      The Nguyen's parents ran Pho Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant at the same location that began in 1983 as a pop-up shop.

      Leila Kwok/Anh + Chi

      Anh + Chi's menu draws inspiration from Vietnamese street food and homestyle cooking, covering bún (vermicelli bowls); salads, such as green mango salad or pineapple salad; rice plates, such as grilled lemongrass chicken; and, of course, pho.

      Family style dishes include the Northern Vietnamese delicacy canh ca thì là (wild sockeye salmon with fresh tomato and dill soup) and cá chiên (fried red snapper on mango salad with chili fish sauce).

      Their "bucket list" section runs the gamut from bánh xèo (Vietnamese crêpes with pork and prawns or tofu and shitake mushrooms) to an indulgent streetside platter that includes housemade pork sausage, beef in betel leaf, grilled chicken, spring rolls, and more.

      There's also dessert to save room for, such as bánh flan (crème flan) or French baguettes with Vietnamese bananas served with warm Cognac coconut milk.  

      Kuma opens in Yaletown

      A few doors down from House Special in Yaletown, Kuma Izakaya opened up at 1233 Hamilton Street on May 1.

      Owner Hyun Woo Kim, originally from South Korea, told the Georgia Straight by phone that his restaurant is influenced by French presentation of Asian dishes. Kim explained that as he has a background working in European restaurants and worked for 10 years with a Japanese chef in San Francisco so, he combined the two culinary experiences to create his new izakaya.

      Kuma's mango salsa roll
      Kuma Izakaya

      Yet in addition to sushi rolls and tapas, there's also Italian influence on the menu. For instance, there's Oriental aglio e olio pasta, featuring noodles with garlic and mentaiko (fish roe) and seafood tomato cream pasta with udon and mixed vegetables.

      There's also Korean-style osso buco with beef, potato, carrot, mushroom, and green onion made in a soy-sauce base.

      Kuma's osso buco
      Kuma Izakaya

      An inventive dish is curry cream udon topped with mashed potato (mixed with whipped cream).

      Another special dish is jjangbbong, a Korean spicy seafood soup which he has combined with Italian tomato sauce.

      On the drinks menu, Kim says he has four types of soju and 15 types of sake.

      The restaurant seats up to 50 people inside, with 30 on the patio, bringing the total capacity to 80 people.

      Kitsilano Kitchen fit for a king

      The Kings Head Vancouver is reinveting itself under new ownership as the Kitchen Table. The team is preparing to open at 1618 Yew Street on June 14.

      There'll be 30 beers on tap, with many from local craft breweries and the menu, currently under development, will include dishes like Baha salad.

      More details are still to come so stay tuned.

      Kitchen Table's Baha salad
      Kitchen Table

      West End closures

      Two restaurants have closed near the Robson and Denman intersection over the past few months.

      Khunnai Chang Thai Cuisine at 835 Denman Street has wrapped up operations.

      La Casita Tacos at 1773 Robson Street has also shut down. This eatery is not to be confused with La Casita Mexican Restaurant at 101 West Cordova Street in Gastown. It's also different from taco spot La Catrina at 1187 Denman Street near English Bay which opened in March.

      Meanwhile, Village Bistro at 1143 Davie Street was only temporarily closed for some kitchen renovations. After one week, it was reopened on May 27. The signage is changing from Village Bistro to just Village (for all you Village people) but the menu will remain the same.

      And the eats go on…

      Other eateries that have recently opened:

      • DIP Ice Cream opened up its soft-serve cone operation this month in Kitsilano

      • burger chain CaliBurger is set to open on June 3

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